Make It Monday: Preschool Handwriting Sampler

Our girls started learning to write their letters just after their third birthday.

Baby A's first "A"!

Baby A’s first “A”!

Since they really got the hang of it, around age 3 1/2, writing is a huge pastime for them.  They love to write notes, lists, and make cards.

I just love seeing the progression of their handwriting.  Here’s a list Baby A made before my birthday last month.  I didn’t know why she was asking me to spell all these items…turns out she was making a shopping list for Daddy to get me for my birthday.  HA!  I don’t really need any broccoli, but this mama wouldn’t mind some shoes and jelly beans!

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I was browsing Pinterest a couple of weeks ago, and I came upon this alphabet sampler.

I love this!!!

I love this!!!

It gave me an idea to do something with the girls’ writing.  I cut cardstock into 1″ x 1.5″ pieces.  I had the girls take turns writing the letters of the alphabet.  (Baby A got the letter “A”, and Baby B got the letter “B”…and so on.)  The letters “I” and “U” were done in red, and the letter “O” was replaced with one of Baby A’s signature hearts.

I found an 8″ square frame on clearance at our local craft store.  I also found some pink graph paper in their scrapbook section.  (Having the patterned background made things really easy to plot.)

The girls helped me sort the letters into order while I glued them down.

Viola!

For less than $5, a little elbow grease, and a handwriting lesson…I love the way it turned out!  And we all love seeing this on the bookshelves in our den.

MandyE is mom to five-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Make it Monday – A Birthday Tribute to Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss Make-it-Monday hdydi.com

Did you know that March 2 is the Birthday of Dr. Seuss? Marking what would have been his 110th birthday, today schools, libraries and other organizations participate in Read Across America, an initiative to get more kids reading and to honor Dr. Seuss. His books were my favorites when I was a kid, and we have a large selection of them in regular rotation here. Plus, any parent of twins has to have an appreciation for Thing 1 and Thing 2, which I firmly believe had to be modeled on twin toddlers!

Happy Read Across America Day in honor of Dr Seuss! #neareads #sewingforboys #drseuss

Today I am happy to share a little project I did for my kids which is a great tribute to the beloved Dr. Seuss for his birthday today. To be completely honest, when I started the project it was not timed in conjunction with the Dr. Seuss celebration or the Read Across America initiative at all. I made them because these are favorite books of my kids, and when I found this fabric I knew I wanted to do something fun for them. See, in addition to being a stay at home mom to my 4-year-old twin boys, I also have a small business making custom kids clothing. My kids see tons of cute shirts and outfits on my sewing table and most often it is not for them. So when they saw this fabric, they were elated! My son Justin chose The Lorax, which has been a favorite book and movie for years and Joshua picked Green Eggs and Ham which has become a recent favorite bedtime story.

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(Kindly disregard the chaos of my sewing room and look at that smile when he saw his fabric!)

My boys love their new shirts, and I love seeing their love of books.

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So now, the nitty gritty of the shirts. They are made from The Scientific Seamstress Bowling Shirt, which is a PDF pattern you can purchase from Etsy and a few other places. This was one of my first patterns when I started making kids clothing, and I have made these bowling shirts in a few dozen versions. It’s so fun and versatile. Plus, the Scientific Seamstress patterns are like a mini sewing lesson and a pattern in one. I hadn’t sewn a garment since the 7th grade HomeEc class when I made my first set of Bowling shirts for my duo, and they turned out great! There aren’t a lot of great patterns for boys, this is my main go-to pattern for boys. It has so many options for stripes and piecing, and you can be as creative as you want with fabrics. For these I decided to vary the standard piecing options (which are normally vertical or horizontal stripes) and just did the top horizontal stripe to make more of a yoke. (Which of course I cracked myself up making a yoke on a shirt with eggs. Get it? Yoke/Yolk? Cracked myself up! hahaha! Anyway…)

The shirt is lined, and therefore doesn’t have a lot of hemming or zigzagging and doesn’t require a serger to finish seams, but still has a nice, finished look. And since this is a Moms of Multiples blog, I will add that I almost always make two (or more) at a time. I made my boys several for our Disney trips, and have made a few as gifts and, like these, with no occasion at all.

