It's going to be a hot summer and the kid's will be cooped up inside with lot's of candy-cane fuelled energy to burn. Keep them happy with these inexpensive and educational Christmas activities that the whole family will enjoy.
Cushion Sleighs are perfect for Santas on their L Plates
Sleigh ride Make a simple sleigh with your child. Remember children have a fabulous imagination – if you decide it's a sleigh – it's a sleigh! Provide a few small chairs or cushions as seats. From a discount store you need a small Santa hat, some Christmas bells, and some tinsel. You can use some tinsel for the reins and to decorate Santa's chair, and some bells for Santa to ring while singing Jingle bells or singing along with your favourite Christmas CD. Santa can have a sack (pillow case or Santa sack) full of toys and cards to deliver. Have fun!
You could go one step further and make a sleigh with a big box. This can involve many hours of discussion and decoration with paint, tinsel and stickers. When cutting the box draw the design on first and cut with a big bread knife (keeping children way back and putting knife away immediately!) The Santa chair then sits in the sleigh box with the reindeer chair at the front.
Wrapping gifts Children can spend hours wrapping boxes (eg. cereal boxes, tissue boxes etc.) with last years wrap, catalogues or newspaper. This is excellent for their fine motor and problem solving skills. They can decorate the wrap with cheap Christmas stickers or stamps.
They will need a large sticky tape dispenser and a big roll of wider tape (2cm) or masking tape. They need a demonstration of how to use sticky tape (e.g. pull down first and then pull to one side). If their skills are not fully developed you can either sit with them and provide the tape or pull off 6 pieces and have them dangling from the edge of a table. The presents could also be their own soft toys. Children can then have the wrapped presents in their Santa sack and deliver them to family and friends as part of the Christmas Sleigh Game.
Making Cards Last years Christmas cards are a valuable commodity! These can be used in many different ways. Children can make their own cards (using cardboard from packets or printer paper folded in half). They need a pair of good quality children's scissors and can cut out the beautiful pictures from last year's cards. They can also cut out a message from the cards to go inside, so will learn the new vocabulary of Season's Greetings, Happy New Year etc. Glue sticks are great for non messy pasting. The cards can be delivered from the sleigh when playing the Sleigh Ride game or posted in Santa's Letterbox.
Santa's Letterbox Children can make a fabulous Christmas letterbox using just a cereal box and their imagination. An adult can cut a hole in the side of the box for the letters to drop into and a flap at the back that opens so that they can get them out when needed. The letterbox can be painted with any colour paint or covered with Christmas wrap and cut out pictures from cards, stars or stickers from a discount store, glitter or tinsel. They will have so much fun posting their letters – and then getting them out again to give to a family member or friend.