December can be really busy and before you know it, all the little moments have slipped through your fingers. An antidote to the chaos of the season is to plan some fun, simple crafts/activities that will allow you, as a family, to slow down and really enjoy your time together.
Maria Montessori was all about allowing children to learn at their own pace, according to their own interests, so choose and adapt the below ideas according to the personalities in your own family—and allow yourself to get a little messy!
Make your own advent calendar: this is a serious time investment but so much fun! You could use books, small toys, puzzle pieces, stickers as count-down tokens – place them in little draws, bags or envelopes (these could be made and decorated or bought). You could change it up by getting children to gift a thought or a small present to someone else for each of the 24 days of advent? Or, they could even colour in a smaller picture that forms part of a greater whole, to mark each day that passes (the picture would all be coloured in by the last day of advent).
Christmas themed tea party: bake your favourite Christmas themed treats (mince pies, lebkuchen, Christmas cake etc.) for a family tea party. Little ones love to help out in the kitchen and it’s an excellent way to practice life skills like cutting, measuring, mixing and tidying up. Get the children to set up the tea party and encourage everyone to dress up for in a Christmas theme. Perhaps a pot of tea is in order, too.
Homemade Christmas cards: these could be drawn, painted or perhaps even designed with a drawing app on the computer! Let the children make a list of people who they’d like to send Christmas cards to. You could show them how to address an envelope (stamp and all) and they’ll enjoy popping their cards in the post box.
Perform a Christmas play: this could be a nativity extravaganza or perhaps your family’s favourite Christmas movie or story. Assign costumes, characters, music (if you have older children, get them to write a script) and have a couple of practises before the real deal. Sure, you won’t end up on the West End but the children will love it!
Paper snowflakes: all this craft requires is white paper and scissors. The beauty of snowflakes is that they can pretty much look like anything (no snowflake is the same, remember?), which is perfect for those with suspect cutting skills, and it is a great chance to practise anyway. Have a look at this quick video for easy snowflakes: