Guest Post: 2 Holiday-Themed Activities That You Can Do With Kids At Home
Guest post by childcare professional Stephanie Manhardt.
November 1st seems to have transformed into the unofficial start of the Holiday season. This is such a magical time of the year and through the eyes of children, the magic is everywhere and everything. There are so many activities and gatherings to enjoy. On the east coast the weather doesn’t always make it easy to attend those fun activities. Luckily the magic can be done within your home.
Felt “Ice Skating”
One of my favorite activities to do with children around the age 1 ½ to about 4 is felt “ice skating”. This works on any slippery, smooth, surface within your home and is a cheap and easy activity that helps get out the cooped up energy. I love to buy felt from the dollar store and tape it on the bottom of shoes to make the perfect indoor skating shoe. All you need is felt, packing tape or sticky tack. I like to cut the felt a little bigger than the shoe to be able to tape the excess to the shoe to provide all that felt for sliding around without getting stuck. Sticky tack can be used to stick the felt on the bottom of the shoe.
Personally I love to play Christmas music and encourage my little one to glide their feet and skate. I encourage you as a parent to do the same and put the felt on your own shoes. Participating in the activity gives the parent the opportunity to model the “skating” and creates a bonding activity. It’s fun sliding around, spinning, and even falling. These types of activities are what you make of it. Being upbeat, encouraging and engaged will make felt “ice skating” fun and worthwhile. Felt “ice skating” also helps with physical development by using core strength to balance, movement of their legs, motor coordination, and exercise to rid that excess energy.
To keep those little hands busy, try freezing some toys in ice. You can use any little toys you have around, put them in ice cube trays or even in containers and freeze them. Even if the toys aren’t fully submerged, your child will enjoy trying to free the object! I would recommend this activity for 2- to 5-year olds. Two-year-olds will need more assistance and supervision. To get the objects free from containers, run the outside of the container under warm water just enough to loosen the ice. To free the toys, you can use toy tools, spoons, mini shovels, water, even salt. Invite your child to think of objects that would work and try them out.
This activity can promote your child to use trial and error, problem solving skills, and fine motor skills by using tools to free the toys. For older kids you can discuss what causes ice to melt the quickest—cold water, warm water, salt—anything that they can think of. Science is being taught in the form of a fun activity without the pressures of learning a lesson. Fun activities like this seem just like a game but really there is much being learned.
I hope these simple activities bring joy and fun into the household this holiday season. Happy holidays!