Christmas Countdown Week 3 (and a bit)

I guess I am a bit late with this blog post as the big day is now over, but I thought I’d share anyway, in case you want to try any of the activities in that strange limbo land between Christmas and New Year, and to look back at next year.

glass candle holder Xmas sensory tub magic key

Glass jar candle holder

A very simple craft to make, and achievable for toddlers and preschoolers from about 2 yrs and up, but looks surprisingly good!  All you need is a clean glass jar big enough to hold a tealight candle (we used a small nutella jar because it doesn’t have a screw top so it looks nicer), craft glue, tissue paper, sequins and glitter.  Tear or cut the tissue paper into smallish pieces.  Paint the jar all over with craft glue and stick the tissue paper.  Try to cover the whole jar with one layer of tissue (more than one layer makes it harder to see the candle light).  Paint again over the top of the tissue paper with craft glue, this sticks down any loose corners.  Then add sequins and glitter as desired.  I’ll be honest, K enjoyed tearing up the tissue paper and sprinkling on the glitter, but was less interested in the rest so this was a team effort!  Our is a present for grandma, along with a nice scented candle to go inside.  They also make a nice table decoration for Christmas or for the winter solstice.

Christmas themed sensory play tub

I am a huge fan of sensory tubs, as is my little girl, and so I decided to put together a Christmas themed tub using bits and bobs from around the house.  I had some blue coloured rice that I made in the summer so I started with that, and then added lots of blue, white and silver accessories to make it very wintery!  I added: tinsel, bows, mini baubles, lolly sticks, pompoms, snowflake sequins, glass pebbles and a snowflake tree decoration.  I also included some different sizes and shapes of plastic pots (yogurt pots etc) and a scoop.  The tub in the picture was not quite big enough for sensory play, so I’ve now transferred everything into an under-bed storage tub which is perfect, and added some pudding rice that had been hiding in the back of the kitchen cupboard and was well past its use-by date. Sensory play is brilliant for young children because it is completely open ended, so they can take whatever they need from it.  Some of the things K likes to do include: scooping and pouring games (great for maths and learning about capacity), pretend cooking, putting her feet in for a full sensory experience, adding small toys like dolls or diggers and making up stories with them.

Magic key

As we don’t have a chimney I thought it would be fun to make our own ‘magic’ key for Santa to let himself in on Christmas Eve.  I cut out a key shape from a cardboard box, which we then painted with gold acrylic paint and decorated with, you guessed it, sequins and glitter.  We hung it on the front door on Christmas Eve before K went to bed and it is now a tree decoration.

Other non-crafty, Christmassy things we have done in the run-up to Christmas include:

  • Making homemade mince pies
  • 2 Christmas parties, preschool and our local natural parenting group.
  • Going to see a children’s show at our local theatre called Penguin, which was billed as a Christmas show but I’m not convinced!  Still K enjoyed it which is the main thing, she also loves the book and even had us all acting it out today!
  • Christmas lunches with friends
  • Christmas face paints
  • Snuggling up in our PJs to watch Polar Express on Christmas Eve with hot chocolate and popcorn.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and your little ones had a magical time!

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