Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tis the season...

With Christmas a couple days away, I thought I would share a portion of the many activities and lessons we've done throughout December, including fun with gingerbreads, reindeer and Nativity events.
Oaklahoma Homeschool put together this wonderful Christmas Unit Study

Homeschool Creations has this amazing resource, a Unit Study based on The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. It's fantastic. My daughter has loved playing all the games and the lessons, including practice writing Gingerbread, sorting and matching gingerbread people and the animals in the story.
The Sand Lake Library held an event we registered for to make our own gingerbread houses, but my kids had colds that morning, so we made our own. You can use graham crackers to make it easier, or follow this Gingerbread recipe from

My kindergartner enjoyed quality art time with grandma this month as they painted giant outdoor reindeer decorations made by papa in his workshop.

A to Z Kids Stuff has fun preschool reindeer activities we used to follow-up, with songs, snacks and more links. And here are some more Christmas-related worksheets for math and games.

Of course the reason for the season goes much further than gingerbreads and Rudolf. (See my recent post for fun ways we like to give back )
We have a few different Nativity scenes, one I had growing up and another I like just to change things up and teach that no one really knows what Jesus, Mary and Joseph looked like.

Also, we made our own this year with these felt templates at DLTK. My kids especially enjoyed this and it was so simple to do, it would make a great Christmas Eve activity.
DLTK also offers this free Advent Christmas story coloring book.
To accompany our Nativity studies, we were lucky enough to go on a small field trip to The Critter Barn for their Living Nativity. I was so glad to find a live Nativity during the day, and also in a heated barn. Top it off with ALL the animals they had, along with an educational room with photos from Bethlehem, it was an awesome day and wonderful learning experience. As we walked up to the donkeys, my daughter was telling my son how Mary rode a donkey and Joseph walked. Then she turned to me after seeing them and said, "Mom, I didn't know donkeys were this big!" And that, I thought to myself, is reason enough for our trip. I cherish those learning experiences!

That night we went home and watched "The Very First Noel", which is a marvelous animation narrated by Andy Griffith that follows the journey of the three wisemen. It was our first time seeing it, and it is defintely a classic for our home now. Our entire family LOVED it! I really recommend it! After the movie, my daughter was sitting on her dad's lap asking about the Christmas tree. "All the lights there on our tree," he told her, "are like all the stars in the sky. And the big star on top, that is like the one the wisemen followed to find Jesus." That night I happened to find out Currclick was giving away this nice "W is for Wisemen" themetic pack by i360, so that fit in nicely the next morning.

Needless to say, we've been busy preparing for the holiday. Making crafts and decorations, things like homemade gifts, paper snowflakes and baking cookies.

Merry Christmas!!

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