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!
So, to begin ... on December 1st, we commence with the Christmas Countdown. We usually have a Christmas Tree with little envelopes hanged on it, but this year we did something different ...
When I saw this cutest DIY paper plate Countdown⛄️Snowmen craft from Happy Tot Shelf, I knew we had to make one! (Check out the details on how to make it here.) And, since the glitter is trending this holiday season, we added glitter glue and glitter to its nose, and our Advent Snowman also got a pair of arms.
This can be a great counting activity for your toddler or backward counting exercise for an older child. (Also, growing up in Europe, our "Christmas" was celebrated on December 31st, so our Advent Countdown has two red dates (don't tell anyone my kids have two Christmasses), but feel free to end your countdown on December 25th.
The next exciting day in December for us is St. Nicholas Day, which is a special Advent family tradition celebrated on December 6th, which falls during the Advent season. This feast day of Saint Nicholas, who is the patron saint of children in many European and Eastern countries, is especially exciting for children as they count down the days on their Advent calendars in anticipation of a Christmas Day.
The tradition grew from the story of when St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra (currently Turkey), threw bags of dowry money, either through a window or down a chimney, into the home of an impoverished family, thus making it possible for their daughters to get married rather than being sold into slavery. As such, Nicholas, having inherited wealth from his deceased parents, conducted may acts of goodwill and charity towards the poor, especially poor children.
Similarly, to the American tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace on Christmas Eve, the old Christian tradition surrounding this day is for children, on the evening of December 5th to leave their shoes out overnight in front of the fireplace, or on the windowsill, or even outside either their bedroom door or on a porch so that St. Nicholas, who comes during the night, could fill them with special gifts. On the morning of December 6th, children who left their shoes out will find their shoes Or stockings filled with gifts and treats.
Small gifts to include in shoes/boots can be new socks or slippers (I added these "Gnome Sweet Gnome" Swedish Slipper Moccasins By Hanna for Adrian and these "Dear Deer" for Julia), small ornaments (I added a polar bear and an Angel ornaments), holiday stationary, or small toys. You may also include chocolate coins, an orange or a tangerine, or a candy cane which symbolizes a shepherd’s staff, which can be re-shaped into a bishop’s crosier. You may even want to add some religious gifts such as a rosary, saint bracelet, or prayer cards to introduce saints and history to your child. Carrying on this Advent tradition in your home is a great way to welcome the holiday season. And although St. Nicholas’ feast day traditions vary widely from country to country, they all carry the same theme of small gifts and treats left in either shoes or stockings. So, do place your shoes outside the night of December 5th and see if St. Nicholas visits you.
To continue with the Holiday spirit, below you will find Christmas-inspired activities we have done in the month of December 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.
See here "Toothpick 🌟Star 💦Trick Science Experiment For Kids (Science 🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)."
Offer a child to transfer bells from one bowl to the other using a magnet.
Also, discuss the power of magnetic force and the type of metals that are Ferromagnetic.
Ferromagnetic (or ferrimagnetic) materials include iron, nickel, cobalt, some alloys of rare-earth metals, and some naturally occurring minerals such as lodestone.
The child would transfer bells from left bowl to the right.
See here "🎄Christmas Odd & Even Math lesson (Numerals and Counters)."
See here "🎄Christmas Tree from Montessori Number Rods and Knobless Cylinders."
See here "🎅🏻Christmas Inspired • Fill The Ornament 🎄Sensory Bin."
See here "🎅🏻Christmas Inspired ⛄️Shredded Paper 🙌🏻Sensory Bin with 🔢Math Twist."
See here "No-Cook Homemade Play Dough 🎄Christmas Tree DIY Craft."
This is a fun play-dough craft Adrian made when he was three years old. We are using Art-Time Dough (though I prefer the quality of Play-Doh), different 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.
See here "🎅🏻Christmas Inspired Candy Cane Pipe Cleaner DIY Craft."
See here "Little 💙Blue Truck's 🎄Christmas • A Holiday 💎Gem 📚Book."
OUR LEARNING SPACE
Children love when their Learning Space is decorated in a spirit of the 🎄Holiday! (More here.)
- Christmas Inspired Candy Canes Pipe Cleaner Craft (read here),
- Mystery Bag (read here),
- Smelling activity,
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Activity (read here),
- Christmas Tee sewing buttons activity,
- The Mitten Book Activity (read here).
See here "Picking up a 🎄Christmas Tree at 🎅🏻 Santa's Workshop."
See here "🎅🏻 Santa Caught on 📸 Camera!"
I hope you are having a wonderful Holiday Season!