Talking Matters would like share some Christmas activities that your family can enjoy together. These activities are fun but are also a way to help your kids learn valuable language and communication skills.
Make some tree decorations. Kids love making hand made decorations for the Christmas tree and for parents, adding a few new creations to your tree each year can build a collection of family memories.Craft activities build the muscle control and eye hand coordination needed for writing. Kids also develop skills in listening, concentrating and following instructions. Craft activities are also a great opportunity to talk to your child about concepts of size, shape, colour, number and texture. They develop the ability to remember and sequence a number of steps. Your child can show their creations to family and friends and talk about how they made them to develop the ability to link ideas and use social language skills. Older children could research the items they made on-line to find out the meaning behind the Christmas symbols.
Try these ideas:
This link has a recipe for salt dough which is like play dough but can be shaped into Christmas shapes, dried and hung on the tree.
This link has all kinds of simple decorations you can print off and make out of paper including reindeers, trees, stars and angels.
This site has more complex decorations using things like beads for older children.
Making Christmas cards Making your own cards with your kids is fun and personal. It a great way to practice fine motor, phonological awareness and early literacy skills.
Young children can begin by drawing, gluing and decorating a piece of coloured paper or card then get lots of practice writing their name. Begin by encouraging them to trace over their name written by an adult in a pale colour, then tracing a dotted version of their name, then copying from a separate piece of paper. Talk about each letter and sound as they write it.
Junior primary kids can copy other family members names and talk about letters and sounds. What is the most popular beginning sound in the names in your family. Kids can have a go at writing their own simple messages. Remember to write in lower case with a capital only for the first letter in each name and for the word Christmas.
Older kids can keep their writing skills developing by filling in cards for the family and perhaps writing out envelopes or a letter to Santa. If it seems like a big task why not make it fun with gel, glitter or scented pens. You can buy large sets of these in many colours cheaply at “cheap shops”.
You can make cards with textas, stamps, glue and glitter. You can cut pictures from catalogues, wrapping paper and last years cards.
This link has some lovely ideas for cards using simple pasting for very little hands and glitter or printing for three year olds and up.
If you child loves to colour in or needs to develop fine motor control this link has printable cards ranging from simple to quite complex that kids can colour and lots of other great ideas as well.
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