End of year ideas

Firstly, I think this is simple and fun: Family photo booth photos – one a year. Does anyone know where there is a photo booth that takes old black and white strips in Melbourne? I would love to do one of these every December and marvel at the changes as Amelia gets older (and weep as we do).
The other great idea, which I have been thinking about since Stephanie posted about it on her blog last week, is an advent calendar of fun activities. Stephanie is making a gorgeous sock advent calendar – and inside each sock she is going to place an idea for a simple activity for the whole family to do together each night. I love this idea, and while I don’t have the time now to make little stockings, I think we can manage 24 ideas in envelopes. I was looking through the latest copy of Notebook magazine (it has been highly recommended by a couple of friends and I agree that it’s worth a peek) and came across this idea for an advent calendar:

which could be another fun way to hold all the activities rather than envelopes. But for now, I just need to come up with 24 activities that will keep a 3 year old entertained for a short time every evening in December (presentation may be a little incidental this year). So far, I have gleaned these ideas from Stephanie’s entry and the wonderful associated comments (and adapted and added some for our family and our hemisphere):

1. Paint everyone’s toenails
2. Have hot chocolate with all the fixings (we might do milkshakes if it’s too hot)
3. Star gazing
4. Give everyone crazy hairstyles
5. Backyard cricket
6. Go out for sushi
7. Have an indoor picnic
8. Write letters to Father Christmas
9. Use puppets to tell bedtime story
10. Have breakfast for dinner (I am thinking pancakes)
11. Make decorations for the tree
12. Have a camp out around the christmas tree
13. Pack a picnic dinner and have it at a park (or Botanical Gardens)
14. Fancy dress for dinner time
15. Wrap a toy and take it to a charity christmas tree
16. Make handmade gift tags for relatives
17. Fish and Chips for dinner down at the beach
18. Fold origami for the christmas tree
19. Dance like crazy to music
20. Watch a christmas movie with popcorn
21. Go out for gelati
22. Take Nanny and Pappous to see the Christmas lights
23. Have a bubble bath
24. Special christmas Eve treat TBA

Great ideas for people in Melbourne (perhaps with older kids – or no kids!) – even more ideas for those who feel like living it up in December.

Other ideas for “fun family activities

Christmas themed games and activities (warning: pop up ads)

Have you got any suggestions?

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29 Responses

  1. thegirl@54monkeys.com says:

    my father read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to us every Christmas Eve until we were well into our 20s. maybe there’s a book you can make an annual tradition of reading?

  2. There is a black and white strip (3 shots) photo booth on Chapel St. It’s not too far past the Jam Factory if your going away from Toorak rd on the left hand side. It tucked in the corner where the little market like stalls that look like beach-bathing huts are. If you know what I mean ??? :o/

  3. There used to be b&w photo booths in Luna Park but I haven’t been in a few years.

  4. jojobug007@hotmail.com says:

    Outside the train station, well it was a year ago.

  5. don’t think i can beat your list – but what about polaroids instead of photobooth – or you can get a 4picture camera from science stores that take photobooth-like images.
    maybe to add to the list – boardgames/cardgames
    spotlighting animals
    evening walk

  6. Helloo! quickish comments and question of vaguity- night time picnic is joy but a bit of a duh right now, could you send the address to check out your other bits n bobs?
    – trying to find the name of a young Melbourne artist (boy) who had an exhibition (at least his second i think) late last year or early this year on Brunswick (pretty sure) or Chapel (possibly) Street. He has this kind of photo finish surreal style, and did some paintings of pregnant wimmin with exaggerated features – particularly their mouths and teeth – with an effect like a fish eye lens the way some parts distorted and bulged. He had an earlier painting which was like a toxic Whistler’s Mother, maybe with gas masks, and I think there was a rat smoking a bong in there somewhere… do you have any idea who this might be? Sorry to ask, just thought you might know… my blog’s hella boring because it’s just started and i need to learn more coding…thanks? raj

  7. Try “Booth” at ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) at Fed Square. Not sure if it does it in strips. They are candid – so you might be caught laughing your head off. You can also view the image before selecting.

  8. punkin@iprimus.com.au says:

    There used to be one at Melbourne Central train station. It’s been a while since I’ve been there but I’m sure it’s still around. Also one at Chadstone, outside Sanity. I love those things! *grins*

  9. miri_lilac@myway.com says:

    Hi Claireโ€šร„รฎthere is usually b&w booths at Melbourne Central station and also sometimes Spencer Street station. Lovely list also. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Some activities I’ve considered for celebrating Advent more meaningfully:
    make a paper chain advent calendar; sing a favorite carol or learn a new one; make luminaries to set out on Christmas Eve; collect a toy or make one to donate to a shelter for women & children; have each member of the family finish the sentence: To me, Christmas means…; decorate a mini-Christmas tree and give it to someone in a nursing home; read a favorite Christmas story; create a Jesse tree; set up the creche; make candles from sheets of rolled up beeswax; instead of cards, write and decorate personal letters/notes to send to friends and family; go for a drive at night to look at holiday decorations and lights; sign up to pack or deliver Christmas food hampers for local food banks or emergency feeding programs; bring Christmas cheer into someone’s life with a smile. Visit a hospital patient, an elderly housebound neighbour or a nursing home resident; make simple salt dough or felt ornaments; bake cookies and share them.

