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🎄Christmas Inspired Unit Study

Happy December! This is our favorite month of the year since it is filled with joy, the anticipation of holidays and goodwill. It is also a time of giving, a time of cheering and a time of sharing many special moments with the family. Don’t you just love the smell of hot cocoa, the sight of roaring fireplaces and wrapping paper all over the house; and of course: glitter, scissors, glue and all other goodies that bring crafts with your kiddos to life! Below you will find Christmas-inspired activities we have done during the month of December (see our 🎊New Year’s Eve activities here) arranged by the area of study, rather than chronologically. Do leave a comment if you liked any, and whether you will consider implementing any one of our activities in your home.

DSC_0135The year 2018 is the first year that Elf On The Shelf joined us to spend the Advent time, counting up till Christmas Eve. Children were absolutely thrilled to find him on the porch on December first, after having watched An Elf’s Story movie. (Most Scout Elves return to their families during Scout Elf Return Week— at the end of November leading into December ~ find various letters an Elf might bring here). The Elf on the Shelf was started by Carol Aebersold, who published the book in 2005, becoming a Christmas tradition for many families all over the world.  The Elf gains his power once children name him (make sure to register your Elf here) and thereafter, he cannot be touched or else, he will lose his powers. Each night the Elf returns to the North Pole to report to Santa how children are doing and whether they should be on Santa’s naughty or nice list.

DSC_0013-2When the Elf returns each morning, he chooses a new spot (on a chandelier, on the highest shelf, on a tippy top of a Christmas Tree, etc), waiting for the children to find him. You might ponder how Montessori intrinsic motivation can coincide with such a “watch” but my children have absolutely no fear of getting on a naughty list: they try to be nice and kind the entire year whether they are being watched or not. And the idea of “gifts” as a reward? Well, so long as their desire to be good is rooted in love and not fear, waking up to wrapped gifts on Christmas morning cannot hurt a child, I think, so long as the gifts are meaningful and not in excess. More than anything, children see a little friend in Freddy, a little holiday addition to the family and they treat him so dearly. Every day, they set a bed for him in a dollhouse that was brought to the Great room and placed near the Christmas Tree. Every night children leave him some treats or fruit and water. Adrian wrote many tiny books from him and even made him a little Christmas gift and a “goodie bag” to give before Freddy The Elf leaves till next year on Christmas Eve. Adrian has become more self-aware of how he acts, especially with his sister. “What would Freddy think of you or tell Santa about you if you mistreat your sister?” Such questions raise self-consciousness and helped Adrian express true genuine tenderness which is usually cloaked by his annoyance with Julia’s affections.  

p.s. There are many ways you can implement this tradition in your family: some choose Kindness Elf, others prefer mischief Elf (see a cheat list here), still, others just confirm to the peer-pressure of every other kid having one. Choose the path that speaks your heart and don’t forget to have a little Holiday fun!

DSC_0036Advent traditions are an amazing way to reflect, while counting blessing, a way to dream big and to make wishes! It is also a time to share love and means with those in need and time to give and spread the cheer. So, on December 1st, we begin the Holiday season with the Christmas Countdown. I usually hang little envelops with affirmations and fun holidays activities that children look up to every day.

DSC_0114We also made a DIY paper plate Countdown⛄️Snowmen (inspired by HappyTotShelf ) adding glitter to its nose and a pair of arms (brown cardstock).

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This Snowmen Calendar can be a great counting activity for younger children or a backward counting exercise for older ones. I have seen a lot of countdowns starting with number “25” counting backward (e.g. 25 days left till Christmas), but I did it as a Calendar check since Adrian is only four years old, so children would move the “carrot” to the date we are currently in. (So, “11” would stand for December 11th.) There are no set rules here, and you can choose whatever method works for you: Calendar Date counting or backwards counting the days left till Christmas. Also, growing up in Europe, our “Christmas” was celebrated on the eve of December 31st, so our Advent Calendar has two red dates (Dec 25th and Dec 31st), but feel free to end yours on December 25th.

