What a wonderful time of year as we prepare to celebrate Jesus birth! If you need any last minute gift ideas for your young ones, think about these items:
- Play-doh - there’s nothing better than a fresh container of the squishy stuff to strengthen those fingers.
- Legos – another great tool for being creative and building finger dexterity.
- Markers– washable markers are so fun for all ages whether in coloring books or just on plain paper.
- Bouncy ball - so many uses with a simple ball such as setting up a goal with the laundry basket, making a tunnel run with paper towel tubes, or just playing bounce catch.
- Magnets – so fun to explore what sticks and what doesn’t - no matter the age!
- Magnifying glass – it’s so cool to look at everything (even your fingernails) under a magnifying glass.
All of these items can help to foster creative and scientific thinking! Encourage your kids to think outside the box!
As the holidays approach, daily routines are often interrupted which can lead to kiddos being out of sorts. It helps to have some tricks up your sleeves to keep them occupied with fresh activities. Hopefully you can use some of the items mentioned above, but if not, look no further than the holiday cards you have received. Get out the scissors, glue sticks, wrapping paper and ribbon scraps, and paper. Have your kids cut out special pictures to create a Christmas collage or a scene for a story. Have your younger ones “tell” you the story as you label the picture and encourage older ones to write the story and read to you. Send the creation to a grandparent or cousin who isn’t able to be with you for Christmas.
Another indoor activity that is often overlooked is doing puzzles. The whole family can participate in a jigsaw puzzle. Little ones can do puzzles with just a few pieces. If you don’t have any simple puzzles, cut the front of a cereal box into 4-6 pieces of different shapes for your preschooler to put back together.
Most importantly this holiday, spend time just enjoying your kids and making memories together! Merry Christmas!
Patty Emmert- I am a former Kindergarten teacher, current preschool teacher and children’s ministry director. I am the mother of 4 grown sons and grandmother to 10! I realize the importance of getting kids started off on a positive track in school. I'd like to offer some fun, simple ways to help you do that for your child!