Whoosh – it’s Christmas! I love this time of year for SO many reasons, including:
- decorating my tree. My tree is full of memories from over the years with handmade decorations, photos of loved ones and decorations from past pupils.
- making wreaths (see photo) and painting my own cards
- decorating the house (and garden)
- baking Christmas cakes and enjoying the smell of cinnamon and ginger in the house
- BUT MOST of all I love spending time with my family and slowing down the day to day pace of normal life!
In this latest blog, I have made some suggestions of ways to explore Christmas this season from places to visit, stories to read and craft/ messy experiences to have and share! Enjoy and have fun!
Local places to enjoy Christmas over the festive period
- Take a stroll / dance around the gardens of Nymans to find all the froggies from the books by Quentin Blake. You could also check out the craft activities too!
- Enjoy Standen at twilight this Christmas time or maybe enjoy a festive story-time in the Woodland Grotto. You could even take part in the Boxing day dog walk – there is a prize for the best dressed dog!
- Boxing day walks – why not take a stroll on Boxing day to blow the cobwebs away. Maybe a walk by the sea with a warm hot chocolate at the end or maybe a blustery walk on the South Downs?
- Visit any local garden centre… children love seeing all the twinkling lights!
Seasonal books to enjoy with your little ones
There really is nothing better than snuggling up with a gorgeous Christmas book to make you feel all festive and Christmassy! There are LOADS of great suggestions on Christmas themed books on everyday-reading.com. Check out the blog to see loads of different ideas of the perfect book from board books to Christmas countdowns.
Christmas Craft projects
- Make pebble place settings for the Christmas table! Check out the pebbles below from “Family Days… Tried and Tested.”
- Use salt dough to make decorations for your Christmas tree or presents for family members. All you need is salt, water and flour.
- Make your own wrapping paper. You could use festive cookie cutters… dip them in paint and print on brown paper. OR use your child’s hand or finger prints to create some festive images. See below!
- Make a Christmas tree using a pine cone! Paint a pine cone green, add pom poms and a cork for the tree stump.
- Collect some sticks on a winter walk and then glue them to make a Christmas tree shape. Then using green wool your child can wrap the wool around and then add some sparkle, pom poms or buttons for decorations.
- Create your own cards – hand and foot prints are a winner for creating some fantastic festive themed designs!
Messy Christmas ideas
- Make snow dough using oil and plain flour. Then place in a tray with some little sticks to set up… “Do you want to build a snowman?” This can be very messy so remember a plastic sheet or two!
- Dye some rice green or red and make different Christmas themed shapes in a large tray e.g. Santa hat, Christmas tree, stocking.
- Dip brussel sprouts or jingle bells in paint and roll them down a tube onto paper to see their pathways OR place some paper in a tray and roll them around. You could then cut the paper into festive shapes and attach string to hang on your tree.
- Leave a small tree in your house with a box of tinsel, baubles and other decorations in and allow your children to decorate and dismantle to their hearts content!
- Go on a Christmas light hunt – make a list of all the different Christmas objects you might see as you walk (or drive) around your village or town e.g. Santa, Reindeer, Holly, Icicles. Enjoy spotting them and ticking them off your list!
- Make Reindeer biscuits using a gingerbread man cutter – see image below!
- Enjoy playing games together – cut up old Christmas cards and hide them around the house. Give one piece of each card to each family member and they have to search for all the other bits of their puzzle. This is one of our favourite games AND it’s not expensive!
- Make reindeer food to put out on Christmas Eve. Try mixing some of the following to create a tasty snack -porridge oats,raisins, rabbit or guinea pig food and of course some magical sparkle (normally rainbow dyed rice).
- and obviously HAVE LOTS OF FUN!