40+ Advent ideas: simple ways to count the days

Advent Ideas 2014 | simple ways to count the days | SimpleKids

Note:  there are affiliate links in this post. This list was updated in 2014.

Today I’m talking about Advent and some simple ways to count the days before Christmas.

It doesn’t take too many days of using an Advent calendar for even young kids to start to understand the idea of a count-down.  The simple, repeated act, be it opening a drawer on an heirloom calendar to reveal a surprise or tearing the next link on a paper chain every day, is a fun way for kids to mark the passage of time.

Are you looking for some ideas for observing Advent this year?  I’ve rounded up more than 40 of my favorite ideas for you to choose from. 

One reminder:  I know this list has grown from when I began it in 2012. There are now many more activities and Advent resources listed here, but I want to remind you to keep Advent simple. For me Advent is a time of quiet contemplation, anticipating the joy of Christmas day. It’s a season for reflection, introspection, and also preparation.

Advent isn’t meant to be busy or rushed. And it isn’t meant to be one more thing for your To Do list. For my family,  Advent is about simply enjoying the wait, anticipating the Christmas celebration, looking forward to what comes next.” – Kara, SimpleKids.net

Pick the single idea that speaks to you this year.  Maybe two if you promise me to keep it stress free, friends.  This is a time to let go of the excess and keep things sincere and focused, not overwhelming.

So this is me formally giving you permission not to do it all, okay?

[Read more…]

A Simple Halloween Story: The Little Orange House (vlog)

Little Orange House Story and Craft | SimpleKids.netThe following post originally appeared October 2010, an oldie but goodie I recently shared with my three year old and her older siblings and I thought it would be fun to re-share it here as well. Have fun!

Last week I shared with you some tips and suggestions for storytelling with your children. This week I am bringing you a very simple story, with a fun twist, that you can tell your kids this Halloween.

I thought it would be fun to share the story of The Little Orange House in a vlog.

You will need a few props for this story.  Watch carefully and you”ll see the surprise at the end!

[Read more…]

Happy St. Patrick’s day! And our visit to Piney Acres Farm’s Irish Roots family day

Happy St. Patrick's Day from SimpleKids.net

Hello there!  If you’re here looking for this week’s parenting video, I’m afraid I’m having some technical issues.  I hope to have things resolved soon so I can share this week’s inspiration with all of you. I suspect it is simply of a matter of what my old boss would call fixing the nut behind the wheel, so as soon as I figure out what I’m doing in this fly by night vlogging operation, I’ll share.

In the meantime, I thank you for your patience with me by wishing you and your kids a happy St. Patrick’s day and by sharing a few pictures from our visit to Piney Acres Farm yesterday for their Irish Roots family celebration.

[Read more…]

Writing Thank You Notes

Valentines_heart

The following is from the Simple Kids archives.

I hope you are having wonderful holiday season, my friends.  I know that we sure are!  We have had two weekends in a row of family gatherings and are looking forward to celebrating Christmas this weekend with even more family.

Very soon,  it will be time to tell the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who helped to make our holiday so merry how thankful we are for their company and generosity. 

Yes, kids, we will be writing  Thank You notes.

This year, I hope to include a of photo of each child with the gift they are thankful for (or the items purchased with a gift card or money, if that is the case).  I think this will be a fun, personal touch and add a few snapshots to our loved ones’ fridges, too as I haven’t done the best job this past year in sending out recent pictures of the kids.

[Read more…]

Monday Mission: have a very Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Kara and the kids!My family and I want to wish you and your kids a very Merry Christmas! 

I hope your days this week are merry and bright, but also that there are moments filled with peace and calm (and maybe some extra sleep?)

For all of you hard working moms, dads, grandparents, and care givers I pray that this holidays find you getting in touch with your own inner child and that you play, celebrate, and experience true joy right alongside your children.

SKChrisKidsChristmas2013

This has been a year of changes, trials, and accomplishments for our family, and it has also been a year of change and growth for Simple Kids.

Thank you for being loyal readers, for your understanding during the changes that happened this year, and for your support and encouragement.  I love writing here and I’m looking forward to 2014!

Happy holidays!

Kara, Chris, Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia