By Tzvetelina Sabkova
As many families are planning to stay home over the holidays, at MyLibook, we have been thinking about fun and educational ways to enjoy the seasonal festivities. What better way than to use your creativity and offer some original activities to your little ones?
The list of ideas we have compiled is perfect for children aged 4 to 6 but can be adapted to every child’s individual capacity and interests.
- Make cookies with icing letters. This one is for the cookie lovers and the little bakers. Make your favorite cookies or follow this delicious recipe. Once your cookies are ready and cooled down, you can use this bottled icing to write the first letter of your family members’ names. You can also write words, but I would recommend covering the top of the cookie with icing and using edible markers for more precision. You can also cut a small hole in the corner of a freezer bag to create a home-made piping bag if you prefer.
- Create a personalized Christmas tree. We like this activity because it engages children with a variety of activities:
- Cut triangles from green paper or card
- Write a letter of the child’s name on each triangle.
- Put the triangles in the right order starting from the top.
- Glue them onto a piece of paper or card.
- Decorate the trees with stickers or little paper ornaments
- Make your own holiday book. Ellie Angel, a kindergarten teacher, told me during her interview that children love creating books. Here is an original idea to support the creativity of your little writers.
- Take pictures of holiday-themed objects (Christmas tree, cookies, gifts, stockings).
- Glue each picture on a white paper piece leaving enough margins on the left side and at the bottom.
- According to your children’s skills, ask them to write either a word or a short description of the object on each page.
- Use 2 or 3 staples to hold the pages together
- Add a beautiful book cover made of card to give it a little longevity
- Complete these Holiday free printables from Fly Little Dragon. Your child will love the entertaining activities. It is the perfect way to engage children with winter-themed educational activities.
- Create a cloud of positivity and send it to a friend or a family member. This idea was shared by Cara Zelas, author and early childhood expert from Big World of Little Dude. She creates resources and books for children aged 3–7, exploring the themes of kindness, empathy, courage, manners, respect, and feelings. Her latest release includes a preschool homeschool curriculum filled with over 120 activities to keep children engaged at home and supports youth in foster care through a “Buy One, Give One” initiative.
We love this idea because it is a very thoughtful gift that will delight any family member who receives it.
Debra Mersnick, passionate about education, also shared a few creative ideas with MyLibook for the holiday season. Here are our favorite activities:
- A fun game for the whole family. An adult writes CELEBRATION vertically and then asks kids to think of something related to each letter or sound holidays. If you see that your child is going off the topic, you can have adults and other siblings participate and model how to play the game.
- Decorate a snowman with words that describe snow. We love this sensory activity because it can be adapted to children of different ages. The younger ones can focus on the simple snow features like cold, frozen, white while the older ones can get more creative (temporary, fun, winter). For this activity, you need to either cut out the shape of a snowman or draw one. Then write the words directly on the snowman or cut out colorful pieces of paper and glue them.
- Green things, or any other color of the holidays. You can play this game by using a whiteboard or a piece of paper where you write GREEN and ask your children to add the name of green objects, using a green pen. If several children are playing, you can time them and create a little competition.
We hope that these simple arts and crafts ideas will give you a little inspiration for the holiday season. Many of us will not be traveling and visiting family, but there are no restrictions for the imagination!
What fun memories do you plan to create with your children during this holiday season?