I find it easiest to do all of one step on both shirts before moving to the next step. Cut out all the pieces first, then assemble. I keep the pieces of each separated in ziploc bags. Each shirt takes about 1 yard of fabric in the 3/4 or 5/6 size, depending on how you cut and whether the fabric is directional. If you intend to use directional fabric and vertical stripes, I would suggest a yard and a quarter. I have generally bought 1-1.25 yards of each of two fabrics and made two shirts from it.

I have made it with and without stripes, all one fabric and several, plus added appliqués and without. These I did add appliqués, and yes I have a fancy embroidery machine. But the Green Eggs and Ham one was not done with the embroidery machine, I did it the old-fashioned way, cutting out four eggs from scrap fabric, ironing on Heat-n-bond and tight zigzagging around it. Well, maybe not that old-fashioned, I guess.

I cannot speak highly enough of the Scientific Seamstress patterns for beginners or seasoned sewists. I have most of her patterns, and each one is easy to follow and has tons of options to customize size and style to your liking. If you’re new to sewing or just want to get something cute made for your own kiddos, you can’t go wrong with any of these patterns.

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In the Spirit of Full Disclosure, the Links to the Books on Amazon are Affiliate Links. If you click and chose to add these titles to your own personal library I will get a few cents. (Thanks!) I did not receive any compensation for the review of the pattern from the Scientific Seamstress. I bought and love the pattern. I do also sell handmade items on Etsy and through my own Facebook page and take custom orders, though this was not intended to be a shill for that business.

Jen is the stay-at-home mom of newly minted 4 year old boys who all survived the terrible threes. They live in the arctic wasteland formerly known as Chicagoland, where they have been cooped up inside for the worst winter in half a century, left with plenty of time to reflect and reminisce. Her family blog Go Team Wood is oft-neglected and now functions mostly as a repository for Instagram pics and occasional updates that are far and few between. You can find out more about her handmade kids clothes biz at Just-Joshin.com

MiM: How to make chew necklaces for kids who chew their clothes

One of my twin boys is a shirt chewer. Actually, he was a shirt chewer. I made chew necklaces for him to wear and completely cured him of his nervous habit of chewing on his clothing in about two months. I am not crafty and I can not sew at all. So when I looked for ideas about how to get kids to stop chewing their clothes, I was disappointed to find complicated, messy sensory games or options that required a sewing machine.

Finally, I found an easy, free, no sew option by whining to my friend who is a school teacher. She had seen a few students wear “chew necklaces” in her elementary school.

Chew Necklaces

How to make chew necklaces for kids who chew their clothes:

Supplies -
*old tshirts (that your child has outgrown or already chewed holes in)
*scissors
*regular bedroom dresser
*ability to braid

Steps -
*Cut out three strips of fabric (~25-30 inches long, depending on how long you want the necklace to be. Remember tshirt material stretches) from the old tshirts.

Tie Knot in end

*Tie the three strips together into a knot at one end.

*Tuck the knotted end into dresser drawer.Braid with knot in dresser

*Braid the three strips.

*Tie the end of the braid into a knot.

Tie knot in other end

*Tie the two knots together.

Tie together done

Because they are made out of tshirt material, they feel the same to kids as chewing on their clothes and are likely to be a great substitute. They can also be thrown in the wash with their clothes. They do eventually get chewed through (as evidenced in the above picture; the gray and red one is pretty much done) but it’s easy to make more. And oddly, the best news is that after wearing these for a few months, my son just quit chewing altogether. Now, we don’t need these necklaces and he doesn’t chew on his shirts anymore!

Chew Necklace

1-2-3 Magic – A Book Review

2When my girls were younger, between 12 and 24 months or so, I employed the fine art of distraction and redirection, along with consequences-based “discipline” to manage behavior in our house.  It was a full-time job, and I was anxious for “time out” to have meaning.  I would test the time-out waters every few months, and eventually, when the girls were close to three, it seemed to sink in that time-out was a consequence they didn’t want to bear.

Yay!  So…now what???

I emailed a handful of trusted mommy friends, and several people recommended 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12, which I promptly bought and began to follow.

123 MagicThe 1-2-3 Magic principles are used for “stop” behaviors, something your child is doing that you want her to stop.  There are two “warnings” given on the counts of one and two, and when three is reached, the child earns a time-out.

For example:

Baby A, spied running through the house: “Baby A, no running.  That’s ONE.”

