Festive Fun for Under Fives!
Fun activities for keeping your little ones happy this season.
We know how difficult it can be to keep young children occupied during the winter months, when you find yourselves stuck inside more often than not and you are trying to prepare for the mayhem of Christmas. Here are some easy and fun activities for you to try to fill up a rainy afternoon. Try setting the scene in a cosy area with festive music and twinkly lights to make your one to one time extra special.
Easy Peasy Sparkly Play Dough
You will need: 6 cups of Plain Flour, 6 cups of table salt, 3 cups of warm water, 6 tablespoons of oil, wooden spoon, large mixing bowl, food colouring, glitter and festive dough cutters.
Make this simple, sparkly dough with your child and get messy together!
- Mix together the glitter, salt and flour in the bowl.
- Make a well in the centre and add the cooking oil.
- Add the water slowly and stir continuously until you have soft, pliable dough.
- Knead in the food colouring.
This dough will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. If you would like to keep the dough shapes your child has made (perhaps to make into baubles for a lovely, personalised gift for grandparents?), let them dry in the air for a couple of days.
Festive Foods and Gifts
Another fun, messy activity for you and your child to while away an afternoon with is festive baking. Children really love the experience of making something with their hands, watching it transform in the oven and especially eating the yummy treats they have made later! Again, you could present extra treats to friends and family in a pretty gift box (if you can resist eating them up yourselves!). Here’s an easy recipe for you to try:
You will need: 200g of icing sugar, ½ teaspoon of peppermint essence, 3-4 tablespoons of water, large spoon, mixing bowl.
Show your child how the different steps of this recipe work and then let them do it themselves- it’s really easy!
- Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl
- Stir in the water and peppermint essence to make a very stiff paste.
- Roll into small balls and squash slightly
- Refrigerate for one hour whilst you dance around to silly Christmas songs!
- Eat and enjoy!
Finger Paint Christmas Tree Cards
It is always nice to receive a handmade Christmas card from a dear child and you and your child will have lots of fun making them!
You will need: powder paint in green, large, colourful sequins, card, p.v.a children’s glue, a glue pot and a spreader.
- Make up the green paint and help your child to paint one of their palms using plenty of paint.
- Ask your child to make three hand-prints at the bottom of the card, two above these and one above these in a triangle formation (or Christmas tree shape!)
- Allow the paint to dry while your child chooses some sequins. These will be the baubles on the tree.
- When the paint is dry, ask your child to glue the sequins and place them on the hand-print tree. They can then make trails on the tree with the glue and sprinkle with glitter to make tinsel.
- Adding a photo of your child making the card is a nice touch.
Remember, it is the time spent with your child and the love and interaction that is important, not the end product. Just have fun!
Advice from Michelle Smith BA Hons Early Years Education QTS EYPS and Karen Hazelden R.G.N.R.M, manager and owner of Triangle House Nursery.