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A fun holiday for us in December is St. Nicholas Day, a special Advent family tradition celebrated on December 6th, which is especially exciting for children as they count down the days on their Advent calendars in anticipation of a Christmas Day. Many will put out their shoes or stockings on December 5 in hopes that St. Nicholas will leave them a little something for his December 6 feast day. Leave hay and carrots for St. Nick’s donkey and place shoes by the door overnight on the eve of December 5th, so that St. Nick can fill them with candies and little gifts. Read a blog post about the tradition here “St. 🎅🏻 Nicholas Day 🎁Custom of 👞Shoes.”

DSC_0146We had a pleasure of staying at the Hotel Hershey during Christmas Holidays at Hershey Park. During breakfast with Santa, children gave him their letters and were assured that Santa will write back.  And he did! This week we got a 📩letter from ️The North Pole!


 

BOOKS

IMG_9440See here a summary post “🎄Christmas 🎅🏻 Inspired 📚Books” we have been enjoying reading as well as links to blog posts where we brought books to life through small world play.

ADVENT Books Christmas Countdown Tree

DSC_0007-2This year (2018), we were inspired by LittleTinyLearner to start an ADVENT Books Countdown Tree to add a little magic to our holiday reading. These special books have either been purchased or gifted since Julia was born, and I do not keep them out the entire year. They only appear during the month of December and are kept away for the rest of the year, so they are as good as “new” to my children. This is a very special tradition, and I am glad we are starting it. The precious moments of reading together are something both my children and I are looking forward to. (We try to read every night, but unwrapping a special “gift” adds a little holiday magic to our everyday reading.) See details and links about books here. Some of the new additions that I am very excited for are:

  • Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury (Hardcover) is an absolute must Christmas book! It includes seven of Jan Brett’s most beloved Yuletide titles: The Night Before Christmas, Trouble with Trolls, Christmas Trolls, The Mitten, The Hat, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and The Wild Christmas Reindeer. And Jan Brett’s illustrations, borders, and style make children beg “one more page Mommy!”
  • Wonderful Winter: All Kinds of Winter Facts and Fun (We have the Awesome Autumn book from this collection and we loved it!) I am sure this one will be much enjoyed as well.

DSC_0012I have heard that some choose to wrap less than 24/25 books because of the “pressure” of reading every day, but hey! if you cannot find five minutes a day to cuddle up and read a holiday favorite, what is this season stands for? Granted, there will be days that you might not get to it, but just double up the next day! Some books are small and take less than five minutes to read and with big books, just pick one story a day! So, I have wrapped twenty-five books, numbering each since some books are meant to be read early ~ like The Legend of St. Nicholas ~ which we read on December 5th, about a boy Nick who, after inheriting large money, decides anonymously help his friends and those in need. (See details here.)

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I then arranged the books by size rather than numerically to resemble the pine tree’s shape ~ largest books on the bottom ~ smaller on the top. This is also a great opportunity to discuss a calendar, history and time, as children will have to figure out what date it is and choose that number book: for example, they will start with the book #1 on December 1st, book #2 on December 2nd and so forth. Moreover, sneak in a numeracy lesson by playing a game: “Can you find a number _?” as numbers are in sporadic order and your child would have to find the number corresponding to today’s date. 

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Also, this year we used Jumbo Circular Washable Pads to make our own DIY wrapping paper from a white recycled craft paper roll paper (40 lb, 48 Inches x 200 Feet for $18). To make a “print” I traced with a pen and then cut out a tree shape out of the dishwashing sponge. The craft paper is a little transparent, but decorating it with ink prints helps to obscure the contents.  (We also used this paper to make hand-print DIY birthday wrapping paper.)

This was a very special process where children helped me wrap all the twenty-five books (25th being The Story of Christmas Board book, which we will read on Christmas Day).  We also had fun making prints while listening and humming to holiday favorite music! What are your Advent traditions? 

