Parents are often looking for ideas or things to do with their children during the winter break. Here we have tried to compile a list of activities that are convenient, fun, inexpensive, and support what we do in class.
Keep in mind that all these activities are open ended and do not have a specific criteria to be met. At Village we focus on the process, not the product, and I encourage you to do the same. These ideas are simply a starting off point. As Dr. Montessori said, “Follow the Child” and let your child be your guide. After all, no one knows your child better than you.
Nature Walk- Bring a zip lock bag for woodsy treasures, paper and crayons for tree and leaf rubbings, and of course, water and snacks! Go at your child’s pace, stopping often to observe the small things. You can be very quiet and ask the questions: “what did you hear?” This helps bring about an awareness of quiet, as well as fine tuning the sense of hearing. You can also play the I spy game: I spy something that starts with the sound b – bird A-acorn T-tree
A research project- Begin a project to go to library and research. For instance: birds, what birds are in our area in the winter.
Make decorative bird feeders- Peanut butter + seeds smashed into cutter shapes. Make a hole with a string through it and freeze or put in fridge until hard. Hang on a tree outside where you can see the birds who will visit.
Giving/Receiving a Gift-Children love to imitate what they see going on in the world around them. This is how they learn to be part of our society. What a perfect time of year to practice gift giving and receiving! Using an empty box, practice gift giving and receiving! Using the empty box, practice saying what you feel is appropriate in a given situation. Some examples might be: “This is for you, Granny. Merry Christmas!” or “Thank you for the gift.” Knowing what is expected of him will help your child feel more comfortable in social situations.
Stamping- Cut an old sponge into some fun shapes. Demonstrate how to hold it by the edges and dip into paint (paper plates work well for this), then stamp on paper. Alternative: cut a square from a sponge and use a rubber band to attach an empty water bottle. Hold the bottle to dip the sponge and stamp.
Who’s that?- Often the holidays bring together friends and family who may not be familiar to your child. Go through your pictures and make a poster board of who will be visiting this year. Remind your child of the last time they saw the person and say who they are. “That is Aunt Alice. Remember when you and Joey made cookies with her last year?” This activity will help your child feel more comfortable during all the excitement of the season.
Spending time together as a family means much more to a child than anything that could be bought in a store. Children seldom remember gifts, but they remember the activities and the feelings they had. Be sure to take time this season to create your own family traditions and memories. What do you remember from your childhood that you would like to pass on? These special times together are what will be remembered in years to come. We hope your holidays are filled with many joyful moments to remember.