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home : blogsold : just a goof and a giggle June 24, 2016

Just a Goof and a Giggle
By Sharen Pearson, AZ
Survival station for Mothers of young children. Sharen shares her ideas for getting through those challenging first five years. Simple activities to let you feel like a goof and initiate giggles, where laughter and learning collide.
Sunday, December 4, 2011

Juice Bottle Toy Soldier and Mini-Christmas Wreath to Make!

 By Sharen Pearson


Christmas decoration activities for young children should be quick, easy, and engaging. This little Toy Soldier is just the thing! Get that empty juice bottle out of the trash, wash it and start transforming.

Stuff you need:

1 empty "Simply Juice" plastic container or similar bottle

Sticky felt-red or green; blue; white; black (construction paper works too)


Cut a simple shirt pattern that fit's the top half of the bottle. Do the same with pants.

Cut the clothes from sticky felt. I suggest red or green for the shirt and blue for the pants.

Using the black felt, cut half circle boots for the end of the pants and cuffs for the shirt.

Cut two small rectangles as straps that cross on the shirt. An oval of white felt makes a nice face. Draw a face on the white oval with permanent marker. Stick on all the pieces to "dress" your toy soldier.

Optional play: When finished allow your child to fill the bottle with jingle bells; confetti; small toys; small Christmas balls or whatever you can come up with together.

If the Soldier is weighted with beans or rice inside you can play "bowling" with it.


Young children love to find nature items around the yard. Use branches from an evergreen tree in your yard or cuts from your Christmas tree to make this little wreath to hang on the tree. Add small pinecones, nuts or berries that you find outside to decorate.

Stuff you need:

1 sheet of cardstock weight paper (red or green if possible)

Small boughs of pine from a live Christmas tree

Christmas ribbon

Berries or small pine cones

Trace a 4-6 inch circle on the cardstock paper and cut it out. Trace a smaller circle in the middle of this one and cut it out to form a wreath shape.

Using a length of ribbon about 24 inches long, tie it to the wreath to secure and then begin wrapping the wreath with wraps about ½ to 1 inch apart. Secure again when you get to the end. Cut extra length away.

Begin threading 4-6 inch lengths of pine branches under the ribbon wraps. Overlay them around the circle of the wreath until all of the cardstock is covered. Pull some of the needles loose from the ribbon to help fill in the wreath. Lace small branches with berries into the ribbon in about four places or glue small nuts or pinecones on for decoration.

Tie a ribbon at the top and loop it for a hanger. Sweet!

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