We have been celebrating Christmas ever since my son was born. Putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it has become a tradition. He also knows that early morning he will find a gift under the tree, left by Santa. But this year I thought of adding on to the Festival. I made a Christmas Exploration Bin for my pre-schooler, and we did a lot of activities with it.
Things put in the bin:
- magnetic alphabets spelling christmas
- pine cones
- small santa claus
- cotton – to mark as snow
- green colored crepe paper confetti
- real branches of a pine tree, few other leaves
1. Free exploration – I gave him 10 minutes to freely explore the bin – what all objects had been included, same objects with different textures, size, shape, color, etc. I left him alone for sometime.
2. Vocabulary building – Once he was done exploring the bin on his own, I sat down with him and he started asking questions – what is this, what is that, etc. He built upon his vocabulary – naming the new objects he found in the bin.
3. Furthermore, I told him the significance of various items in the bin e.g. stocking is hung for Santa Claus to put a gift inside for you, ornaments are for decorating the Christmas tree, Snow denotes that the festival comes in winter and that Santa Claus lives in North Pole, etc.
4. I had placed a bunch of leaves in a small basket in the Christmas Exploration Bin. I asked him to consider it as a mini Christmas tree and decorate it. Here is our mini Christmas Tree decorated by him. This activity was really fun for him.
5. We took a small break, then played a small game with the bin. I called out the name of an object in the bin, alongwith a number. e.g. pick 2 bells, pick 3 drums, etc. and the kiddo had to find them.
6. Counting – Later we took out all the Christmas tree ornaments from the bin and sorted them. The kiddo counted how many of each ornament were there. Alternatively, you may choose any One of the object and find all of those items in the bin – count how many in all.
7. I collected all Christmas related books from my kiddo’s book collection and placed them beside the Christmas Exploration Bin. We had Christmas books with songs and sounds, sticker books, and some Christmas story books.
First of all, we read stories, then played with Christmas sound books. Furthermore, we took out all the magnetic alphabets from the bin and made Christmas related words, matching with words on books, e.g., Christmas, Santa, Ginger, Elves, etc.
Finally, it was time for exploring and having fun with the sticker book.
In addition to the above activities, I played Christmas carols and song on my I-pad. Most of all, we binged on some cake too!
In conclusion, we had loads of fun doing this activity.
Try this with your little ones and do share your experience, ideas and pics bins in the comments section below for others to appreciate and get inspired with.
Merry Christmas !