 Some of the other great books that did not make this Advent Book Tree, but will be in the next year’s are:

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Have a magical Book Advent reading!

♻️TPR ADVENT Calendar

DSC_0031This year, I did something different ~ a recycled ♻️TPR ADVENT Calendar. You would simply cover each of the 24 toilet paper rolls with a cupcake liner on one side and secure it with a thin rubber band (leave the other side as is).

DSC_0048Then glue all to each other! I was inspired to do this after seeing this Tree TPR Calendar. And, since we are not much into sweets, I put inside 24 Christmas in Copenhagen poems inspired by @im_the_simon ADVENT calendar ~ @fabelabdk is kindly offering those poems for free.

DSC_0059-4In addition, I made 24 Christmas prompts to follow each day! They are numbered 1-24 and children would open each on a corresponding date (so we are counting UP till Christmas). If you would like a PDF, please go to my blog and subscribe and sent me a quick 📧email: I included in those 24 prompts some of the activities from my blog (like making homemade play dough) as well as fun family stuff (like have a matching PJ Christmas party) as well as acts of kindness!

 

LANGUAGE

Magnetic ABC Fishing Activity

DSC_0014Can you fish out a letter and tell what sound it makes? We are using Christmas shredded packing paper (do use it to pack your gifts once done), DIY wooden circles letters (prime circles with clear nail polish and write vowel in blue and consonant in red with a Sharpie) and DIY “fishing rod.”  To make a “fishing rod” we used a straw and a pipe cleaner and we glued a small magnet to the end. Tape paper clips to your wooden letters and offer your child to fish the letters out! See similar activity here ❤️💚Christmas Magnetic DIY 🌀Water Beads Sensory Bin.

Name Recognition
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This is a festive DIY name recognition activity where I simply stuck dot stickers on holiday clothespins and wrote letters of Adrian’s name on them. I specifically added a few other letters that are not in his name to make it a little more challenging: like letters ‘h’ and ‘m’ which could be confused with ‘n’ or ‘m.’ I then placed dot stickers on a jumbo wooden craft stick spelling his name and offered Adrian to match the clothespins to matching letters. We also discussed Proper nouns, and how his name begins with an upper case “A” and in the middle of his name there is a lower case “a” ~ not to confuse both since at times Adrian would write an uppercase letter in the middle of the word. “Uppercase letter leads the way and all other lowercase letters follow!” I explain. This is an awesome fine motor control exercise to practice pinching the pegs, and also a great hand-eye coordination activity. And, we are trying to bring a little holiday spirit to our daily activities as spelling can be quite mundane.

🎅🏻Flour ✍🏻️Tracing Tray

DSC_0036Montessori tracing tray consists of a medium which the child can practice tracing in. We are also using a Montessori movable alphabet to practice spelling “santa” since it is the most requested word at the moment.  You can easily make this “touch and trace” sensory writing tray with materials readily available in your home. You will need:

  • a large tray where you would pour the filler in (we are actually using a top from the floor table or you can use a tray),
  • a filler such as flour (what Adrian is using); you can also use sand, polenta, amaranth, salt, or sugar,
  • a small rake or a fork to smooth out the filler (we are using a rake from this Zen Garden),
  • colored cardstock (I used red here) to give the activity a color-pop (buy here).

See here details on how to make this tray ~ 💐Mother’s Day 📽Montessori Touch & Trace Sensory ✍🏻️Writing Tray.

DSC_0003Also, see here 🌎Geography 📖Theory Curriculum Lesson 3: 🗺Mapping ~ Cartographer(Making the Earth 🎈Flat).

