Last year I set up different Christmas-themed activities for Trevor to do every day in December until Christmas. It was a way to give him some special Mommy-Trevor time after his sister was born. As soon as he saw our advent calendar again this year, as we were unpacking decorations, he told me that he can’t wait to do our “penguin calendar” again this year. I wasn’t really planning on doing the advent calendar this year (hoping to be a little more lazy this year, haha). But with that kind of enthusiasm, there’s no way I could tell him no. So it looks like an activity advent calendar will be a new tradition around here.
I love seeing holiday-themed kids activities online, so I thought I’d begin to share our own take on Christmas fun for kids!
Day 1: We made snow slime! It was inspired by this post over at Growing a Jeweled Rose, although we ultimately used a different slime recipe because we had less glue on hand than the recipe called for. Trevor loved that this slime was cold. He loves any kind of ice or cold-temperature play. It is so great to see how much his imagination has come in a year too!
Day 2: I found some Christmas learning printables online. Over at 2 Teaching Mommies I found this matching game. I printed, cut, and laminated it. The first time through Trevor found all of the matches himself. The second time through we played together so he could work on turn-taking.
Day 3: I created a brand new Christmas sensory bin for Trevor. I dyed four cups of rice red, four cups green, and left four cups white. I also added peppermint extract to it all so that it smells wonderful! I added in a few Christmas items that I picked up from the Dollar Tree, as well as items from around the house. Trevor’s been having a great time with it.
Day 4: I separated out some red and white pony beads into two bowls, and let Trevor choose a pipe cleaner to make a beaded candy cane ornament with. I knew I was pushing him with this activity given his fine motor struggles. I honestly was hoping that he’d just string a couple and not get too upset. Well, despite a lot of “I can’t”s and “It’s too hard”s, he strung 16 beads! I was so proud of him. The candy cane ornament is now hanging on our tree and it is by far my favorite ornament of all!
Day 5: Today we did a Christmas clothespin number match game. This came from another printable pack from 2 Teaching Mommies. I laminated these cards too. You are supposed to have the child clip the clothespins on the correct number at the bottom of the card, but I knew Trevor’s accuracy with clipping wasn’t quite there. So I wrote the numbers 1 – 10 on ten clothespins. So after he counted he found the clothespin with the right number and just clipped it anywhere on the card. I was really impressed with his patience during this activity! He lost his place counting a few times, but didn’t get upset. He did grumble a bit, but never freaked out (which is huge for him).
In may be a lot of added work for me, but I love how excited Trevor is every morning seeing what advent calendar activity we’re going to do today. Activity advent calendars really are so much nicer than ones where the kids get to open a cheap toy or junk food. The memories we’re making he’ll have forever! Plus I’m also happy when I get to sneak in some OT practice into our routine :). Do you do an advent calendar?