Christmas will soon be upon us, bringing with it our favorite types of activities! You can adapt most of your favorite Christmas crafts and activities into Montessori-aligned activities.
Montessori Christmas activities are a great way to keep children engaged over the holiday period. Below is a list of our 9 favorite Montessori Christmas activities!
1. Baking Christmas Cookies
Baking Christmas cookies is a favorite tradition for many families. Not only does the process fill your home with the delicious aroma of freshly baked cookies, but baking holiday cookies is a practical life activity.
Allowing your child to be involved in making, baking, and icing cookies is one of the best sensory experiences you can include them in. Cooking with children the Montessori way is extremely beneficial. Children acquire real-world life skills while engaging each of their senses.
While baking cookies, children partake in several Practical Life activities. These include:
- Scooping the flour and sugar, and cookie dough
- Spooning the smaller amounts of ingredients
- pouring the flour into the mixing bowl,
- Mixing the ingredients
- Cleaning up spills (these are inevitable!)
- Decorating the cookies
As with all things Montessori, it is best to prepare the kitchen before you invite your child to join. When children bake holiday cookies, they improve their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and sequential thinking skills.
2. Decorating the Christmas Tree
A great Montessori-aligned Christmas activity is decorating the Christmas tree! Involving children in decorating your Christmas tree helps them feel involved with the family as they create Christmas magic.
Decorating the Christmas tree is a Practical Life activity that helps children develop fine motor skills. Due to the careful manner in which they have to separate the string to place the ornaments on the tree branches. Children also develop gross motor skills if they stretch up to place an ornament on a higher branch.
Younger children may want to add decorations to the tree and remove them immediately afterward. This process is a wonderful way for them to practice fine motor skills.
3. Hand-Making Christmas Ornaments
Hand Making Christmas ornaments is a brilliant fine motor activity for children to enjoy over the holidays. There are many variations of ornament types, meaning that a variety of skills can be developed in the process.
Examples of the types of ornaments you can make are:
- Scrap ribbon Christmas tree: This is a great practical life activity because it involves lots of knot-tying. The colorful scraps of ribbon are tied around a thin stick, with a star glued on top. A fun addition to this activity is collecting the sticks on a nature walk.
- Handpainted wooden ornaments: This is great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor development. You can include smaller craft items, such as sequins and pompoms. These items require small, delicate movements to pick up and place.
- Colorful beads on a ribbon: Threading beads onto a string is a firm favorite in the Montessori environment. Threading is a Practical Life activity that helps children to hone their fine-motor skills.
- Pipe cleaner candy canes: Making candy canes to hang on the Christmas tree out of pipe cleaners is a fun and easy craft. All you need are pipe cleaners and beads!
Remember to order all of the craft materials from left to right on the tray. The purpose of this is to subconsciously prepare children for reading and writing.
4. Making Christmas Cards
Not only are Christmas card-making crafts a favorite holiday craft, but they can also easily be transformed into a Montessori Practical Life activity. Setting up a Montessori Christmas card crafting station is simple.
All you need to do is place the materials onto a tray. You can use things like glitter cardboard, cut out into the traditional Christmas card shape, or a Christmas tree. Place sequins, glitter stars, or little craft jewels, into small dishes on the tray, along with some glue to complete the tray.
5. D.I.Y Christmas Stockings
If the idea of making your own Christmas stocking sounds like a lot of hot glue gun burns (for you of course!) or an abundance of pricked fingers from sewing, not to worry. You do not have to technically make your stocking, you can decorate a premade one.
Stocking decoration is a fun way for children to express their personalities through crafting. This simple Practical Life activity is as easy to set up as the Christmas card-making craft. All you need is a tray, glue, and craft items to stick on the stocking.
6. Homemade Advent Calendar
Many families like to countdown the days until Christmas with an advent calendar. There are a variety of shop-bought calendars available, but it is always fun to make your own. A simple Montessori-aligned idea for a homemade advent calendar is folded cardboard on a string.
For this simple Advent calendar, your child is the one who makes it. Simply set out a card crafting tray as you did for the Christmas card-making craft. If your child cannot write, then that is the only part you will need to do. The idea is to fill 25 cards with fun Montessori- aligned activities.
Some examples of activities to include:
- Nature walk
- Christmas card crafting
- Baking cookies
- Dance party – Christmas edition
- Ornament making
- Visiting a friend or family member
- Planting a seed
- Giving a gift to a friend or family member
- Gift making
- Reading a Christmas book
7. Creating Cinnamon Stick Christmas Tree
The result of this activity can be used as a Christmas tree ornament or can be hung on the fireplace. Making cinnamon stick Christmas trees is a multi-sensory Practical Life activity. For this activity, children glue green pipe cleaners onto a cinnamon stick. They can then use craft gems and glitter to decorate their little tree.
Cut the pipe cleaners into various sizes so that your child can arrange the ‘tree branches’ from largest to smallest. This is a way to incorporate Mathematics into the craft. You can do this activity using craft sticks, but the addition of the cinnamon stick means that their sense of smell is engaged. Engaging in more than one sense helps children to learn.
8. Crafting Your Own Christmas Gift Wrapping Paper
Wrapping homemade or store-bought gifts in homemade wrapping paper is a special and thoughtful touch. People will delight when they hear “I made the paper myself!” from their little gift giver.
Making your wrapping paper is far easier than it sounds. All you need is some plain or colored tissue paper and the materials needed to decorate. You can decorate the paper with stickers, finger-painted dots, stamps, glitter, or craft gems.
As a bonus Practical Life activity, let your child wrap presents with their homemade wrapping paper.
9. Making Homemade Gifts and Gifting Them
Christmas is a great time to introduce your child to the social ritual of gift-giving. It is important that children can observe and partake in normal cultural activities, to help to understand their role in their community. Children will feel a great sense of accomplishment if the gift they are given is homemade by them.
Giving a homemade gift is a great combination of Cultural Studies and Practical Life activities. A great homemade gift idea is to create a photo frame out of craft sticks. Craft sticks can be painted and then glued into the shape of a photo frame. Your child can then glue craft gems, glitter, or pom poms onto the frame, ready to be wrapped and gifted.