Much of the enjoyment of Christmas comes from trying something new and much of it comes from doing the same activities each year. Because children develop and change so quickly from year to year, even an activity like helping to wrap gifts can be old and new at the same time, and the fun and learning helps with kindergarten readiness. Here is a post from last year about all the fun and learning that can happen when kids “help” us wrap presents:
- colors, sizes, and shapes: Wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, and even bags, come in all different colors. Items to be wrapped may be different shapes and sizes.
- lots of language: Just think of all the language used to explain, give instructions, talk about the different possibilities, and anticipate what people might say when they open their gifts. There will lots of questions, too, like where is the tape? How can it keep disappearing?
- sequencing: Can a bow go on first? No, the paper goes on first. This is certainly hands-on learning about what has to come first, and doing steps in order.
- math concepts: Besides sizes and shapes, and counting, there are ideas like length and width, and skills like comparing and estimating. Will this present fit in this box or is it bigger than the box?
- prewriting and prereading: Every present needs a tag. Big hands can lightly print the names and little hands might enjoy going over the letters with markers. If your child is interested, say the names of some of the letters. Are there any names that start with the same ones? This is a super activity for reinforcing the idea that print carries a message.
- participating and working together: Kids love to help and to be involved. Their self-esteem is nourished when they feel they have something to contribute.
There’s no doubt the brain is making connections. The concentration on the faces of these children is so obvious that we can almost see and hear the thinking. Younger children will not be able to do as much as older ones, but they can all share in the fun and learning with this Christmas activity. Do you have some ways that kids can help wrap it up?
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