Christmas is so exciting for kids. They naturally count the days until the big day. Here's some ideas to encourage a bit more learning over this special time.
Whatever advent calendar you have, it is perfect for reinforcing addition and subtraction. Encouraging 'counting on' by finding out how many more days there are until Christmas. Support subtraction by asking your child to count backwards from 25. Reinforce this by getting them to write the sum eg) 25-6 =19 or add post it notes saying how many days until Christmas.
Advent calendars are easy for your kids to make and it gives them great practice writing and ordering numbers. Click here for some truly ingenious advent calendars - I love the muffin tray idea.
Christmas Cooking (and selling!)
There is so much Maths in baking especially when you are doubling and tripling recipes to feed the extended family.
My children have made Christmas mince pies for the last few years and sold them outside for a bit of extra Christmas shopping money. There has been so much learning from this - estimating, teamwork, making signs, writing and performing sales chants, budgeting, totalling and working with change. It has been worth the chaos in the kitchen and a great way to get the kids outside.
Christmas lists, letters and cards
Writing Santa letters are a classic thing to do at Christmas. Timeless, special and great writing practice. Encourage your child to make their letter special by adding adjectives, rhyming words or metaphors. Click here to create your own postcard for Santa from NZ post.
Kids find lists easy to write. They are short and to the point. Encourage your child to write a christmas present list and extend it by asking them to write why they want it and where they will use it. Santa is always keen to know all the details!
If you have time on your hands before Christmas, ask your child to write a card to their teacher, friends and members of the family. It is super special for Grandparents to open a letter or card on Christmas Day from their grandchildren. My kids loved doing letters last year and it was amazing how a few sheets of Christmas paper the printer lead to hours of letter writing. Click here for printable Christmas writing paper.
Increase your child's reading mileage by getting some Christmas themed books out of the public library. Take a look at this great list of 2018 Christmas picture books here. You can even train the kids to use the library system themselves. Click here for the Auckland Public Library or try googling your home town library for their borrowing system.
Try multi tasking and get your kids to order some holiday books at the same time.... as we all know that Boxing Day is coming and it's time to pack up the Christmas stuff and get to the beach!