 

🍭Festive Sensory ✍🏻️Tracing tray

DSC_0023-11Montessori sensorial tracing trays are a fun way to practice writing and spelling. You can start with really small children first just exploring the medium (e.g. flour, millet, sand, rice, etc). At around two years of age, you can start tracing letters and numbers (one at a time) and with older children, offer simple words to spell and trace. Here, I am using red and white rice. (To make your DIY colored rice, simply add few squirts of vinegar to a ziplock with dried rice and a desired food coloring ~ shake well and lay flat to dry.)  Today, in light of the Holiday spirit, we discussed what Christmas stands for and the concept of giving. For some reason, Adrian confuses giving versus sharing. (He thinks giving is forfeiting the possession of something versus sharing is like letting your friend play with your car-toy.) So we talked about those children in need and lonely this Holiday Season and what we can do to experience the joy of giving!

 


MATH

Roll  🎲 & 🌲 Count

DSC_0009Roll the dice 🎲 and count 🌲 pine cones! Math can be mundane, especially for little ones, so I am trying to make counting hands-on and fun! This presentation is also a very concrete way to reinforce 🌲🌲🌲quantity to 3️⃣numeral association. And, offer a tray filled with DIY 💚🍚 rice to practice fine motor tracing skills! (To make colored rice, simply add few drops of vinegar to dried rice in a ziplock along with desired food coloring ~ shake ~ and lay flat to dry.) To make the tree, I simply cut green felt to resemble the tree’s shape,  and a ♻️recycled champagne cork made a perfect trunk. (If you don’t have felt, use green paper instead. If you don’t have green cardstock, use cardboard and color it green!)

Roll  🎲 & ❄️Add

DSC_0019Taking the pine cone counting up a notch with this simple math addition counting snowflakes activity. I simply lined our floor table with navy tissue paper, placed our felt cutout pine tree and punched snowflakes from recycled white scrap paper. Offer your child to roll the dice to find out the first addend, and demonstrate (3) snowflakes falling on the left. Then, roll the dice again to find out your second addend, and have (2) snowflakes fall on the right. Now add both addends together (3 + 2) and record the sum (5) in snow ~ Epsom salt tracing tray, which I also lined with same tissue paper to give it a color pop. Next, find the sum among the DIY wooden number circles (prime with clear nail polish and write numerals with a Sharpie) and place on a tree. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

🌲Punch-Out & ⭐️Count

DSC_0049This is a festive counting DIY: count, punch out and decorate your Christmas Tree math activity. All you need are paint samples from your local hardware store and a hand puncher. I am using wooden stars (primed with clear nail polish) as numerals (I used a Sharpie) but you can use paper stars or if you have a star puncher, you can punch them out. For the quantity, we are using colorful pom poms, but you can use buttons, large sequins, even small marshmallow (‘snow’) or grains/beans from your cupboard. The goal of this activity is numeral to quantity association (a concept very abstract for smaller ones) and promoting fine motor control (well, and gross motor while punching out). I will also use this opportunity to learn what it means to represent a number in different ways, thus beginning to explore the concept of decomposing: for example, number 5 is 5+0,  4+1, and 2+3. This is a very hands-on and visual way to promote numeracy efficiency, not to mention all the holiday fun!

Tape it! Line it! Measure it! Record it!

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Breakfast invitation inspired by @dayswithgrey We are using washi tape stuck to the table to create linear as well as zig-zag pattern (I specifically did not start all lines at the same point, so that Adrian measures the lines and realizes that the exact same length lines can visually look of various length if positioned differently). Invite your child to line up various objects you have around the house, following the washi tape’s direction. The next step is to count the exact amount of objects it takes to fill each line and then measure that same line with a ruler. Offer your child to compare the number of objects vs. the length in inches.

💯Hundred Board Skip Counting

DSC_0165See here Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer 💯Hundred Board Skip Counting by 2️⃣

🎄Christmas Odd & Even

DSC_0153See here 🎄Christmas Odd & Even Math lesson (Numerals and Counters)


ARTs/CRAFTs

🖐🏻Hand 🌟Print 🎄Christmas Tree Card

DSC_0004We are using jumbo ink pads, glitter and glue. Simply, place your child’s palm in ink and stamp on paper fingers ‘branches’ facing down. Then decorate it with glitter, sequin, and (ribbon optional).
DSC_0004We also topped our tree with a wooden start painted gold with a Sharpie, and we used adhesive glitter foam paper to resemble snow.

