Now that my son is starting to understand things a bit more, I really wanted to celebrate Christmas with him differently this year. I didn’t want it to just be about opening presents and eating cookies. Although we will definitely be doing those things as well!
Being 30 weeks pregnant with a busy toddler by my side I feel like I am running out of steam. The holiday season is just kicking off and I don’t want to just “get through it.” My to-do list is long with setting up the Christmas tree, baking, and finding gifts.
My toddler is starting to become more interested in the world I want to involve him more this year. Creating memories in the weeks leading up to Christmas is a tradition that I wanted to start. Celebrating the season, not just the day is how I want my son to learn about Christmas. Here are the simple ways we will be enjoying Christmas this year!
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Most people are planning on baking for the holiday, so why not include your toddler in it as well? Let them help from the very beginning while you are looking through cookbooks to find which ones you are making. This is a great way to encourage early literacy skills.
Have them help you make a shopping list and find the items in the store. If your little one is only saying a few words then this activity will allow them to grow their vocabulary.
Once you are ready to start baking, let them help! Let them dump ingredients into a bowl and stir. You will be encouraging fine motor skills during this step.
When you are putting them in the oven and taking them out you can sneak in an important safety lesson. Teaching children about the danger of the hot stove is something to incorporate early on.
Decorating the cookies will probably be your little one’s favorite part! Let them get creative and make their own special cookies.
Simple Crafts and Activities
By accident I stumbled upon Celebrate: Create a Joyful Christmas with Simple Activity Plans. If you are looking for some simple Christmas activities and crafts that are planned out for you then you will LOVE this!
Celebrate includes 4 weeks of DAILY Christmas Activities to do with your child. This includes a variety of crafts and activities that are great for developing skills in all areas of development. The activities are developmentally appropriate for young children as they are simple and will maintain the attention span of little ones. There are detailed directions for each activity along with pictures included as well making it easy to accomplish.
One of the things I love most about this product is that there are simple modifications provided for each activity. This means you can use this for children at varying levels. As a former Early Childhood Special Education teacher I really appreciate this feature! You can make activities a little harder for older children and keep them simple for younger tots. This is great especially if you have more than one child!
Do you need a ton of supplies to complete these activities?
NOPE! Most of the things needed for the project I already had laying around the house. There was a couple of things I had to buy but if you are crafty at all you probably already have them!
To check them out for yourself click here: Celebrate: Create a Joyful Christmas with Simple Activity Plans
Who doesn’t get in the Christmas spirit when those songs come on the radio? There are a few different ways to can explore these carols with your toddler.
Have a dance party while listening to your favorite Christmas tunes! Dancing is a wonderful way to enhance gross motor skills. If you have been cooped up indoors it will also help your little one burn off some energy. Model for them some new moves and see if they can copy you.
Use instruments to activity engage with the songs you are listening to. You can use a simple set (like this) so that your little one can really feel the beat!
During diaper changes sing your favorite Christmas carol to distract your toddler while encouraging their language skills. You can also make up your own actions to keep those little hands busy!
If you have Christmas ornament OCD this may be a bit difficult for you, but let them decorate the tree with you. Always supervise them closely to ensure nothing gets broken or small parts don’t get swallowed. There are so many learning concepts they can pick up while decorating such as colors or counting.
Window clings are also a wonderful way for little ones to decorate and are very entertaining. Let your toddler stick and unstick them until their masterpiece is complete!
Explore New Stories
There are so many books available to teach your toddler about the holiday season. Go to your library and pick up a few new ones so that they can learn about the holiday and discover new words. Here are a few of my favorite Christmas stories:
What is your favorite holiday tradition to do with your toddler? Stop by our Facebook Group and let us know!
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