Link & Learn – Holiday Activities !

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Happy Holidays!

I would love for you to share any holiday activities about any holiday you love. It can be Christmas, Hanukkah, Canada Day, Thanksgiving, Ramadan, Easter…. you get the idea. Anything meaningful for you, not just the holidays celebrated in the coming weeks.  I am always looking for ideas for all holidays to share on Pinterest – and believe it or not Valentines posts are already being pinned… I refuse to do it yet!!

I will have some fun ideas for New Years Eve soon though !



Nativity Crafts & Activities For Kids

nativity crafts for preschool I had so much fun planning Christmas activities for my class this year. I never minded teaching in classrooms where we did not celebrate but I sure had fun this year teaching something I never have outside of Sunday School before. Here are some great ideas and nativity crafts that I used ( or wished I’d had more time to) in my classroom and a few for older kids too.  I hope you have time to squeeze one of these great nativity crafts into your playtime before Christmas.

 

Nativity Activities & Sensory Play

nativity games for kids
Nativity Scene Find & Fill Scavenger Hunt is a great way to teach the Christmas story to young kids.
This Nativity Small World from Imagination Tree lets kids play with all the figures.
This nativity activity would be great with a Sunday school class or as a family tradition the way Toddler Approved does it every year.
I love this nativity sensory bin from Golden Reflections
Sun Hats and Wellie Boots has a lovely Nativity Tree.
You might want to see how Happy Hooligans created their nativity sensory box too.

 

The Holy Family & Manger Crafts

nativity craft ideas for church
This paper bag manger from I Can Teach My Child is brilliant!
I love this nativity wreath from Rainy Day Mum
How cute is this paper roll nativity scene from Happy Hooligans?
This nativity sun catcher from Housing a Forrest is beautiful.
I did this nativity scene sun catcher with my class this year. Not only does it help teach shapes it shines in any light.
This nativity silhouette from Joyfully Weary is simple and beautiful!

Wise Men Crafts

wise men crafts for kids

I love these Paper Roll Three Kings from Red Ted Art
These Stick Wise Men from Made By Mollie’s Mom would make great puppets!
Don’t forget about the camels the three wise men came on. Red Ted Art shows us how to make the camels too.
My son loved making these Wise Men out of travel sized shampoo bottles.

 

Angel Crafts

angel crafts for kids

I love this sweet angel craft from Toddler Approved.
You can make a beautiful angel sun catcher like we did!
What’s not to love with these toilet paper roll angels from NurtureStore ?
Toddlers can have fun making this coffee filter angel too.

 

Christmas Books Without Santa

Christmas books for kids without Santa

Check out this book list filled with Christmas books without out Santa.

FREE Printable Winter Break Bucket List for Preschoolers

winter break bucket list free printable

 

School is out for my daughter tomorrow and even though I am usually full of ideas during the winter break it’s not always easy to make time for messy art projects especially if your playroom is being used as a temporary guest room.

I came up with this little winter break bucket list for my daughter and students in mind. It’s packed with simple ideas to pick and choose from. Maybe our list doesn’t fit your kids, that’s fine but I encourage you to make your own with ideas you can do for your kids to choose from. I will be baking and cooking, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning in the next few days too.  While I do that I will have my daughter choose an idea she can do close by. I also tried to include some ideas that can be done after dinner for families that aren’t together during the day.

What would you add to our list?

To print this out simply click on it and press print. You may have to click the box in the printer pop up that says “Fit the page” but that’s it!

Easy Snowflake Christmas Ornaments

snowflake craft for kids I titled this craft as and easy snowflake Christmas ornaments because that was our plan with this activity but my daughter has chosen to leave her snowflakes as decorations for her floor so it looks like it’s snowing in her room. It doesn’t matter if you turn your snowflakes into something to hang on the tree or something to facilitate pretend play like my 4 year old did, the fun is in creating them. I was just digging through my craft closet looking for shiny things to glue on these foam snowflakes when my daughter saw the highlighters. They were still in their package and if there is one thing this girl loves it’s opening packaging. Those packages that drive most people nuts, she sees as a personal challenge. All she wanted to do was open the pack but then she saw how bright they were and together we decided to use them to make easy snowflake Christmas ornaments. The results were awesome. These simple little snowflakes are so pretty and my 4 year old totally got into making them carefully dotting the foam.