DSC_0004Julia’s version ~ she kept stamping her hand on paper to give a tree a fuller look

♻️Recycled 🍳 Egg Carton 🎄Christmas Tree

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Are you ready to decorate your DIY ♻️recycled 🍳 egg carton 🎄Christmas Tree! 

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We are using these paint brushes and washable paints
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Paint a cardboard half blue to represent the ski and half while to resemble the snow
DSC_0063Arrange your cartons to resemble the tree shape and paint them

DSC_0069Offer your child tongs and turn this craft into a fine motor pom poms to dot stickers matching/transfering which is an awesome hand-eye coordination and color recognition activity! 

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You can also invert the carton

DSC_0001-3Paint it
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Attach a string of yarm to resemble a garland

DSC_0003Offer your child dot stickers to decorate your garland

You can also discuss patterns: that is when the order repeats over and over again. Patterns can be as simple as AB AB (two colors alternating) or more complicated ones. Smaller children can simply enjoy ticking dot-stickers on the tree ~ hands on to fine motor activity!

 

DIY ❄️ Snow Globe DSC_0018-4DIY snow globes are very fun to make using materials already in your home. Snow globes can also be a calming bottle, where the child observes the glitter “snow” settle while calming the thoughts, slowing down the mind, and the finding the inner balance. 

You will need:

  • ♻️a recycled 🍶food jar
  • 💧water
  • glitter
  • 5 drops of glycerine or one teaspoon of clear glue to “thicken” the water and help the glitter settle slower
  • objects to be placed inside your snow globe~ I am using a pine tree candle and a sled
  • foam piece to raise your objects a little
  • a ribbon to decorate your globe (optional). 

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TIPs for success:

  •  do not use too much glitter as your objects will be inconspicuous
  • do not apply glue to the inside of the top of your food jar as it breaks the seal
  • the glue has to be completely dry before assembling.

Steps:

  1. using hot glue gun, glue the foam piece to the inside of the cap of the food jar and then arrange and glue your objects to the foam piece
  2. pour water inside your jar (for 100 ml of water you would use 2 teaspoons of glycerine)
  3. add your glitter
  4. insert the cap with objects glued to it inside your jar, closing the jar tightly ~ turn it upside down and check for leaks
  5. Optional, once you checked there are no leaks, you can apply the layer of hot glue to the seam all around the cap to seal it even more.

Thanks to glycerine (or glue), snow is falling slowly, eventually settling on the bottom. However, if you shake the jar, the blizzard begins again.

♻️Recycled ✂️️Christmas 📮Cards 🎄Tree Craft

DSC_0005Why buy washi tape when you can use last year’s Christmas cards! Just ✂️cut them in strips of various length and offer your child to arrange them by size to make a Tree! This is also a great geometry lesson on length, stacking, and problem-solving to arrange the strips, making a triangle shape! Also, introduce vocabulary such as “longest” “shortest” etc. Most importantly, don’t forget to let your little one have some festive fun while happily crafting and creating!

Sticky 🎄TreeDSC_0131

Sticky tape can be an amazing medium for creating crafts, and today we are using this adhesive tape to create a Christmas Tree craft. Simply, cut a square and secure it with another tape to a smooth surface (sticky part face up). Then, draw a pine tree shape and offer your child pom poms to fill in the tree and decorate with colorful ‘ornaments’ (pom poms). This activity is perfect for hand-eye coordination and for fine motor control. Also, your child gets to express creativity while coming up with a color combination and the design. 

DSC_0131A child would simply follow the drawn outline and thereafter fill the middle. Adrian also placed a few white pom poms around: “Its snowing Mommy!” We are planning to secure it to white cardboard and frame it to display in our learning space. 