Within a minute or so, Baby A, spied playing with the blinds: “Baby A, hands off the blinds.  That’s TWO.”

Within a minute or so, Baby A, spied stepping on a toy: “Baby A, we are respectful of toys.  That’s THREE.  Time out.”

In this example, Baby A committed three separate indiscretions within a short period of time.  (There is no determined “window” of time.  It certainly wouldn’t carry over throughout the day, and I feel there is a much shorter window associated with younger children.)  The scenario could have applied to repeated offense, like continuing to play with the blinds after I’d counted once / twice.  And there is an option for such a severe breach of rules, like hitting a sibling, where a parent can go straight to THREE and time-out.

If a child knows she’s breaking a rule, you may simply say, “Baby A, that’s ONE,” with no further explanation.

What I Like

Our girls picked up this system within a couple of days.  It requires discipline and consistency on the part of the parent, but my girls know I mean business when I count.

The system puts the onus on the child for her behavior.  She is “earning” a number with each of her actions.  Rules are rules, and if she breaks a rule, there are consequences.  Yet with the counting system, the child has an opportunity to right her behavior and switch gears before she’s in real trouble.

Most of all, I love that this system helps keep my emotions in check.  One of the most powerful things I’ve read as a parent is this: “…ninety-nine percent of the time that parents scream, hit and spank their children, the parent is simply having a temper tantrum.  The tantrum is a sign that 1) the parent doesn’t know what to do, 2) the parent is so frustrated that he or she can’t see straight…

Whoa.  An adult temper tantrum.  I could fall into this easily if I let myself…but the powerful image of an adult temper tantrum (think about it!) stops me from going there.

The 1-2-3 Magic system advocates that parents remain very calm when they count.  This reinforces that it is the action of the child that is earning counts.  With very few exceptions, the parent does not owe the child an explanation for counting.  The book cites that when a parent gives lots and lots of reasons to a child, the message can become, “You don’t have to behave unless I can give you five or six good reasons why you should.”

What I’ve Changed

The 1-2-3 system worked really well for us from age three to age four-and-a-half.  My girls just turned five, and it remains the framework for how we keep order at our house.  What’s changed for me is the “time-out” portion of the equation.

Around age four-and-a-half, I found our girls to be much more emotional.  There were many more reasons they were acting out…it wasn’t just that they got too excited to see the garbage truck and started playing with the blinds.

While I still use 1-2-3 Magic, with the increased emotion in play, I realized that the time-out wasn’t always addressing the behavior issue, but was oftentimes making it worse.  I turned to “The Five Love Languages of Children” [review to come on Friday].  I’m trying to recognize when­ our girls need more than “standard” discipline.

To sum up 1-2-3 Magic, I’ll quote one last passage:

We want your attitude and message to the children to be something like this: ‘You’re my child and I’m your parent.  I love you, and it’s my job to train and discipline you.  I don’t expect you to be perfect, and when you do do something wrong, this is what I will do.’”

I bought this book seeking a game plan, and that’s what it has helped me to develop and implement at our house.

Have you read 1-2-3 Magic?  Have you incorporated elements from it at your house?

MandyE is mom to five-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Toddler Thursday: Three is the New Terrible Two

Three is the new Terrible Two - HDYDI.com

My twin boys turned 4 in November and while I am not in any hurry for them to grow up, I won’t lie, I was counting down the days until age three hit the road. Age 3 was brutal. It was long. It was way worse than age 2, truly. Heck, give me two newborns again any day!

As a small sample of age 3 in our house, here is a copy-and-paste comment I left when another twin mom asked about transitioning her twins to toddler beds from their cribs. Comments before mine were along the lines of “it wasn’t as big of deal as I thought” or “my kids never realized the could get out of their beds.” I offered up my very honest experience.

Wow. Our transition was nothing at all like that. My kids destroyed everything in their room, we had to lock the dresser in the closet because they were stuffing clothes down the heater duct, then replace the duct cover with a metal one that is screwed into the floorboards because they were hitting each other with it. We turned the door knob around so it locks from the outside because they got out one morning at 5 am and flooded the bathroom. We have had to replace the blackout shade and the closet door because they broke them. We had to take their beds away for a month and they slept on a mattress on the floor because they were lifting up the mattress and climbing under and the other was jumping on top. We had to remove all the decorations because they took them off the walls and either ruined them or hit each other with them. They propped the mattresses up against the wall, climbed on them and jumped off which resulted in an ER visit because one kid knocked himself out cold.

