Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Easy Christmas Activities for Toddlers

I'm only at school part time, and since my schedule is a little flexible, that leaves me open to pick up subbing hours when other teachers are out.  Today I subbed in the infant toddler room.  Whenever I'm in someone else's classroom I like to bring a few of my own activities - it's like when you were a little kid and everyone else's toys were so much more fun than your own!


I grabbed three quick, easy activities to take with me, and they kept the little ones busy all day! When I say easy, I mean really really easy - read on to see!



1. Tweezers, Ice Cube Trays, and Pom Poms.  
This is an activity that will keep little ones occupied forever, is easy to differentiate for different ages and abilities, and is super easy to re-create for different seasons.  We have Gator Grabber Tweezers, which are so much fun to use, and I pulled out Christmas ice cube trays (trees and snowmen) and red, white, and green pom poms.  The children practiced using the tweezers to pick up the pom poms, once they had this mastered we put the pom poms into the compartments in the ice cube trays.  We dumped the pom poms out of the trays, and then we tried to see how many pom poms we could fit in one compartment.



2. Christmas Tree Decorating
Little ones love Christmas trees - they have a frame of reference for them because they see them everywhere, but they don't usually have free reign to take of the ornaments, play with them, and put them back wherever they want.  I brought in a mini Christmas tree (from the dollar spot at Target!) and some shatter-proof ornaments that I picked up on clearance after Christmas.  The toddlers played with this for half an hour - there aren't very many activities that will keep a toddler busy for a half and hour! I did take a couple of minutes to make sure that I had extra large loops on each of the ornaments so that the little ones wouldn't have a hard time putting them on the tree, but other than that there was absolutely no prep for this activity.

3. Let it Snow
I don't have any pictures of this one because we were honestly having way too much fun doing it.  I did this activity for the first time my first year teaching and have kept it in my back pocket as a time filler ever since.  It is something that my students request every single day during the winter and it is so so so easy.  All you have to do is put on the song "Let it Snow" (we love the Martina McBride version) and throw cotton balls in the air to make it "snow".  It sounds so simple, but really, the most simple activities are the ones that young children love the most - and seriously, we listened to this song five times in a row, so they must've really loved it!

There are all kinds of fun Christmas activities all over the internet, but sometimes the easiest, low prep activities have the biggest impact, simple is a good thing!


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