Andrea from Hula Seventy kindly sent us this holiday idea
Hello, I’m Andrea from Hula Seventy and would like to thank Claire for allowing me to share some of our family fun with you today.
For those of you out there who find yourself playing a constant game of catch-up with advent activities, I offer The Christmas Fun Jar. Although we absolutely love the advent activity calendars here at our house, we have decided to shake things up a bit this holiday season. The Fun Jar is actually something we put together each summer– we write fun things we want to do (big and small) onto strips of paper, throw them into a recycled jar (which we then decorate) and pull from it when things get a little nutty around the house. A perfect fit for the season, yes? The great thing about The Jar is that you can pick from it at any time, as often as you like– once a week, once a day, once an hour. You can wait until the week right before Christmas to construct your own, if you like. Anything goes! But the best part is that The Fun Jar eventually becomes a lantern. When you have emptied it, place a candle inside and the art work glows– a lovely thing to do on Christmas Eve. And a little bit of magic, I say.
You will need:
A glass jar
Colored tissue paper
Crayons, markers, colored pencils
1. Decorate the jar. Cut up and/or tear pieces of tissue paper and glue them onto the jar, collage-style. Squares, rectangles, hearts, Christmas trees,stars– again, anything goes. We also chose to cover the entire jar (which you may or may not want to do). The idea behind using tissue paper (as opposed to regular and/or construction paper) is the transparency allows for beautiful glowing when the candle is placed inside. Also, this is something that almost everyone can do. My son Ezra (who is 2 1/2) had an absolute ball smearing the glue stick on larger pieces of tissue paper and sticking them onto the jar. My daughter Ava (age 6) really got into creating Christmas-themed shapes and scenarios.
2. Put the finishing touches on the collage with crayons, markers and glitter. We also added a ‘Christmas Fun Jar’ label with construction paper. A little glitter was sprinkled here and there. Just for fun.
3. Put together the contents of the jar. Find a comfortable place to sit and generate ideas as a family. Everyone gets to contribute! It’s not a bad idea to have a list of ideas on hand to get the ball rolling (there are plenty of suggestions here at Kiddley, see this previous post). Write what you’d like to do on small sheets of paper, fold them up and throw them in the jar. When finished, place your magnificently decorated Christmas Fun Jar in a special location (mantles are nice) and let the fun begin!
4. Finally, it helps to be prepared for all that spontaneity. After we finished making our jar, I went back through and made a list of all the supplies we would need to have on hand. Also, as mama and chief Christmas Fun Jar maker, I reserve the right to pull a couple of the slips of paper from the jar (those with the more special activities written on them) and return them when I feel the time is right (a couple of days before Christmas, perhaps?)– feel free to do the same. There’s no shame in that.
And now, The Christmas Fun Jar is calling you. I hear it calling, I really do. And I’m hoping you’ll return with some lovely stories to tell.