Let’s see what did I forget. Oh yeah they’ve also peed in the vent, flung poop at the walls, broke the lock on the closet, dumped every stitch of clothing into a pile and peed on the pile, and one bludgeoned the other with a nightlight which bled like crazy and their room looked like a scene from Dexter. (and another ER visit)

It’s now 2 years later and only within the last 6 months have they actually gone to bed reasonably and without the destruction, but at least twice a week we end up having to lock the door to keep them in because they won’t stay in bed.

However, the first 6 months they were on beds when they’d finally fall asleep 90 percent of the time they were together in the same bed which was outrageously cute and sweet.
Asleep like the grandparents in Willy Wonka. Also in bed: teapot, turtle, pirate sword.

So during my tenure as a mom to age 3 twins, there was a whole lot more of that flavor of crazy. There were many trips to the doctor and the ER (because of course these incidents almost always occurred at nights and weekends, naturally.) There was so much frustration, so much yelling, so many time outs and leaving places and skipping activities all together. People never said, “I always wanted twins!” to us anymore when we were out. The time-out chair was at maximum capacity pretty often.
No vacancy in the time-out chair tonight. :(

Everything was hard. Everything. Running errands, meal times, bed time (Oh, bedtime, simultaneously my most longed-for and most reviled.) Every day I would wake up optimistic and by the time the kids were in bed I was exhausted and defeated. I would sit on the floor next to my sleeping children and cry because it was just SO HARD. I was sure I was the worst Mom ever and that I was raising sociopaths. I loved my children so much it hurt, but there were definitely days I didn’t like them a whole lot.

For some reason people don't say, "I've always wanted twins!" to us too often anymore. #groceryshoppingwithtwins

But now they are four. And so far, four is better. I feel like we have turned a corner. They gave up napping so they are plenty tired most nights when they finally stop bouncing around the room. Getting ready for bed is still a three-ring circus, but I will take my victories where I can get them. Both boys started preschool this fall. The extra structure and routine has helped tremendously. Errands with both are still hard, my kids feed off each other so when it starts to go south it goes in a hurry, but we have had successful outings more often. We also use a lot of rewards for good behavior when running errands, and they buy into the bribery rewards. They play together and cooperate and help each other out. They have genuine concern for one another and work as a team, more often for good than for evil.
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So from the ashes of age 3 have emerged two sweet, smart not-so-sociopathic 4 year olds. And man are they the best.

Jen is the stay-at-home mom of newly minted 4 year old boys who all survived the terrible threes. They live in the arctic wasteland of Chiberia, formerly known as Chicagoland, where they have been cooped up inside for the worst winter in half a century, left with plenty of time to reflect and reminisce. Her family blog Go Team Wood is oft-neglected and now functions mostly as a repository for Instagram pics and occasional updates that are far and few between.

Kids Say “I Love You”

Kids say "I love you." So sweet!Two major characteristics of the transition from toddlerhood to preschoolerdom are a child’s improved communication and her awareness of other people. A preschooler is beginning to understand that Mommy is a distinct person, and has yet to develop any shame in expressing his love for her. These kids say, “I love you.” And it melts my heart. Every. Time.

When my daughters were 4.5 years old, I wrote the following post:

This morning, J woke before M and Daddy. She climbed into my lap on the couch, where I was folding laundry. She curled up, buried her head in her blankie, and let me hold her.

J: I love you.
Me: Oh, honey, I love you too. I love you so much that sometimes my heart fills up all the way and my chest hurts.
J: My heart fills up with love too. We must have the same heart.

Later, M walked nonchalantly into the my room as I got dressed for my day.

Me: I love you, M.
M: I love you, Mommy.
Me: I love you a whole lot.
M: I know how much you love me.
Me: You do!?
M: You love me … I love you one hundred … one hundred twenty miles away!

Those of you with younger kids, you can look forward to this.

What do your children do to melt your heart?

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

MiM: DIY Stick Horse

DIY Stick horse instructions from hdydi.com. Cheap, simple classic toys that are SO MUCH FUN!Our very first homework assignment came to us when my daughters were in pre-school. Three years ago, when my girls were nearly 5, their daycare teacher gave us general guideline to make cheap DIY stick horses for a school “horsie” race. I was surprised by how much fun we had with the project and how much my pre-schoolers were able to contribute.

