Ah, the Christmas season. Soon everyone will be saying it went too fast and now it’s all over. We will be saying goodbye to 2018 and welcoming 2019. We rush through the Christmas season because we are all so busy baking cookies, buying gifts, attending dinners and special events, creating special activities for our little ones, and preparing more food than we know what to do with. It’s time to slow down before it all passes. We all need to think about why we run around celebrating this holiday.
Jesus. I was reminded this month about how this Christmas holiday that we celebrate is not about a baby coming into this world. Jesus left his thrown in heaven to be our personal Savior. That’s what it’s about. We focus so much about the story of how Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem and neglect to think that our sin is why he humbly came and was laid in a smelly feeding trough filled with hay. It’s my sin. It’s your sin. He came to save the world and that it was we choose to celebrate this and every Christmas.
Getting back to the statement that we hear so often….it went too fast and now it’s over. Slow down and take time as a family to reflect and spend time in prayer with the God of all creation. Also, it’s not all over. Sure, 2018 will be a year that we’ll all look at through the rearview mirror, but our Savior has always been and will always be. Celebrate that! Celebrate that no matter what year or time of year it is, we have a Savior that lives.
In our homeschooling journey this month we’ve done a lot of activities! I’ve enjoyed watching our children smile, laugh, and learn. Most of all, I’ve enjoyed talking to them about Jesus through all of the Christmas activities we’ve shared over the past couple of weeks.
My hope and prayers are that these activities will bring you and your family joy and an opportunity to talk about Christ.
The kids had so much fun squishing the green dough I made for them. They rolled it up into balls, they stretched it, cut it with cookie cutters, and decorated the Christmas tree that I originally laid for them.
Decorating supplies you will need:
Colored cotton balls
2 popsicle sticks for the tree trunk
Ingredients you will need for dough:
2 C flour
4 T Coconut oil
3-4 drops of green food coloring
1/4 C water (You may need to add more water. Just add until desired consistency. I made ours thick enough to take away most of the stickiness from the flour).
As a homeschooling mom, I enjoy when we have different themes to keep learning exciting and break away from the mundane. Growing up in Florida, I didn’t have the opportunity to experience snow. Since our children are able see snow in the winter, I like to create plenty of opportunities for them to be out in it and create excitement for what is to come. Our children can’t wait for a big snowfall this year so they can build a snowman in the yard. Why not take that excitement and place it into your homeschooling activities?
I have included a free snowman printable here. Just click the link and print. You and your children can play this fun game of letter search or Snowman Scrabble together. I had our preschooler match the Scrabble tiles with the letters inside her snowman picture. For our more advanced learner, I had him sound out and build the word as I called it out. There is space in the body of the snowman to build the words.
Baby Jesus Painting
Many people take the Christmas season as an opportunity to do an advent calendar as a family leading up to the 25th. We were so busy this year that we simply just didn’t have the time to fill up our calendar with the goodies I normally put in them. It just wasn’t in the cards this year however, I have pulled out the book of Luke and talked about the journey of Christ’s birth.
I got this coloring book from the dollar store about 2 years ago but they have many that are very similar. Our children love to paint so I gave them a paintbrush with water colors and had them paint Baby Jesus while I read the story of our Savior’s birth.
It’s a tradition that many of us participate in throughout the years. I remember as a child, my mom had stacks and stacks of Christmas cards that went out to literally every person she had in her address book. It’s such a great opportunity to let someone know you care and are thinking about them in the busyness of the season. I know a lot of people still do this however, do we teach our children to show appreciation to the ones that they hold so dear as well?
I asked my oldest to think of something he could make for Christmas for dad (aka Papa in our home). He went on to tell me he wanted to make him a big building with lots of projects for them to work on together. So sweet and the precious innocence of a child! I told him lets start with a card to let him know we care for him.
This was such a fun activity for me as his Mama to watch because it made me so proud. To see our son accomplish something on his own and have so my pride around it was rewarding.
He got out a file folder and went to town measuring, cutting, decorating, coming up with what he wanted the card to say, spelling all of the words on his own, using his handwriting skills to write the whole thing, and smiling at the end from the completion. What a sweet moment!
Supplies you’ll need:
Water color paint
Letters for spelling
He measured the folder 10’’x5’’ with the ruler and used his scissors to cut off the excess. He then cut out a bow (that I drew for him) and painted the front with watercolor paint. For the inside, he decided what to say in the card and I had him spell everything out using the letters we have from various activities and curriculum. He sounded it all out and once the words were spelled out, he wrote it in his card.
Lots of learning. I can scratch spelling, handwriting, math, and art off the list with this one activity.
An Act of Kindness
I asked our children what we could do for someone to show them kindness this Christmas season and we came up with taking care of our mail carriers. If you’re anything like us now days, pretty much everything we buy comes from an online purchase of some sort. We keep the mail carriers busy for sure. Showing them we appreciate them was high on our list.
We bought some snacks and drinks for them and placed them in gift bags. They helped me put it all together and place it outside for each carrier. The kiddos waited patiently at the window to tell me when they came and got their special treat. How precious and a great way to teach a them to have a giving spirit this holiday season.
A Break From Dry Skin
It’s time to hydrate their skin while they play! With the dry air, it’s easy for our skin to dry out and crack a bit. I wanted the kids to bathe in oil so their little hands wouldn’t get dry. Why not let them play and learn in it? I gave this lotion sensory activity to them and it lasted so much longer than I thought it would. They had a blast playing in the “snow.”
As you can see, our preschooler really lathered up while her princess found matching letters in the snow. She pushed the snow away and matched the upper and lowercase letters together. I taped the capital letters to the bottom before filling the bin up with lotion. She then took the lowercase letters out of the puzzle after each was revealed and matched them.
For our oldest, I had addition flashcards laying out and he had to bulldoze the lotion until he found the answer to each of the problems. I laid out about 15 problems and when he was done with each, he had a wonderful time playing in the construction site full of snow (lotion).
For our youngest, I set up a bin with a cute Sesame Street cookie book we read together. The book was about how excited Elmo was to spread the joy of Christmas through baking cookies for others.
With sprinkles all over, our 18-month-old had a blast pretending to bake cookies with Elmo. This is a great fine motor activity as well. I had him pour the sprinkles into each of the cookie cutters.
We are still working through them, but I went and bought a bunch of Christmas themed books for us to read as a family. We pull them out when Papa is home and eat either the cookies we’ve baked together or some special treat. Such a great opportunity to cuddle under a blanket and enjoy the blessing of children and family life.
I hope some of these activities have inspired you to created joy for your family over your winter break. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas full of Christ’s love.
Follow me and like this post on Instagram to see more activities for your little one.