I had debated taking off a couple weeks at the end of December since everything was so busy, but I knew it would be hard getting back into the swing of things if we didn’t maintain a routine. Instead of our usual slew of materials, I stuck to Christmas-themed activities for the week.
I was really excited to make the pom pom pinecones that I’ve had pinned for a while now, so I started off the week by digging up my collection of pinecones and gathering the pom poms, glue and glitter.
The kiddos and I had fun making these; Josiah so much so that he kept insisting on glitterizing more and more pinecones. We had a veritable glittered pinecone forest in our kitchen; I was able to use some of them as gift-toppers for family members. There are many crafts that end up going in the trash or recycle bin after a while, but these will get packed away for next year – I love them!
Going all out on the crafting, we also made popsicle stick trees…
We had another day of baking, but instead of doing cookies or something sugar-y, I decided to try soft prezels. The kiddos helped me roll and shape the dough; Josiah ran and got his play knife when he saw me cutting the dough into sections.
It took a while but it was worth it.
We had a few Christmas stories in our book basket and I tried to organize the activities on our trays to go along with the books. 2 Teaching Mommie’s has a set of nativity printables and we used the nativity sequencing cards in conjunction with a story about the first Christmas and the Happy Birthday Jesus minibook.
There was also a manger scene file folder shadow game, and while these are too elementary for Gwendolyn (though she still has fun doing them), they’re just right for Josiah. I was actually amazed how quickly he matched the pieces all by himself.
While he was busy with the file folder game, Gwen did some spelling worksheets with Scrabble tiles, counting clip cards and a tracing maze.
while Gwen did a which-one-is-different? worksheet, pattern cut-and-paste, and a mini booklet on how to eat a gingerbread man (she got to practice her mad cutting skills).
We read The Candymaker’s Gift: The Legend of the Candy Cane a few times and our pop-up version of the 12 Days of Christmas, along with the Symbols of Christmas minibook. 1+1+1=1 has some beautiful 12 Days of Christmas printables; I resized the numbers, laminated them and cut them into separate cards. As I read the story, Gwen had to pick the appropriate card and trace the numbers and letters.
We got a lot of “socialization” and story-reading visiting friends and family during the week!
The kiddos get extra lessons in learning to share (and handle animals) when we visited their cousins for a Christmas Eve brunch.
Usually when the kiddos open presents they hastily rip the paper and don’t acknowledge the giver, but I was so proud of Gwen for giving hugs to family members to thank them.
The week of Christmas was chock-full of activity, a fun departure from the norm, and I have to admit I liked the less-structured format. I’m hoping to find The Perfect Balance as we go along.
The First Christmas
The Polar Express
The Crippled Lamb
Bear Stays Up for Christmas
The Candymaker’s Gift: A Legend of the Candy Cane
The Twelve Days of Christmas – a pop up storybook
The Story of the Butcracker Ballet
The Story of Christmas board book
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Walt Disney Christmas
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Veggie Tales Holiday Double Feature –
The Toy That Saved Christmas & The Star of Christmas
Gwen is 4 years old (49 months) and Josiah is 2 (25 months).