Gather your materials. You will nee some white foam snowflakes ( psst! They are at Dollar Tree right now!) , highlighters in various colors and if you want to turn them into ornaments you will need some sparkly pipe cleaners. I have glitter glue in the picture but we never used it. You could but the simplicity of the colors on the white were too pretty to need any glitter. easy snowflake craft for kids

Mix one ( or more) kids, some bright and fun highlighters and snowflakes! easy snowflake art project for kids

Don’t you just love simple things? I loved watching her mutter to herself as she carefully dotted the foam. I didn’t tell her to make patterns or keep the colors symmetrical but you could use this project to teach both. I just let her go. snowflake crafts

If you are turning the snowflakes into ornaments cut a standard size pipe cleaner in two, poke a hole into the foam, and twist into a loop. snowflake christmas ornament

Or you can just keep coloring them ! We were doing this for so long I had to go downstairs and start dinner. When an activity goes that well I will find more supplies and make sure to leave them out in the playroom. Sure enough she found her way in there the next day to make more. easy snowflake ornaments

Books About Snow

All our book lists include affiliate links.

jack frost snow

 

Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara is another fantastic book that will have you aching for snow. A little boy is lonely after his friends have all gone into hibernation for the winter when Jack Frost shows up. They frolic and play exploring all the fun that winter has to offer friends but when the first signs of spring arrive Jack is gone. The illustrations are perfectly simple and will suck you into a wintery world that you won’t want to leave. My kids love this book and after one reading at the library we bought our own copy.

snowbots

Snowbots by Aaron Reynolds is funky, fun , and full of really awesome rhymes. The robot reality is a sweet one and my kids totally dug this book. We were picking favorite robots in the first few pages and loving the book more and more as we read it. The story is a familiar one but with the substitution of robots instead of humans basic snow day things get more interesting. My son loved the snowball fight and my daughter was all over the pink robot. I loved how they had cereal with gasoline and an oil bath. A huge hit with all of us.

White Snow Bright Snow

White Snow, Bright Snowby Alvin Tresselt is a total throw back to another time and it’s awesome. I love books that haven’t been updated because they offer readers a chance to go back in time and get a glimpse of the past. The story is about a town expecting a snow storm and how it’s different residents prepare and deal with it. The animals , adults , and kids all go about it very differently. The character that stood out for me was the policeman’s wife who doted on her husband and cared for his cold with a mustard plaster. I told you it was a total throw back! I didn’t know they still used mustard plasters in the 40s but that’s why these books are such treasures for kids and parents alike.

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Need more snow books? Check out our full list here!

 

 

Easy Candy Cane Craft

candy cane craft for kids These tape candy canes are my Christmas version of our insanely popular Tape Mummy. After a long day at preschool my daughter still wanted to make some crafts but I didn’t want to set her up for a meltdown. Instead I grabbed a few simple things and let her create. There is no waiting for glue to dry so these easy candy cane crafts are a great choice for class parties on the last day of school or as a 2nd activity at a cookie decorating party. They are so simple you can do it anywhere.

Gather your materials. You will need some red paper ( card stock would be perfect but all we had was flimsy construction paper… still worked out fine!), some tape in whatever colors you have, a pencil, and scissors. That’s it!easy candy cane craft for kids

Start by drawing a candy cane on your red paper. My daughter wanted to make a bunch so we made them using only half a sheet per candy cane. As you can see my candy canes are far from perfect and I think that’s a good thing. If you want your kids to try to create you have to make it accessible. If we reject ourselves when we are less than perfect our kids will learn from our example. I don’t want to just be sloppy but I want to be accepting of my own efforts so they are not afraid to try.candy cane craft for children

Invite your candy cane creators to the table and let them loose with tape!candy cane craft for kids

Some of our tape ( ours is a mix of masking, washi, and foil tape) was really hard to tear off. I started to reach over and just do it for her and she very rightly told me to stop that she can do it. It’s funny I don’t intervene like that with students, I always wait to be asked for help ( unless there is a danger) but with my own kids I guess I go auto pilot. I need to remember not to.

Pop the tape on!candy cane crafts

And on.

candy cane craft for kids

Or not. If your child is happy with one piece that is rad. I will say ” Are you finished with this masterpiece?” to be sure but if your child is sure, resist the urge to add more on to their art.

When it’s all taped down, cut it out.

cut out candy cane craft

See how it magically turns into a candy cane? Well maybe not magic, but my daughter loved it!simple candy cane craft

I told you they are simple but I think this time of year this is what you need. Something festive but FAST that doesn’t really make any mess.

Need more fast activities for the holidays? Here are some toddler activities to keep them engaged for a few minutes at a time.

screen free holiday activities