Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Week Before Christmas

The best thing about not being "in school" is that when traditional holidays and breaks arrive, I don't have to worry about our schedule being completely thrown out the window.  I know it's the week before Christmas, but since it's looking to be a yucky-weather week, and in an effort to keep the boys on a semi-routine, still provide them with their one-on-one "school" time and to keep them occupied while I'm finishing up last-minute things, I still wanted to have some fun little activities ready throughout the week...especially on Christmas Eve as they will most certainly be anticipating the family get-together that evening.

Emory is 28 months old and Elliott is Pre-K

Some activities are for both of them, and some are for their individual skill levels.

Christmas Card Narration
The kids love looking at Christmas cards, so I used some that we had received, and I made two versions of this activity.  For Emory I just picked several different cards, both pretty and whimsical, with different textures and designs that would appeal to him.  The idea is to talk about the pictures, colors, etc.

For Elliott, all of his cards are different "scenes" that he can use to narrate the birth of Christ after we read the story.

Gingerbread Lacing
I bought the foam gingerbread shapes at Target (10 pack in the $1 spot) and we have decorated a few, but we hole punched this one for a lacing card.

Coloring and Activity Books
Both boys received one of these activity Happy Birthday Jesus (Oriental Trading) books in their goody bags from church.

Emory will color sometimes, but Elliott enjoys the activity parts of these types of books like dot-to-dot, shadow matching, and identifying the picture that is the same/different.

Christmas Play-Doh
I finally broke down and made homemade play-doh for the first time (with this recipe) and it has been a HUGE hit with the kids.  Elliott said he likes it better than the old (store bought) play-doh, and Emory actually plays with it, so that's a good sign.

Ornament Graphing
This was for Elliott--the idea was to count the number of each Christmas ornament, then graph it on the generic graph I printed out.  (Yes, I'm aware that the squares are too small for the stickers, but it was late, and well...it turns out he didn't care.)

This activity was adapted from the I Spy Christmas Tree from Our Country Road

Ribbon Cutting
This is a sensory and scissor activity.  The boys love getting into my ribbons, so I figured this would satisfy that desire.

This was inspired by Teach Preschool's Ribbon and Lace Sensory Play in Preschool

Santa Potato Head
Something fun to do when they get bored.  Everybody in our house loves Potato Head!  Of course the extra pieces will be accessible too.

Christmas Tree Ornament Matching
The shape tree in the middle was designed for Emory who is loving shapes right now.  The tree on the left had ornaments that were made with paper of similar patterns and colors, to see how well they could distinguish the slight differences.  While I was making those two, I was inspired to make a symmetry tree for Elliott too.

Original inspiration from Ornament Matching from Tons of Fun

Christmas Pattern Blocks
We have done these once before, but they were a big hit with both boys so I figured we would set them out again.

The printables are from PreKinders.

Transferring Activity
The erasers (12 pack), tongs (4 pack), and polar bear bowls (2 pack) are all from Dollar Tree, and all were purchased with various activities in mind, but this activity is for fine motor skills.  Emory also likes matching up the pairs.

Christmas Sensory Tub
We haven't had our Christmas Sensory Tub out lately, so we'll probably get it out again before I switch it out for January-winter theme.

Christmas Games on the Computer and iPad
I don't give them a lot of computer time, but sometimes I need five minutes of uninterrupted quiet that can be accomplished by putting Elliott on the computer and Emory on the iPad.

Starfall.com has a Gingerbread Man and a Snowman activity.

Snowman Kit is a snowman building app, and the Santa hair salon app has been a huge hit with both boys!

We will continue reading great Christmas books, and we also like listening to stories on Librivox.org

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a Christmas Scavenger Hunt that we did last week.  You can now check out the Christmas Scavenger Hunt.  It was so easy to throw together, and Elliott loved it!

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  1. I am a new google follower! I appreciate the ideas you post! I am doing some home schooling with my preschooler :)


  2. I love your Christmas Card idea. I am popping in and checking you out from 1 + 1 + 1. Thanks for coming to visit me :)

  3. Great activities! We love potato head play too :)
    New follower here... thanx for visiting my blog!
    The Mommies Made Me do It @ http://themommiesmademedoit.blogspot.com/

  4. You have so many great activities! I really like the ornament graphing, ribbon cutting, and Christmas pattern blocks. I'm so glad you linked up to AfterSchool!
    Little Wonders' Days

  5. We love starfall! Thanks for reminding me to check out their winter stories. We enjoyed the pattern block design idea too.
    The Educators' Spin On It