Winter Week 4: December 25-29
It always bugs me a little bit that Christmas Day arrives and the next day it just kind of disappears. I mean we’ve been building up to this day since October, it should at least stick around for the whole week. Our family has Christmas gatherings well into the weekend after, so I have no problem including Christmas activities throughout this week. This is a week to do activities if you have time for them, but it’s also a great week to lay low, snuggle, read books, watch movies together, and recover from the busy-ness. Do what works best for your family!
Paint a Christmas Tree
Sometimes things just need to be simple. This is a simple craft for children to paint a Christmas tree however they want. Tape the construction paper tree to another piece of paper or newspaper to protect the work surface. Then let children use their creativity to paint their tree to their liking. It’s a great chance to enhance fine motor skills, creativity, and color recognition.
Stuff to Have
Construction paper Christmas tree
Fine motor, art
Time to go play in the snow! If you don’t have any snow grab ice from the freezer to play with. Snow is a great sensory activity and kids always love it. Talk about the cold, the texture, what happens when it melts and ask lots of questions (ie. Does it stick together, can you make a ball?…). You can use bowls, spoons, cups, buckets, any container and scoops to experiment with moving the snow around.
Stuff to Have
Snow (or ice)
Buckets, bowls, spoons, etc.
fine motor, sensory
Fine Motor/Problem Solving
This is a fun variation on the ping pong ball drop from last summer, but there are lot’s of ways to change it up. Start by gluing 2 magnets onto the back of an empty toilet paper roll or a paper towel roll, this is your chute. Stick this to the fridge. Now your child can drop snowballs through the chute. Stay tuned for the upcoming blog about this and I will give more ideas to add to this activity!
Stuff to Have
Cotton balls or white craft balls
Empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls
tongs, spoons, tweezers, etc, optional
Fine motor, perceptual motor, problem solving
Early Science & Math
If you are lucky enough to have an accumulation of the white stuff by now, you can easily take some outside play-time to practice using different forms of measurement. You can do many things to measure snow, use plastic measuring cups of various sizes to scoop the snow and compare amounts. You can also use rulers to measure the amount of accumulation on the ground. Be creative with types of measurement, but also keep it simple. The point is to start early thinking about height, length, and volume and how these things can be different (more/less, big/small, long/short, etc). If you don’t have any snow, use anything inside or outside to start demonstrating these characteristics.
Stuff to Have
Plastic measuring cups
Other measurement devices
Early math, sensory
Cooking & Baking
Choose one of your own favorite treats to make, or if you are tired of cooking and baking from all of the Christmas food and treats you have made, take a break and just enjoy being with your family!
Don’t forget the ever important large motor, reading, and music & rhymes! All three of these have a huge developmental impact on our kids, and they happen to be super fun! As it starts to get colder getting large motor movement into the day gets harder and harder to do. Definitely take every chance you can to bundle up and get outside to run, jump, climb, and play! But on the days that you can’t, get creative. Try yoga for young children, keep a balloon up in the air, toss scarves up and try and catch them, or have a Christmas music dance party. Not only will your kids have fun, they will be learning and growing at the same time!
To keep reading fresh, head to the library or dig out your favorite Christmas and winter books. I love when it is time to pull out our favorite Christmas books and my kids love reading the “new” books over and over. Reading is such an important activity for building vocabulary and adding to that foundation for reading in the future. Not only are they getting so many learning benefits from reading, but you are getting special one on one time with them!
And finally, have fun looking for winter and Christmas themed music and rhymes! Hearing rhymes and the sing songiness of music is building a foundation of phonics for learning letters and reading in the future! But for now, just be expressive and silly and have fun with it!