  11. I love your family activity ideas,,I just wished I lived near a beach. ๐Ÿ™‚ Is that Melbourne, FL? – Jill

  12. sarah@mooretechnologies.com says:

    My dad used to make scavenger hunts for me when I was little. Instead of written clues, you can give her a photo of an object that she knows. When she gets to that object have another photo there…and so on. At the last place I would have a little treat waiting!

  13. very cute! i’m doing one with matchboxes piled on top of each other to make a tree shape. for ideas, how about play a board game or do a puzzle together, make melt and pour soap, draw a group picture (or group collage with a theme), tell a group story (one person starts off, then each person comes in and adds their own part)…anyway, your blog is always lovely. have a wonderful holiday!

  14. That is a really fun photo idea. I have a family of 5, wonder if we could all fit in a booth?….LOL

  15. About activities for a three-year-old…oh the list could go on for days! There’s making your own bubbles outside (I’m not sure if you have Dawn, but it’s the only liquid dish soap that works for this) and tongue painting. For the making your own bubbles, take a big semi-flat bowl with a little water and some Dawn dish soap, mix well. Close your forefingers and thumbs together to make a circle, then dip under the surface of the water and carefully lift up. There should be a thin soap suspension between your hands. Blow gently, and a bubble will form! For the tongue painting, get food coloring and some light corn syrup. Using paper plates, put a small (like a half-inch diameter or one and a half cm) dot of the corn syrup in the center. Have her pick 2 colors (only use primary colors) and then put one drop of each color in the center of the syrup circle. Let her use her tongue to paint on the paper plate (it will also help her learn what colors can be made from the primaries). It’s loads of fun, but a little messy. It will also let her create a new work of art! Happy Holidays!

  16. I was going to suggest Luna Park or Melbourne Central but I see I’ve been beaten to it – of course Luna Park would be much more fun than hanging around a train station.
    A few years ago, I used polaroid photos as gift tags. Most of my family live interstate so they loved having photos of us to keep.

  17. Finally got myself a copy of the new ABC mag Life etc.
    saw an illustration in it and thought – that looks like Loobylu

    and it is a Claire one!

    Looks good – congrats on getting your work into a new publication

  18. What a fun post!! I don’t have children, but your great enthusiasm almost makes me want to have a fancy dress night for myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. autumn_oak@hotmail.com says:

    there’s another photo booth at the corner of flinders and elizabeth streets, on the station side. not that it looks like you need the location of another one! and i love your “advent activities” idea ๐Ÿ™‚ will totally pick that up when i have kids!

  20. Puppet shows are popular in our house. Not neccessarily ‘real’ puppets but any toy or a sock with google eyes!

  21. hi :)i love my photo booth photos, and there is a booth inside the jam factory near borders [so get a book and a movie and a photo!] also there used to be one at chaddy, but it might have moved, so maybe ask infomation desk.

  22. amiekaufman@yahoo.com says:

    There’s a place that does booth photos at Southland in Cheltenham — each of them comes out differently, and it’s all fancy digitial stuff so you get the chance to approve them before you take the next one. Not sure if that’s quite the same in terms of sponteneity though.

  23. photobooth@chocolatecoatedzen.net says:

    I’m a Melbournite and a huge fan of photobooths.
    The booths already mentioned were there, but the majority have since shut down. Spencer St station, Museum Station (aka “Melbourne Central”), Chadstone and Luna Park are all gone. There are others that have since gone also (e.g. Knox City).

    Last I checked the Jam Factory one was still there (it’s a b&w 4-strip), and there’s one at Century City Walk (b&w 3 strip). And Flinders St. (b&w 3 strip) is still there.

    The markety one on Chapel St. I hadn’t heard about, I’ll have to check it out.

  24. What a simply sweet idea to do for you little family!
    Will have to grab a copy of Life to see you in there ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. lissame79@gmail.com says:

    There used to be a black and white photo booth at Northland… I think it may have gone now though. I used to have heaps of photos fromt here.

  26. I’m a huge photobooth fan and have done my research – the Flinders St one is in my experience the most reliable and the best quality. Melbourne Central was a bit pale and streaky when I used it last. Do we get to see ’em when they are done?

  27. brian@dtdesign.com says:

    The idea regarding the family portrait is a great one.
    A few weeks ago I saw an amazing peice at the Museum of Modern Art in New York where 3 sisters had done exactly that for 45 years. Incredible to see.

  28. jackie@fostersgroup.com says:

    There’s a B&W photo booth in the Jam factory that takes nice shots.

  29. gnorris@optusnet.com.au says:

    Don’t forget a trip to see the Myer Xmas Windows – children should be in pyjamas, but adults don’t have to :-)I still remember this from my childhood