🍝 Panty Food 🎄Tree

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Holiday crafts are an amazing way to connect with your children and to express creativity. And using everyday natural materials is a great way to help the environment while reducing your monthly Amazon credit card expense! Today, we are making a Christmas Tree from recycled cardboard and dried pantry food, in particular: pasta, cereal, and Irish oats. To color your pasta, simply place dry un-cooked pasta in a ziplock and add a few squirts of vinegar along with the desired food coloring ~ shake it well ~ lay flat to dry. You would do a batch for each color. (Note: I do not cook pasta since once cooked, it tends to spoil quickly. Dry pasta, on the other hand, can be used and reused for a long time.) Similarly, I colored the oats. p.s. I tried coloring Cheerios, but they became soggy and disformed, so I opted for the frosted Froot Loops instead (they come colored already). I used a serrated knife to cut the cardboard to resemble a pine tree’s shape, and I used a recycled champagne bottle cork (cut in half) as a trunk. To “decorate” your tree, simply apply glue horizontally line by line (I started from the bottom) and press pasta firmly, creating a pattern. Please, supervise your children as hot glue gun gets extremely hot, and with smaller children, try Elmer’s glue or a glue stick. This activity is perfect for hand-eye coordination and for the development of fine motor control. Also, this craft can be used as a sensory tactile board, offering smaller children to stimulate the sense of touch by running fingers over pasta, cereal, and oats! Happy crafting! 


 SENSORIAL

Festive Cookie Cutters Slime

DSC_0018-3How about using cookie cutters and pom poms to decorate your slime?  To make your smile, you will need: clear glue and baking soda, coloring, glitter, and foam balls. Add your activator last and do not add any water! See detailed recipe here 🎅🏻 Santa ❤️ Red Slime DIY Jar (Science 🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇).

Magnetic Sensory Bin

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See here Christmas Magnetic DIY Water Beads Sensory Bin

Festive Oobleck

DSC_0025Have you heard of Oobleck ~also known as “Goop” ~ is an inexpensive, non-toxic example of a nonNewtonian fluid which is a suspension of starch (e.g. cornstarch) in water, where the resulting substance ~ also called “ooze” or “magic mud” ~ is both a solid and a liquid. The name “oobleck” is derived from the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. The recipe is one of the easiest of any slime, but is also one of the most amazing! Trust me! Your child (and you) will be mesmerized as your slime turns from a solid to a liquid and back again in seconds!  One second you grab a solid handful of this magic gooey, the next second it drips through your hands like a liquid! What you will need to make this gloopy, gooey “magic mud” is 1 part of water to 1.5–2 parts of cornstarch (food coloring is optional/may stain). The set up is less than five minutes and is very easy to make. Please, note, this slime is NOT edible! DK The Slime Book: All You Need to Know to Make the Perfect Slime is a perfect resource to make all kinds of smiles, oobleck in particular.  

DSC_0046-2To make this Oobleck invitation to play festive, I added some wrapping bows, pine cones, pom poms, and tongs to retrieve those pom poms while exercising fine motor control. You can add any water-resist festive objects you have at hand and offer your little one to explore and be amazed! 

DSC_0112See here details about this amazing Non-Newtonian liquid ~ in a post “DIY Oobleck Goop Blood 💉Human BODY Anatomy Unit Study.” For more  💉Human BODY Anatomy Unit Study ~ read here

Frozen Pom Poms

DSC_0059-2This is an absolute favorite sensorial/science activity where I simply froze red, green and white pom poms in an ice-tray and presented on a Kmart metal tray along with some warm water, droppers, beakers, and salt!

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You can also modify this activity for smaller children by covering the baking tray with a thin plastic or a food wrap. Feeling frozen pom poms indirectly, under the layer, adds a new dimension to this sensory play and it’s not as cold for little hands. Ages 6month +.

