Family Christmas Traditions
The last couple of years we have done a 25 days of Christmas countdown full of fun festive activities. You can read last year's post here. By the end of the month though I am usually completely exhausted and a little tired of Christmas crafting. We just finished the Learning Through Adventure series in October, so it probably won't surprise you to know that we love to be on the go. I want to make sure we have time to be at home, bake cookies, and read books by the tree, but we need a balance. When I talked about the Secret to a Simple Christmas, I talked about how we cannot do it all. We have to pick and choose what makes us happy. This year we are going to focus on having fun together with a (hopefully) better balanced calendar of events out of the house and playful activities at home.
If you subscribe to our newsletter, I every week I share our plans to GO, READ, and PLAY ideas for the week. Our Christmas Traditions are no different. During the course of December we are going to do some adventure taking, book reading, and holiday themed playing, which often involves cookie baking and creating. I'll be sharing new ideas for each area in the coming weeks so keep checking back, but below are some favorites and some things we are planning to try this year.
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GO PLACES : CHRISTMAS EVENTS
*Christmas Parade. Parades are fun. We loved the Light Parade in Wisconsin and the Christmas one in Mississippi.
*Christmas Play. Christmas plays and performances are a tradition from my childhood. This year we are doing both a play and going to see the Nutcracker Ballet.
*Christmas Train Exhibit. When we lived in Madison WI this was an annual event for us. We got to see the one at the New York Botanical Gardens this year!
*Winter Lights Walk. We usually do this simple activity a few days before Christmas. It is one of our favorite mini-family adventures.
*Cajun Christmas at the Natural Science Museum. This is a new one for us. I'll share details soon.
READ GOOD BOOKS : 25 BOOKS OF CHRISTMAS
This is one of our favorite yearly traditions. We have been unwrapping a Christmas book every evening in December since our kids were two. I'm super excited to get started on our Christmas books this year! You can see all of our lists below. Each year we also do a Read + Play based on one or two of our favorite Christmas books.
*Star Bright : Book Review & 3 Star Themed Activities
PLAY EVERY DAY : CHRISTMAS THEMED PLAYING + LEARNING
This is the part of our holidays that I am going to be more relaxed about this year. The daily ornament, baking, and activity creating wore me out last year. If this is your thing though, go for it. Enjoy it. We will make at least one ornament, bake some cookies, and do a new Christmas Unit. I'm thinking The Polar Express this year. I'll share some peeks of what we're doing on Instagram. Below are some ideas we have done in the past and a couple of new ones.
*Felt Board Christmas Tree : fine motor skills / creativity
*PLAYDO Cookies : fine motor / sensory play / dramatic play
*Creating Christmas Cards : fine motor / literacy development
*Nutcracker Preschool Unit : math / literacy / gross motor and more
*Christmas Paper Link Countdown : fine motor / math
AND JUST FOR FUN: HOLIDAY MOVIE WATCHING
My husband and I started the tradition of watching a Christmas movie together every weekend during Advent. We are huge movie dorks so this was a pretty natural way for us to hang out and celebrate the season. Last year we began watching Christmas movies together as our family. Here is our list for preschoolers:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Muppet Christmas Carol
The Polar Express
Charlie Brown's Christmas
Want more Holiday Family Tradition Inspiration?
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