Hours can feel like days and days like weeks when you’re waiting for a new little bundle of joy. Such has been the case for me this month as our family waited for the arrival of our third child. I tried to make each day fun for myself and my other kids by doing a special activity or project. Here are some of our 12 Days of Awaiting Baby projects to make the time go faster and help us enjoy every final moment as a family of four.
Day 1 – DIY Gift Wrapping
I tried to get my gift wrapping done early this year with everything ready to go, in case of a last minute pre-Christmas hospital trek. My 3-year-old and I had fun cutting up boxes and finding cute ways to accessories the gifts with pretty socks, cute legwarmers borrowed from baby sister, and festive candy canes and homemade gift tags.
Gift boxes made from recycled cereal boxes and decorated with a colorful sock.
Day 2 – Jell-O Snow Cones
My 3-year-old thinks she loves sugar and treats, but she also has a very limited sweet tooth. She had lots of fun pouring Jell-O on top of snow to make colorful snow cones, but in the end requested plain snow to eat instead. Snow cones are a fun way to enjoy the wintry weather outside and play with color.
You can mix all types of flavors using the colorful gelatin powder and make your own sweet treats. I remember making these with my own brothers as a kid.
Day 3 – Cinnamon Rolls for the Neighbors
We moved into our house last spring and have only sporadically met our neighbors as we all come and go. What better time of year than Christmas to share baked goods with those who live next to you!? I made these easy cinnamon rolls despite having kids underfoot, by completing each step in stages throughout the day.
My double batch of almost 50 cinnamon rolls turned out deliciously!
Day 4 – Paper Family Puppets
My 3-year-old loves coloring and cutting out her own paper character puppets. Paper puppets are really easy to make and you can easily find coloring pages of any of your favorite characters to turn into puppets. Some of my daughter’s favorites include the characters from Big Hero 6, Inside Out, and Frozen. You can find full instructions and our puppet printables for these characters here. This time she wanted to make family character puppets for daddy, mommy, baby sister, and her eagerly-anticipated baby brother. Making our own paper family puppets turned out to be a fun afternoon project that inspired my daughter’s creativity. “Save as” our paper puppet printable below!
Day 5 – Refrigerator Art
Refrigerator art is easy for kids of any age to do. It can be a simple coloring project or a more elaborate craft. My daughter’s cute button-embellished Christmas tree adds a festive decorative touch to our kitchen, right below our Christmas cards from family and friends! Rhinestone-embellished magnets also add some functional sparkle to our fridge.
Day 6 – Backyard Snow Igloo
We had a ton of snow this year! My daughter and husband were quick to build a snow igloo in our backyard with the help of some other family members. It was quickly covered with more falling snow, giving it a natural wintry feel. My husband was ingenious to use a plastic storage tub to form uniform blocks of snow, which have gotten pretty icy by now. Snow igloos are a fun way to enjoy the snow; just be careful of cave-ins!
Day 7 – Easy Smoothie Sorbet
Fruit Smoothie Sorbet is a fun sweet treat. I mixed up a simple smoothie and froze it to make a slushy and healthy sorbet. Smoothie Sorbet would work with any fruits that don’t turn brown. I used strawberries, oranges, a lime, and vanilla yogurt. Yum! The hardest part was waiting for it to freeze!
Strawberry, lime, yogurt, & orange smoothie sorbet. A healthy treat alternative!
Day 8 – Sugar Cookies
I love baking with my girls, provided that I can keep things fairly organized and low-mess. My daughter had a lot of fun cutting out her own shapes and decorating the cookies with sprinkles. Cutting out cookies also helps develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
Making cookies with toddlers can easily become controlled chaos.
Day 9 – Christmas Celebration
I was crossing my fingers that our little guy wouldn’t come on Christmas morning! I enjoyed a very fun Christmas day with family; hanging out, enjoying treats and delicious food, and opening gifts. We keep Christmas pretty simple, but with all the kids, extended family and cousins around, things get pretty festive very quickly!
The highlight of my daughter’s Christmas gifts was the new Maryellen American Girl doll. My mom even made some outfits to accessorize her!
Day 10 – Chocolate Truffles
We made these homemade chocolate truffles for the first time last year and they have become a must-have for all major holiday celebrations. They are super easy and taste just as good as gourmet truffles from a candy shop. Learn how to make homemade chocolate truffles here »
This time around I made dark chocolate, mint and orange flavored truffles. We enjoyed them on Christmas and New Years and gave some away to friends too!
Day 11 – Pipe Cleaner Jewelry
It can be challenging to find a craft project that young kids can do on their own. My daughter loves doing crafts but she regularly needs help, often to her frustration. These pipe cleaner bracelets are a perfect project for 3 and 4-year-olds; kids can string the beads themselves and the pipe cleaner ends are easy to twist together to finish off each jewelry piece.
Make bracelets and rings with beads strung onto colorful pipe cleaners!
Day 12 – New Arrival
Our little guy came on day 12! We’ve been soaking up his adorable first days and his sisters are very excited to have a little brother. Life will never be the same, but we wouldn’t want it to be.
I hope you enjoyed our simple yet fun 12 Days of Awaiting Baby projects!
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