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As for older children, turn this activity into a science experiment and discuss different forms of matter: solid vs liquid, and what it takes to change from one form to the other. Adrian loved using a turkey baster and he kept transferring warm water and salt until all the pom poms were defrosted. And the best part, you can refreeze them and start all over again! For more frozen fun ~ we also froze ballon “dino eggs” ~ See here Dino Frozen 🎈Balloon Eggs Kids ⚗️Science Sensory 💦Water Play.

🎄Montessori Numbers Rods & Cylinders

DSC_0090See here 🎄Christmas Tree from Montessori Number Rods and Knobless Cylinders

Fill The Ornament 🎄Sensory Bin

DSC_0061-2Rice is an amazing natural medium to use for sensory play! And when you add plastic ornaments to fill and make decorations, the activity is also purposeful! Offer your child a funnel, tongs, and various scoopers. Adrian also loves using chopsticks to push through pom poms that get stuck. And, offer pipe cleaners to practice fine motor threading, creating embellished beaded patterned “hooks” for your ornaments! Ages 3Y + Yes! It is a third-year this SENSORY BIN is going strong! Adrian does not seem to get tired of it, and did I mention Julia joins after school too! I am using a medium size Ikea Trofast Toy Storage Box, which is amazing for these types of sensory play since everything remains contained and the clean up is minimal! (The tray is part of this sensory table which is used every single day!) 

20161207-DSC_0538See here 🎅🏻Christmas Inspired • Fill The Ornament 🎄Sensory Bin

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“Ornaments are ready, but where to hang them?”

20161208-DSC_0566“On My Tree!” Adrian decided

Rainbow Rice Cookie Cutters

DSC_0085I knew cookie cutters are not just for baking! So, fill them with rainbow rice (or any other small grain or natural material you have) and advise your child to spill the least possible! (To make DIY colored rice: add a squirt of vinegar to dry rice in a ziplock plus the desired food coloring ~ shake well ~ lay flat to dry). It’s a super fun game to practice scoping, transferring, and pinching while developing hand-eye coordination and precision! Present on a tray to contain the mess.

Olfactory Magnetic Transferring Sensory Bin

DSC_0014I used natural shredded paper (do use it for gift’s stuffing after your kiddo is done) and a variety of smelling goodness such as cinnamon sticks, cedar balls, dried fruits, and leaves etc. Also, I added a little science twist to this glorified jingle bell magnetic transferring activity (see below) by including bells and a magnet. Also, take this opportunity to practice numeracy, counting, simple addition or subtraction: How many bells have you transferred? How many bells are left? If you lost one, how many are left? I am using a medium size Ikea Trofast Toy Storage Box, which is amazing for these types of sensory play since everything remains contained and the clean up is minimal! (The tray is part of this sensory table which is used every single day!) 

⛄️Shredded Paper 🙌🏻Sensory Bin

DSC_0040See here 🎅🏻Christmas Inspired ⛄️Shredded Paper 🙌🏻Sensory Bin with 🔢Math Twist

🎅🏻Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ❤️💚Sensory Bin

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See here 🎅🏻Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ❤️💚Sensory Bin

 


Holiday Inspired SPACE

DSC_0141What is 🔍 on our 🎅🏻 Christmas-Inspired Shelf:

  • The Christmas Wish book inspired small world play (buy a book here),
  • Holiday Smelling activity,
  • Little 💙Blue Truck’s 🎄Christmas (buy a book here); see a📎 link to a blog post here,
  • ♻️ Recycled Holiday Cards ✂️ puzzle (see details👇below),
  • Magnet 🔔Bell Transferring (see a📎 link to a post👇below or here),
  • Invitation to decorate a pinecone (see👇below).

DSC_0002Invite your child to decorate a pine cone with pom poms and glitter.

DSC_0221This is also an awesome fine-motor exercise!

IMG_9515See here 🎄Christmas Inspired Magnet 🔔Bell Transferring.

