Thursday, December 3

Nutcracker Suite (Brian Setzer Orchestra)

One of our Christmas traditions is to gussy up and go see the Nutcracker Ballet.  We follow it up with a nice restaurant, and the kids don't even know that they're learning about culture and etiquette.  Good memories, and a nice family tradition...  This year, we've decided to take the month of December off from our regular curriculum and do some fun unit studies.  The week preceding our Nutcracker outing will surely be focused solely on Tchaikovsky and the ballet!

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, ...Clara receives a nutcracker for Christmas, and wonderful things begin to happen.   There’s the battle with the Mouse King, the nutcracker magically transforming into a handsome prince, the trip to the kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and finally the question the next morning of whether it was all Clara's dream.  Was it?


If you’re want to listen to highlights, I recommend the key dances from The Land of the Sweets.  (The Battle Scene is from Act I, but leads into Act II.)

Wednesday, December 2

Frosty, the Snowman (Gene Autry)

When the holidays arrive, we get the itch to bake!  We always bake up lots of treats and hand them out around town....as a gift, as a token of appreciation, and as part of our RACK mission.  This year, we found these adorable Melting Snowmen Cookies!!

Here are a few of the Cooking with Kids Christmas projects we've done in the past :

Ingredients :

Directions :
  1. Cover cookies with white icing, allowing it to drop off the sides (creates melting effect).  Let icing dry 30-45 minutes.
  2. Use black icing and orange sprinkles to create faces on the marshmallows.  Get creative and give them character!
  3. Glue marshmallows to cookies with white icing.  Using black and colored icing, give the snowmen buttons, scarves, arms, and other embellishments.  Let dry at least two hours before transporting.
  4. Complete this melting snowmen craft while waiting for them to dry!
Pass your holiday spirit on!!!!!!!