Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas in the City

Christmas in the City
One of the books we checked out from the library before our NYC trip was Christmas in the City by Loretta Krupinski. It is a story of two mice who make their home in a large evergreen. One day, their home becomes a Christmas tree when it is taken to Rockefeller Center in New York City. The mice are excited as they leave their nest to explore the wonder and magic of a NYC holiday season.

The story was especially fun and significant for us since we had seen the tree on our vacation. It was before the lighting ceremony had taken place, though.

This is how it might have looked all decorated.

I adore mice as characters in books.

I don't know why, though, because in real life, mice sort of freak me out. But in animation or illustration, there aren't too many things cuter.

See the the peephole where the mice can watch the ice skaters on the rink at the Rockefeller Center?

Dash and I went ice skating on the same rink one night of our vacation.

Our craft projects:
I bought a package of plain glass balls at Hobby Lobby, along with a bag of brown paper shreds. I told the kids to stuff the pieces of paper into their balls to make a "nest" like the mice used in the book for their newborn babies. They enjoyed this, and it was a good fine motor activity that kept them busy for a little bit.

(Note: The balls we used had smooth, strong openings, but occasionally an ornament hole can have sharp edges. I told them not to stick their fingers into them, anyway, just in case.)

Sissy's completed ornament

I found a cute (!) Christmas Mouse coloring page at author/illustrator Elizabeth O. Dulemba's blog. I copied it and shrunk it to around a 2 in. x 2 in. size. They colored their mice with colored pencils and markers, and I cut them out.

Dash's ornament

I had to slightly fold the cut out mouse to fit it inside the hole, then manipulate it with a pencil until it fit right among the "nest." I love the simplicity of their finished creations.

Tornado's ornament

I think I will write the year with marker on the back of the ornament. I just really loved how these turned out. They will be able to keep these ornaments to trigger a memory of our NYC trip. It made me think that I would like to have the kids make a similar ornament every year, based on something special we did. I'm going to keep the remaining glass balls handy in case we are inspired to make a "memory ornament" during the year. We kept looking at fun ornaments on our trip that I was tempted to buy as souvenirs, but I didn't because of the $15-25 price tags. This is a more frugal alternative.

I also printed copies of the same coloring page onto cardstock and let the kids paint it with water colors.

I cut out my 3 year old's mouse, and the boys cut out their mice.

Their mice were glued onto brown construction paper, and they added paper shreds for the nest.

Joining in on the fun with stART, Read Explore Learn, and Kids Get Crafty!

Thanks to Elizabeth O. Dulemba for sharing her lovely artwork; she provides more coloring pages on Coloring Page Tuesdays. And if you live in Georgia or are learning about the state, her latest children's book is The 12 Day of Christmas in Georgia. Visit here to see other Georgia worksheets, including a tutorial for a Georgia peach ornament.



JDaniel4's Mom said...

This books sounds great! Love that you had seen the tree. I love visiting NYC. The ornaments look wonderful.

Thanks for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I will be Stumbling your post.

Anonymous said...

I bet that was fun vacation. Great book to go along with your theme. Cute ornaments too!

maggy, red ted art said...

Ah ah ah so cute!!! I love them. Love the shreds and all the colouring! So cute and pretty!

The book looks beautiful too - wonderfully Christmassy!

Thank you so much for linking up to Kids Get Crafty! Fabulous to see you there.


Michelle said...

What great ornaments!! We live only about 30 minutes from there...I wanted to take Emily and Juliette to see the tree in Rockefeller Center this year, but we didn't get a chance to go. Hopefully next year. It looks like you had a great vacation. Thank you for sharing and linking up to stART :0)

phasejumper said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Love the ornament project! Hoping to do something similar with those clear, round coke bottles...

Monkeying Around said...

These are so very sweet i love activities associated with books too. We would love to see you over at our blog hop every Monday

Anonymous said...

so sweet

Lori @ The Davidson Den said...

Know what? I still have those two ornaments you made for us that one Christmas we came to your house for dinner waaaaaaaaaaaay back before any of us had kids. Remember that?? We still hang them on the tree every year!! A little piece of you and Ryan on our tree. Awww... haha!