Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Day One

[For the last several years, we have counted down the days until Christmas by trying to do a craft activity every day.  Usually I am good about doing the projects, but not so good about blogging about them. This year, I am hoping to post the book and project we do each day as we do it.]

Our basket is filled with 24 Christmas books all ready to read.  Some are old favorites, but many are new books we are going to be reading for the first time.  I was able to get many of the books on my wish list from our local library,  so we have many new titles to try.

Today's book was The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Jon Muth.

This book tells how far, far to the North Santa is preparing for the Christmas magic to come.  He feeds the reindeer, prepares the sleigh, packs the bag and gets himself ready.  Finally, the Christmas magic arrives and makes the reindeer fly.  We really enjoyed this story, about Santa quietly preparing for Christmas.  There is no Mrs. Claus, no elves, no bright colors, so it was a different take on Santa than the one kids usually see.

The watercolor and pastel illustrations in this book are incredible, and for our go-along we decided to make snowy trees similar to the ones on the title page.

First, Miss M and I drew trees using brown oil pastels. We tried to do simple line trees like the illustrator did.

Next, we used silver and white paint and sponge-painted the snow on our trees.

When it first dried, it didn't show up as well as we had hoped on the white paper, so we added some blue watercolor sky to make the trees show up better. 

Next time, it would probably be better to use a pastel colored paper to begin with.

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