Are you the type of parent that prefers children’s games and activities to be educational? If so, Christmas is a fantastic time to turn fun play into lessons for your little ones. You don’t need board games or a computer to teach your children about reading, math or science. Instead, use your holiday decorations and your imagination to create educational games for your kids. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Remember playing “I Spy” in the car with your parents when you were little? Turn that fun game on its head with a Christmas theme. Sit down in front of the Christmas tree with your children and have them guess what you’re looking at. For instance, you could spy an item that begins with the letter “P” if you have pine cones on the tree. You can spy something that’s red if you have red ornaments on the tree. This is a great game for teaching young children about letters, spelling and color recognition.
As you decorate the tree, ask your children to count the ornaments in your hand or on the floor. For example, hold one ornament and ask your child how many decorations are in your hand. Next, you can ask your child to pull out a certain number of ornaments from the Christmas tote. If your child pulls out three ornaments, ask him or her to hand you two. You can go on in this way the entire time that you’re decorating your Christmas tree. This is the perfect game for sharpening your child’s counting and mathematics skills.
On, Above, Below
Get out a few blank pieces of paper and a box of crayons for your kids. Sit down at the kitchen table and have your little ones draw a snowman. Give your children instructions as they are drawing. You can say things like draw a circle on the bottom of the page. Instruct your children to then draw a circle on top of the first circle. Continue on in this manner until your children have drawn a cute snowman. Use age-appropriate vocabulary words like “on,” “above,” “below,” “under,” “bottom” and so on. This activity will teach your children spatial organization skills.
Letters to Santa
Writing letters to Santa can be a fun activity for the whole family. Turn letter writing into a craft project by having your children glue or draw pictures on their letter. You can find children’s writing paper printables on the Internet or you can create your own. Give your children magazines or sales flyers that they can cut apart and have them include these pictures on their letter. This activity will enhance your kids’ fine-motor skills and allow them to practice their printing. The holidays present a wide range of fun activities that can be educational for your children. You can turn virtually any Christmas tradition into an educational game if you simply use your imagination and sense of creativity.
About the guest author: Briana Kelly has over 5 years experience writing content in the area of child development. She regularly writes on behalf of Giraffe Childcare Dublin.
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