Three years later, my daughters still play with their horses. They’ve held up to rough play and continue to provide fodder for the imagination. Not bad for under $10 each!

Want to know how we made them? Read on! I’ve included a list of supplies at the end of the post, in case you decide to go shopping.

We started out by taking some sandpaper to 4 foot dowels from the home improvement store. Each horse takes one dowel. I was surprised to realize that my 4-year-olds were perfectly good at this task.

They then painted their dowels. This is certainly an optional step, but each of my girls definitely enjoyed picking a unique colour for her own horse.

100_0133Here’s the genius part of this project. The horse head? It’s a sock, stuffed with batting. We used Daddy’s old socks. M and J loved shoving the batting in there.

We tied off the bottom of the stuffed socks with yarn.

Next, M and J decided on the shape and colour of their horses’ ears, and I cut triangles of felt to their specifications. I sewed pairs of felt triangles together and turned them inside out to hide the seam. I hand-sewed them onto the socks at locations of the girls’ choosing. I also sewed on buttons for eyes.

100_0240I then cut equal lengths of yarn, and the girls used yarn needles to thread them through the centerline of the sock, from slightly in front of the ears down the back of the head. I tied little knots to secure them. At bedtime, the manes were still not quite thick enough to meet the girls’ exacting standards, so they gave me instructions to finish off the job.

When all of that was done, I hot-glued the socks onto the dowels. The glued part looked messy, so I wrapped it in ribbon and hot-glued that on too. I also glued a length of ribbon (picked by the children, of course) around the front of each muzzle.

The girls both tied an additional length of ribbon on to make reins. They’ve upgraded over the years, adding beaded reins and even earrings to their horsies. Have fun with this project and send us photos of your creations!

DIY Stick Horse Supplies

  • Wooden dowel: 4 feet long, 1 inch diameter
  • Sandpaper: 150-grit
  • Non-toxic paint
  • Batting
  • Felt for ears
  • Buttons for eyes
  • Yarn for mane
  • Ribbon for noseband and reins
  • Old socks
  • Hot glue gun
  • Needle and thread
  • Blunt yarn needle

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering. She blogged about this project on my now-retired blog Double the Fun when we first did the project.

What I Learned from Parenting My First Child

Having already parented one child 2.5 years older than my b/g 13.5mo twins, I feel I’m at an advantage knowing somewhat about what to expect with the twins. I’m sure I have much more to learn on this parenting journey, but here are some lessons I’ve learned so far:

During Times of Sickness

Parenting 1st child(1)Never over-coddle a child when he is sick. Even the youngest of children have absurdly brilliant minds and will expect the same exact treatment permanently after recovery. So resist the urge to feel sorry for your poor sniffly baby and snuggle with her in a rocking chair all night because she’s congested… unless doing the exact same thing every night forever sounds good to you. I’ve spent too many nights “re-training” my firstborn to sleep to ever want to experience that again. Now, I give just the right amount of cuddles during daytime only, and consider minor stuffy noses something babies need to learn to deal with on their own.

At Bathtime

Be liberal about pouring water over babies in the bath. Even deliberately splash a little into their eyes. At such a young age, babies have absolutely no fear of the water. In fact, my twins LOVE getting their baths. The water in their faces does not faze them one bit. They kick and splash it into their own faces, while cackling and having a great time. But never, NEVER, allow babies to come into contact with adult soap/shampoo. We had traumatizing moment while traveling in Asia without a baby tub when my eldest had just turned two. In the shower with me, she got a hold of a bar of soap, and before I could get her to wash it off her hands, she wiped her eyes. If you don’t want future swim lessons to break down into hysterical tears, constant requests of face wiping during bathtimes, intense fear of the showerhead spray, beware of over protecting babies’ faces from water in the tub and be extra careful about using only tearless soap/shampoo.

