It’s that time of year again; the festive cheer is starting to sink in as Christmas waits around the corner. The little ones are busy thinking about what to put on their Christmas list as they start to anticipate Santa’s arrival!
During this special time together, it makes sense to make the most of one and other. Here at St Peter’s Lympstone, we’ve gathered some great ideas to keep the little ones busy over the festive period.
Make a Wreath
After all, it is Christmas, so why not decorate your door with a wonderful wreath that your young one has made? It’s a great activity that can be incorporated into a project spanning a few days and will get them to use a bit of methodology, as well as expand their creative horizons.
You can start with inspiring them to map out a design, get them to think about what colours or textures they can use. They can draw and colour in the design, or maybe they prefer to use mixed media and map out the design with a bit of collage?
Get Out and About
You could also incorporate a walk into the activity. Get them to spot potential plants they might want to use. If you see a bit of ivy, some conifer branches, moss, or even heather, you can forage these for their wreaths. It’s a great way to keep them interested and entertained.
Lastly, you can get them to gather their resources and create their homemade wreaths. If you don’t have any available willow on hand to soak and wind into a wreath frame, you can always buy premade frames online.
We’re sure the kids will love this activity; it’s especially great to get into the festive cheer and occupy their free time while doing something a bit different.
Naturally, we suggest doing this activity together under parental supervision, depending on their age. Baking is a wonderful way to get kids thinking academically, as well as methodically, in a fun and family centred way.
You can choose your recipe together. Whether it’s sweet or savoury, or you could use it as a problem-solving technique. For example, if you run out of bread and need to make more or don’t have any eggs for the recipe and require a substitute.
It’s a great project for the family to work on together and allows your child a sense of independence as they take charge and focus their mind, while learning a new skill. Not to mention, at the end you’ll have some scrumptious delights to nibble on !
For a festive spin, why not try making mince pies or gingerbread men? If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you might even attempt a gingerbread house!
Christmas Book Calendar
Whether your child is into books or not, this is a wonderful way to encourage them to read. Find books that are at their reading level and ones that they’ll be interested in. Then can even have a Christmas theme to them, if you really wanted to shower them with festivity.
The great thing about this idea lies in the simple fact that children love unwrapping presents. This way they’ll have one to open every day up until Christmas. You don’t even have to buy the books; you can rent them out from the library.
You can read them with your child, as a family or leave your child to read them in the comfort of their own company. One thing’s for sure; it’s a wonderful way to spend a winter evening.
Christmas Scavenger Hunt
You can choose to customise the scavenger hunt and make it yourself or, if you find yourself busy up until and over the Christmas period, you can always find a template online and print it off for the kids to follow the clues.
The clues can lead them to chocolate, small gifts or maybe little clues such as if you have a surprise planned for them over Christmas. It’ll even help to develop their problem-solving skills and communication skills as they work together.
Sew Your Own Stocking
If you’re not much a knitter and you don’t have the time to make one from scratch, then there’s no need to worry because you won’t need to.
You can easily get some materials and resources from an arts and crafts online store. Such as felt, PVA glue etc. How you create these masterpieces is entirely up to you.
For much smaller children you might want to cut out the shapes of stockings for them to glue, or you can hole punch along the edge for them to thread some wool through.
For much older children, you could get some fun material for them to sew together. Similar to the wreath activity, you can create a project out of this too. They can do a drawing to figure out what colours they want, maybe a little feature and bells or sequins.
By the end of it, hopefully, you will be able to fill them with some goodies for Christmas day.
After being busy in the day and needing to get 25,000 jobs done, why not cosy up in the evening and have a game night? You can choose a selection of board games, or you can create your very own quiz.
If you make a quiz, you can set everyone a category that they have to write a few questions for. It will be their job to do some research and find out some fun facts. You might even make family orientated bonus questions like ‘what’s mum’s favourite Christmas song?’.
In with the new, and out with the old. It might not be your family’s favourite activity to do over Christmas, but it’s a practical one full of a couple of healthy lessons for a child’s development.
Once the Christmas gifts have been given out, it might be worth going through a few old and no longer used items. Decide together what should be given to a new home. You can send them to charity shops or to those less fortunate, which might be a nicer idea as it will be more personal.
Make your own Ornaments
You can spend the day getting out the arts and crafts kit and make some Christmas ornaments.
There are a few great options to get started; you can make your own salt dough to make impressions of from their hands. Or you can use lollipop sticks to create mini Christmas trees.
The kids can pick their favourite Christmas characters and designs and spend the day making them ready for the next day to decorate the tree with their creations!
We hope you’ve found some fun ways to spend the Christmas break together. If we’ve missed out any other great ideas, make sure to share them with us; we’d love to hear them! We wish you a very merry Christmas here from St Peter’s Prep!