With the Festive Season approaching, there is no better time to get the kids involved and let them explore their creative sides. It's the perfect time to get cutting, sticking and gluing in anticipation of the big day.
DIY Advent CalendarsWhy not bake your own sweet treats and fill your advent calendar with homemade shortbread shapes? Beat together butter and sugar and stir in around 180g of plain flour as you go. Roll it out on the work surface and use a cookie cutter to style into shapes of your choice. Decorate with sprinkles and royal icing in festive colors like vibrant reds, greens and even purples. Store your shortbread in a cool, dry place and top up your stocking every few days to keep your biscuits as fresh as possible.
Stitch Your Own StockingIf your children are a little older, making your own Christmas stocking from scratch is really satisfying. The stocking can be passed down to younger children and stored as a keepsake for years to come. Pop down to your nearest craft store and buy some felt, stick on sequins, glitter glue and pom poms. A simple running stitch should hold it together perfectly. Double up the fabric, cut out your pattern and stitch your socks shapes together around the edges.
Creative Christmas Tree DecorationsWhy not make some Christmas Tree decorations? It's a great activity for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. Opt for stars, springs of holly, snowflakes, Christmas puddings, candy canes and Christmas crackers. Buy some card in various colors from your local craft shop (or even your local supermarket) and use colored pens and glitter to decorate them. Use a hole-punch to create a small opening and tie a piece of ordinary household string in a loop. They’ll look terrific hanging up among the Christmas tree lights.
At Home NativityEncouraging children to act out their own nativity teaches them about the Christian origins of Christmas whilst letting them hand craft everything and having them act it out using props. Appoint someone as narrator (you can easily find a nativity script online.) You only need around five actors (these can be interchangeable) to act out the whole play, it's educational and it's fun!
Images by cowley_mail used under Creative Commons license
Carol SingingHaving an hour of free time from the school day to spend some time exploring their musical talents is can be a good outlet for stress. You can print off free sheet music online and it's easy to download sing-a-long soundtracks, or you can pick up CDs and tapes from charity shops. Dot them around the house so you and the kids can burst into song in any room.
Before you get started, why not make a mood board and plan your activities throughout the month of December. It will get the kids excited about the festive season and is a useful planner to build into day to day teaching either as a parent or as an education specialist.