DSC_0029  Not sure what to do📮with a 💯🎄Holiday 📩 cards you receive❓

DSC_0029   A DIY ♻️ puzzle of course! 

Leave just the front (picture) part of the card and ✂️cut according to your child’s level (either in halves or 1/4 or smaller). Invite your child to assemble. (Above, Adrian at 3 yo enjoyed assembling quarters and halves.)

DSC_0141Cut into smaller pieces for an older child (above Adrian enjoyed it at 4 yo) or cut diagonally to add a fun aspect to a puzzle.

DSC_0141What is 🔍 on our🎄Holiday-Inspired Shelf:

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Sensory Bin activity (read here),
  • Mystery bag (see a📎 link to a post👇below or here),
  • Invitation to create with DIY homemade play dough; see here “No-Cook Homemade Play Dough 🎄Christmas Tree DIY Craft.”
  • The Mitten Book is our absolute Winter favorite! (buy here); see a📎 link to a blog post here.

IMG_9667See here 🎄Holiday Inspired Montessori Mystery Bag.

 DSC_0075 copySee here “No-Cook Homemade Play Dough 🎄Christmas Tree DIY Craft.”

Playdough is an amazing sensory tool! You can also add some glitter and a dash of peppermint essence to give your Christmas green playdough a heavenly smell (Well if you are into the peppermint!) And, once you are done rolling it out and making little Christmas trees using Christmas tree cookie cutters, decorate them with loose parts like beads, buttons or sequins! Please, use common sense as these are a choking hazard, and will not be suitable for children who are still mouthing objects. 

DSC_0154We also made🍩 doughnuts; a few drops of oil made them look glazed. 

DSC_0080This is a fun play-dough craft Adrian made when he was three years old. We are using this green play dough along with various beads and embellishments. As a result, I had thirty minutes to tidy up in the morning, while he was busy molding and decorating his Christmas trees.

 


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 What is 🔍 on our Montessori 🔢 Math shelf:

  • Abominable Snowland and Rudolph  💯Hundred Board Skip Counting by 2️⃣; 📎 link to a post👇below or here,
  • LEGO Subtraction work,
  • Dot stickers Addition work: see here “DIY 🍡Pop-Sticks, Clothespins & Dot Stickers 🔴 ➕🔵 Addition Activity (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson).”
  • Alligator Less/More.

 


Holiday SCIENCE

IMG_9352See here Toothpick 🌟Star 💦Trick Science Experiment For Kids (🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇).

IMG_9563See here 🎅🏻 Santa ❤️ Red Slime DIY Jar (Science 🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇).

DSC_0029See here Rainbow 🌈Colorful Skittles Fun💧 Water Science Experiment for Kids •🔬⚗️⚖️  101 🎥 Series.



PRACTICAL LIFE

IMG_9080See here “🎅🏻Christmas Inspired Candy Cane Pipe Cleaner DIY Craft.”


OUR LEARNING SPACE

  DSC_0127Children love when their Learning Space is decorated in a spirit of the 🎄Holiday!
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20161209-DSC_0618 What is 🔍 on our 🎄Christmas-Inspired Shelves in 2016:

  • Christmas Inspired Candy Canes Pipe Cleaner Craft (read here),
  • Mystery Bag (see a📎 link to a post here),
  • Smelling activity,
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Activity (read here),
  • Christmas Tree sewing buttons activity,
  • The Mitten Book Activity (read here).

DSC_0157 An invitation to sew a button on a felt Christmas Tree.

20161209-DSC_0637More about our Learning Space in 2016 here.

20161204-DSC_0373_-3See here “Picking up a 🎄Christmas Tree at 🎅🏻 Santa’s Workshop.”

DSC_0179See here “🎅🏻 Santa Caught on 📸 Camera!”

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I hope you are having a wonderful Holiday Season! Children asked Freddy to stay till New Year’s Eve ~ see our 🎊New Year’s Eve activities here, and he happily agreed! Fairweel, our friend, we look forward to the reunion next December!

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