The little man and I prepared for Australia Day with a few activities and facts about Australian landmarks, icons, animals, plants and foods.
Happy Australia Day!
Our toddler and preschooler friendly New Year’s Eve party includes party poppers, paper garlands, glow sticks, balloons, bubbles, dress up props, sparklers and a homemade pineapple piñata (inspired by these and many others on the site).
I have made scratch off cards with different activities written underneath, so we will scratch one off at a time throughout the evening. (Instructions for making scratch off cards are here. If I do this again I’d use a darker colour than yellow.)
Our activities include:
– Pineapple time match (matching analogue time, digital time and words)
– Make pineapple lolly bags
– Make disco balls
– Bubble wrap dancing (not pictured)
– What’s the Time Mr Wolf? (not pictured)
– Photos with props and dress-ups (not pictured)
– Eat cake (not pictured)
– Piñata (not pictured)
– Sing, “Every Tickety Tock” by Colin Buchanan and talk about God’s control of all things (not pictured)
– Calendar match (matching the name of the month, its number and some photos of activities we did during that month in 2014. Not pictured)
– 2014 review (we will write down things like our memories, favourite food and what we would like to be when we grow up to keep and look back at later. There are plenty of these types of questionnaires such as here. Not pictured.)
– Prayers for 2015 (not pictured)
Happy New Year!
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
~ Luke 2:8-14 (NIV)
Have a very happy Christmas!
All four themes are about all the celebrations we have at Christmastime because it is such an important time.
– Birthday party for Jesus with bunting, streamers, balloons, blowers, hats and we will bake a cake together
– Making bon bons/crackers (we chose to use a wind-up toy for each bon bon so we can race them on Christmas day. Jokes from here)
– Learning fractions with cardboard cakes
– Colour matching
– Guess and count contents of baubles
– Bell and pipe cleaner wreath (idea from here)
– Decorations sensory tub
– Jar to fill with snow and trees
– Threading Christmas tree (idea from here)
– Wooden Christmas trees to decorate
– Finding and counting decorations on a tree
– Filling Christmas tree ornaments
– Velcro ornaments for a Christmas tree (idea from here)
– Pretend Christmas lunch (idea from here)
– Matching gingerbread word families
– Felt cookie and icing set
– Building gingerbread houses
– Gingerbread playdough (not pictured)
– Baking cookies (not pictured)
We will look at the messages the angels brought and focus on their rejoicing at that good news.
– Angel pancakes (not pictured)
– Decorating polystyrene angels
– Painting with angel cookie cutters as stamps
– Pom pom and wooden peg angels (idea from these fairies)
– Angel wing match (matching pairs of words with the same silent letter – k, h, w, b, g and t)
Linked to our theme of angels, we will enjoy the music of Christmas carols as well as the message they tell.
– Wooden spoon carolers, which we will both make and use as puppets
– Matching lyrics of carols
– Salt tray with sheet music of carols underneath
– Singing together
SHARING THE GOOD NEWS
Again this theme is linked to angels – just as they shared the good news we also want to share it. I have chosen to incorporate bells into this theme as they bring attention to those sharing the good news. I also want to reinforce and have the little man retell the Christmas story in different ways so that he is proficient at sharing it.
– Christmas bingo
– Bell Hershey kisses memory. We have two versions, one using pictures and another using lower and uppercase letters (idea from here)
– Bell scoop transfer (idea from this bauble transfer)
– Storybook prompts for the little man to write his own Christmas story
Once again the shepherds shared the good news, and glorified and praised God for what they saw, so we will focus on doing the same.
– Sheep and shepherd tic-tac-toe
– Multiplication by counting groups of stars, angels, sheep and shepherds
– Paper bag sheep with painted wool and details to glue on
– Marshmallow sheep (idea from here)
– Paper people sheep and shepherds to decorate
The wise men were joyful and worshipped Jesus, giving him gifts, so we will encourage each other in how we can worship Jesus also.
– Wise men chalkboard silhouettes to draw on
– Cut and paste wise men craft
– Felt crowns to decorate
– More and less than with gold coins
– Wise men bottles with stars (we have one bigger one to represent the star that the wise men followed), glitter, water and oil (idea from here, under science activities)
– Explanation of the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (not pictured)
This theme is linked to the wise men and the star that they followed.
– Crayon resist star painting
– Star search and find (there are chocolate stars hidden in with the Hershey kisses)
– Wool wrapped star ornaments
– Star cinnamon ornaments (not pictured)
– Star sandwich (not pictured)
GIFTS AND KINDNESS
This theme is also linked to the wise men and we will use it to encourage each other to be selfless and kind toward others.
– Gift-wrapping station (idea from here)
– Wrapping candy using cut out paper to look like a wise man (we have used small boxes of skittles)
– Washi tape tree cards, both to make and to write in and give to others (inspired by these cards)
– Small presents for some of the little man’s friends
– Painting presents using a square stamp and ribbons
– Coming up with ways to be kind (not pictured)
We will be explaining advent itself, the anticipation, preparation for and countdown to the celebration of the coming of Jesus.
– Handprint wreaths (inspired by this but there are plenty of instructions elsewhere also)
– Finishing patterns on wreaths using holly leaves and berries
– Ways to make the number 24 (using 24 red balls and 24 pipe cleaners)
MARY AND JOSEPH
We will look at Mary and Joseph, their journey to Bethlehem and their obedience to God’s plan for them.
– Journey to Bethlehem game, reading words with ‘s’ and ‘sh’ sounds
– Shadow puppets
– Roll and create a felt picture of Mary and Joseph’s journey
– Mary’s song and praising God
JESUS AND THE NATIVITY
This theme will focus on the birth of Jesus.
– Matchbox manger (inspired by this)
– Matching words and pictures
– Learning to draw a nativity scene, each page of the book builds one more element into the scene (idea from here)
– Cut and paste nativity scene
JESUS, LIGHT OF THE WORLD
– Light of the world find-a-word
– Silhouette nativity scene candle holders (I have used black contact on jars and battery operated tea lights)
– Star and manger light garland (we will place a light from the string of lights through each of the stars and manger)
– Torch projections of star, candle and manger
– Light of the world verses
For advent this year I wanted to make sure our focus is on Jesus, his birth and his purpose in coming as a man so I have chosen to make the little men some themed activities. I came up with 15 themes, listed below, and the other days in the advent season I have Christmas books for them to open, most of which are retellings of the Christmas story.
Our themes will be:
– Mary and Joseph
– Jesus and the nativity
– Jesus, light of the world
– Sharing the good news
– Wise men
– Gifts and kindness