Everyday Life, Two Legged Fun

Christmas Fun: Portable North Pole and Reindeer Cam

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Have you seen portablenorthpole.com yet?  I discovered it a few years ago and have made a video message for my little guy every year since.  The first year I did it he was so excited to see Santa that I think we must have watched it over 100 times.

The program allows you to fill out personal details and customize the video to the child or adult.  I get to input his age, photos, Christmas wishes, details on how we spent the last year and decide if he is on the naughty or nice list.  The final video incorporates those pictures and Santa even says his name to make it that much more authentic.  Camden started out somewhere between naughty/nice, but after a few quick changes this morning we re-watched and he was excited to see he has made it to Santa’s nice list!

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Next year I will make one for each of them, but this year Keira is just happy to watch Santa and the elves in her brother’s video.

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And if you are looking more Christmas fun, I highly recommend Santa’s Reindeer Cam!  We have downloaded the app to the ipad and it allows the kids to check in on Santa’s live reindeer.  There is also a feeding schedule so if you visit at the right times, you can see Santa feeding his reindeer throughout the day!

 

Everyday Life

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Toddlers

I love stockings!  My mom used to do an amazing job of stuffing ours right full and it was always great fun to unwrap all the small treasures Christmas morning.  Now that I have my own kids, I tend to go a little overboard buying small items here and there to fill the stockings.

My 3 year old son’s stocking this year will contain:

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And Santa will be leaving these treasures for my 19 month old daughter (minus a hand puppet and hair bows I forgot to include!):

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We are down to just one week until Christmas so I thought I would share a list of all my favorite toddler stocking stuffers for you last minute shoppers!

For Bathtime:

  • Rubber Duck (bonus if it is Christmas themed)
  • Bubble Bath
  • Body wash/shampoo
  • Bath crayons/paints
  • New toothbrush and toothpaste

Treats:

  • An orange for the toe of the stocking
  • Smarties
  • Skittles
  • Hershey Kisses
  • Candy Canes
  • Gerber puffs or Mum Mum’s for the really little ones

Fun and Games:

  • Card games (Go Fish, Old Maid)
  • Hand or finger puppets
  • Coloring books
  • Crayons or markers
  • DVD’s
  • Stacking cups
  • CD’s of children’s music
  • Magnetic letters for the fridge
  • Lacing beads
  • Fisher Price Little People characters
  • Playmobile figures
  • Lego minifigure packs
  • Small puzzles

For the girls:

  • Small hair clips or hair accessories
  • Disappearing milk  bottles for their doll’s
  • Small utensils for their play kitchen
  • Kid friendly lip gloss or nail polish

For the boys:

  • Hot wheels or other small cars
  • Thomas or other small trains
  • Action figures
  • Hockey or other trading cards

Christmas items:

  • A new ornament for the Christmas tree
  • Small Christmas books
  • Christmas socks

To wear:

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • A t-shirt with a favorite character
  • A fun toque
  • Mittens
  • Mitten Clips

Mealtime

  • Cutlery set
  • New sippy cup
  • Rolled up place mat

Electronics

  • DVD’s/Blu Ray disks
  • CD’s of children’s music
  • APPmates toys that work with the iPad (I have found a few at Dollarama)

Do you have any other unique suggestions?  Please feel free to comment below and I will add to my list!

Four Legged Fun, Gift Ideas

Friday Favorites: Santa is Coming to Edmonton Book

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It amazes me how quickly stores make the switch from Halloween into full  Christmas mode.  It is hard not to feel a slight bit of panic November 1st when the Christmas decorations fill the shelves, holiday music fills the air, and you realize Christmas is just around the corner.  I hate the crowds, but I love shopping this time of year and seeing all the Christmas themed clothing, toys, decorations, housewares and books.

This year I am hoping to start a new tradition with the kids.  One of the ideas I have seen floating around the internet is to wrap a stack of books for them to open in the night’s leading up to Christmas.  Books are already part of our bedtime routine so I thought this would be a great way to bring a bit more Christmas magic and excitement into our house.  I have seen it done as a 30 day advent calendar, but I think I will shorten it and have enough books wrapped  to read for the 12 days before Christmas.

We already have a few Christmas books that I will wrap, but I stopped at Cole’s bookstore yesterday to quickly browse and see if there was anything new that caught my eye.  I was immediately drawn to a stack of books titled Santa is Coming to Ottawa by Steve Smallman.  I picked it up, disappointed it wasn’t Santa is Coming to Edmonton and then was delighted to discover that exact title hidden beneath the Ottawa edition.  As I flipped through the pages and saw the references to neighbourhoods and landmarks in our city, I knew it was a perfect Christmas book to add to our growing collection.

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The illustrations in this book are beautiful and I love that they show the familiar landmarks like the High Level Bridge, Art Gallery, Muttart Conservatory and Rexall Place.  I am not sure my kids will be quite old enough to recognize and pick them out this year, but I see them getting excited over it in the upcoming years.  My three year old has just started asking about where we live and trying to figure the world around us, so I really love the relevancy of this book.

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This book is just one of many in the series.  Other major Canadian cities that Santa is Coming to include Calgary, Vancouver, Hull, Ottawa, Toronto or just Canada.  For my American friends, there is a wide variety of titles that cover states and major cities from across the country.  And, because he is a British author, there is a vast range of English and European titles such as London, Belfast, and Scotland.

And  if these still don’t work for you?  There is simply Santa is Coming to My House.

Visit the Chapters/Indigo/Coles website to find all the Santa is Coming to titles.