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7 Christmas Decorations That You Can Make With Your Kids

7 Christmas Decorations That You Can Make With Your Kids

There is a reason so many of us claim Christmas as our favorite holiday. Yes, it can be a busy and stressful time of year, but even the most Scrooge-like among us will admit to liking something about the holiday. For those of us who are lucky enough to celebrate Christmas with children, we know that the joy of the season is multiplied by their presence. There is something really special about sharing your holiday traditions with your children, and what better way to create memories than by making decorations together? If you’re wanting to start a family crafting tradition but don’t know where to begin, fear not. Here are some ideas that will have your home feeling festive in no time.

1. Make snowflake suncatchers.

Glitter-Stained-Glass-Snowflakes-with-Elmers-Glitter-Glue
    happinessishomemade.net

    Suncatchers are a great way to brighten up your space, especially in winter. This activity is well suited for school aged children because it provides a good balance of creativity and precision. The only materials needed are glitter glue and precut snowflake templates.

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    2. Make an ice wreath.

      founterior.com

      Your Christmas decorations don’t have to be limited to the inside of your home. Why not bring some cheer outside? This beautiful ice wreath could not be easier to make, which makes it suitable for all ages. Use a bundt pan, or two round containers that are differently sized, and fill with water. Let your kids have fun dropping leaves, evergreen stems, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cranberries, or whatever else you have on hand, into the water. They will love seeing how it has changed once it is removed from the freezer.

      3. Make little Christmas trees from ribbon scraps.

        apartmenttherapy.com

        If you are already the artsy-crafty type, then the odds are good that you have bits of ribbon lying around. This simple ornament makes great use of those scraps. If your children can tie simple knots, then they can easily make a few of these in one afternoon. By cutting the pieces of ribbons into various lengths, and tying them around a stick shortest to longest, you end up with a sweet little decoration for your real Christmas tree.

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        4. Make decorations from drinking straws.

        drinking-straw-star-bursts-682
          auntpeaches.com

          This is a really fun decoration that is great for older children and teens. All that you need are plastic straws and zip ties. This project can be made in various sizes, and would look great on the Christmas tree, hanging from the ceiling, or anywhere else you might want to add some color.

          5. Make stockings from paper sacks.

            bloesem.blog.com

            If you’ve been holding onto your paper bags from the grocery store, certain that you are going to use them for something, you are in luck. These cute stockings are appropriate for children preschool aged and older, and can be as decorative or as simple as you like. You need paper bags and yarn to get you started; however you decide to embellish them is entirely up to you.

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            6. Make your own tinsel tree.

              thecraftycrow.net

              If you have always liked the retro look of aluminum trees, but didn’t want to shell out the money for one, make this miniature version instead. School aged children will have no problem wrapping these sparkly wires around a skewer and decorating it with tiny “ornaments.” Don’t be surprised if one tree isn’t enough!

              7. Make a garland of buttons.

                themagiconions.com

                Who doesn’t love a project that can be stopped and restarted at any time? This simple and cute button garland is perfect for younger children mastering their fine motor skills, and easy enough for older kids to be able to work quickly. Buttons can be inexpensively purchased at most craft stores, and this project has the added bonus of being completely mess free.

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                Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donhomer/ via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                1. Exercise Daily

                It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                The basic nutritional advice includes:

                • Eat unprocessed foods
                • Eat more veggies
                • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                  5. Watch Out for Travel

                  Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                  This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                  If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                  6. Start Slow

                  Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                  If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                  7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                  Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                  My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                  If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                  I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                  Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                  More Tips on Getting in Shape

                  Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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