Reading to Kids

Works! Firstborn was a calm baby, so reading a cloth book as part of her bedtime routine started very early on. She’s always loved stories with Mommy, and I believe this is the reason she is such a verbal kid, excels in school, and learned to recognize all her letters and write her name before most other kids. She is also fully bilingual, can seamlessly transition between English and Mandarin, and even translates for those in the family who are monolingual. Her love of stories has also improved her focus, attention span, and ability to analogize. The twins have not yet given up their chewing on whatever they get their hands on, and the two of them makes it logistically difficult to read to both at once, but just as soon as they’re ready, we will be reading together too. These days, a trip to the library occurs regularly, and I hope that the twins will be a part of this routine soon as well. (Just as soon as they stop eating their books.)

On Having Toys

Having the first child it was easy to always put her first and think of her every waking moment. Having two more puts things more into perspective. I used to pick up a little something for her everywhere I went. Grocery shopping? Oh, here’s a little treat for her too. At the dollar store? Buy her a little toy. Little by little added up to quite a lot, and we accumulated an entire playroomful of this and that. We honestly have so many that the kids are not even playing with them. Too many. We now do not buy any toys. Since the twins were born, the only toys they have gotten have not been from me. Actually, on birthdays and Christmas, I try to steer family and friends away from a massive number of toys. We have plenty of toys from our first child to last through our other two children, and then some.

Fostering Independence

This is a parenting philosophy I’ve always embraced because it worked so well when my mom used it to raise me and my brother. And it’s paid off with my firstborn too. At 3.5 now, she openly starts conversations with random strangers, needs no supervision when using the bathroom/washing hands, can dress and undress herself as well as put on/take off shoes. I believe myself to have a controlling personality, so sometimes letting her figure things out on her own takes some willpower. But I do also believe that it’s ok for kids to fall, get dirty, get frustrated, and work out how to share on their own. With twins, they are not only learning from every decision I make with them, but I see them also watching and studying my interactions with the other twin. I think they will learn to rely on themselves even faster than my first, just based on the nature of the fact that Mommy cannot be in two places at once. I’ve already started to notice that they help themselves more to the things that they want: taking from each other, grabbing assertively for food, etc.

Can’t wait to see how my own parenting will evolve as these kids grow older. It’s been a real blast this last year to experience the differences and similarities between all three children.

Thank-You Cards from Kids

The girls and I worked really hard making homemade holiday gifts (baked goodies, Shrinky Dinks key chains, and gift tags this year).  On the other end of the holiday, it’s important to me that I involve our girls in saying thank you to our friends and family who were so generous in giving their time and resources to us.

Since they were old enough to scribble a few streaks across a paper, I’ve worked with the girls to make thank-you cards.  Here’s an example of some cards we did when they were 2 1/2…

DSC_0468I wrote the text: “Thank you for the book about the,” and then the girls filled in the blank, so to speak.  At the time, they still weren’t drawing very recognizably, but they could choose a color for the background to the sea, and glue to it a few fish I’d cut out from construction paper.

They definitely “got” what we were doing, and why.  And I think this kind of activity helps them remember who gave them what.  They still know that Aunt Alison gave those books to them when we saw her in Alabama.

At almost-five years old, our girls can’t fully read, but they can print like no one’s business.  My plan this year is to have them write “THANK YOU” on the front of the cards, and address the inside of the card, “TO: AUNT ALISON” and sign their names.  We’ll either draw pictures, or in some cases I might take a picture of the girls wearing their new sweaters or playing with a particular toy to include in the card.

Of course the girls love to tape the envelope shut, apply the stamp, and walk the letters to the mailbox.

An art project, handwriting practice, and a sense of gratitude…it’s what’s on our agenda this post-holiday week.

How do you handle thank-yous with your kiddos?

MandyE is mom to fraternal twin girls, almost five.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Getting Your Kiddos Involved in the Holidays: Gift Tags

Since my girls were two, I’ve gotten them as involved in the holiday festivities as possible.  One activity we have really come to enjoy is making gift tags.

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Hard at work in their pj’s!

This year’s masterpieces feature fingerprint reindeer.  At soon-to-be five years old, the girls were able to do these all by themselves…the brown fingerprint was first; then the tip of a finger in the red ink…and then they used markers for the eyes and antlers.

I am so tickled with how they turned out…I can hardly wait to see them adorning our homemade goodies that we gift to our family and friends!

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Our little deer!

Some of our family members like to save these tags and hang them on their tree as ornaments.  We’re developing quite the collection!

How do you get your kiddos involved in the holidays?

MandyE is mom to fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.