Don’t rush to recycle Christmas boxes and large amounts of wrapping paper this year!
Give the kids some time to play it whilst giving you rest in return – much needed after the busy festive season!
Let them run, learn and develop their skills whilst soaking up the last of the Christmas fun.
1. Unwrapping Presents
There is always room for training where Christmas gifts are concerned. This game is a wonderful way for your youngest one to develop their fine motor skills and to teach them how to use their little fingers expertly! Wrap several medium-sized toys with leftovers of the wrapping paper and there you go … Get your few minutes of metime! Show him how to open one and comment on what you are doing: ‘We’re taking this corner and pulling it like this, see?’ Then encourage him to unwrap the others.
So, why don’t you keep your little one busy with an important job to give you time to do your own thing. Use whatever objects you have to hand for this game. Show your child how build a tower from blocks or small cardboard boxes, counting them and naming the colour; you can stack kitchen pots and pans; you can put small soft toys or small balls into various objects to see where they fit and where they don’t.
This is a great game for introducing the concept of size: ‘Look, this toy can fit in this box. It’s a big box. Uh-oh, it can’t fit into this pan; the pan’s too small!’ After you’ve shown your child this game several times, encourage them to play independently. This is also great to keep kids occupied in the kitchen – just give your little one(s) safe utensils like wooden spoons and plastic boxes whilst you get on with whatever you are doing! If you’re feeling creative, you can reinforce the logic with simple rhythm and words, like this: ‘Up Up Up, In In In, Red, Red, Red.’ You get the picture!
Teaching children responsible habits can be lots of fun for them as it makes them feel more grown up, and hopefully you’ll get a hand with tidying up the house!
Take a medium sized box and cut a large hole at the top big enough to drop in papers and any other items to be recycled. Let your child paint or colour the box. They could use green like a standard recycling bin, but you can let them be as creative as they like! Mum, it’s also your chance to show off your art skills by helping your little one draw a recycling symbol on the box.
Show your child what kind of things can be recycled and let them drop them into the box. You definitely have got plenty of wrap paper, post cards that need to get recycled. So here you go!
You don’t need to understand the concept of money to start a little piggy-bank! Make a large hole in a cardboard box and let your little one drop his toys into the box. When it’s full, open the box and take the toys out one after another, counting and naming them. You could use an empty wet wipes box with a readymade hole on the top and give your child some smaller objects to drop inside the box. I your little one is creative, then why not encourage them to draw on the box with pretty or interesting designs – soon making it a little keepsake!
If you’ve just had a baby and trying to balance an older sibling(s) with the post-pregnancy period, then this is great to keep them occupied whilst you breastfeed, grab some food or grab 5 Minutes of FitMama at home!
Does your child love putting letters in the post box? Then why not make them their very own one at home!
Take an empty cereal box and glue or sellotape the bottom edge shut. Leave the top edge easy to open so you can take out anything that’s been posted when it gets full up. Let your child get creative and paint and decorate the box however they like! When their decorations are done and dry, cut a slot on the front of the box wide enough to post through papers or cards. Once the post box is done you have a great reason to encourage your child to write post cards or do some drawings or paintings that they can drop into the box.
Hopefully the post box will keep them busy for a while with all the huge amount of Xmas post cards you’ve got and you can find 5 minutes for some well-deserved me time or at least a sit down with your favourite drink!
They all fancy a really active game sometimes, so why not offer them a football or basketball to play with using …paperballs! Get your wrap paper left from Christmas gifts.
Have a look in your recycling papers to find any paper you can use to make paper balls. Now, offer children to throw them one by one into the box – any container will do. It can be on a floor or on a sofa – an imitation of real basketball. Or you can put out a chair and pretend it’s a football game! So, come on! let’s get this ball to score! As other options – they can use toilet rolls and play golf into the same chair – hole in one!
7.Target Practice (aka tidying the toys)
Time to tidy up the room?
Children love throwing things, so why not turn throwing into a sport? Put 5 to 10 soft toys around the room, and take turns with children to try and throw them into a cardboard box. Count your score’s, saying: ‘One toy’s in the box! Two toys are in the box! Well done, Johnny!’ and do this until all the toys are in the box, you’ll be sure to enjoy getting help with the tidying of the toys!
You could turn this into a mini exercise for yourself, by doing some deep squats as you throw or pick up the toys! Pop into FitMama App for 5 minutes if you need some encouragement!
Take the opportunity of having plenty of spare boxes to enhance your kids early learning skills by taking care of someone which can be precious and rewarding.
Give your child a big box to make a house for their toys. Help your child to make holes for a windows and a door. They can use any other toy plates or flat toys they have to lay across the floor to make a “carpet”. Encourage your child to be creative; make this game really imaginative, for example there could be two houses for 2 toy families & visit each other. And if it’s a crafty day – let your child colour the house from inside and outside as fun as they can make it for their toys. With any luck, this may take a while and give you a chance to enjoy your time off!
Oh and it may be a good idea to put the toys down for a sleep or set them up so they can eat lunch if you need to move to the next plan for the day with your little one.
9.Measuring Sizes of Boxes
This is an amazing game to get the kids engaged with a quiet activity – perfect if you need to wind down their energy before bedtime!
Give your child a soft measuring tape and show them how to begin measuring the Christmas boxes – input the sizes into the table yourself or let the children do this if they know their numbers. Then suggest they arrange the boxes by size, by height or length. The older siblings can measure the volume of the boxes – certain to help with their school work at the same time!
Take the largest sized box and make few holes in it to look like windows and a door. Yes – it is a house! Let your little one put small pillows or covers inside their new house for more comfort – and toys of course. Suggest to your child they paint it – that might win you some more time and let your child build the house of their dreams! Engaging brothers and sisters into this game always make the house happier too.
Why not decorate it as Santa’s house in the North Pole?!
Plenty of Xmas cards? Let your little one play with them.
Give your child a bag to put across their shoulders and a hat then spread out their toys all over the house because they’ll all be waiting for the Christmas cards. Mark them with the name of the toy or just say to your child “this letter goes to the Teddy Bear who lives on the second shelf”. Then relax on a sofa mum and one by one your child will deliver all the cards to all the toys in their different homes.
You can add a touch of the reading and writing skills development during this game. If your child has started reading, you can let him read the names of the toys with your help. Or even write them down on the envelopes!
12.Golf with paper
Got a lot of smashed wrap paper? Give your little one a spare toilet roll or a longer size roll. Make a few paper balls out of the wrap paper if you do not have small size rubber balls and here we go! It is so competitive trying to push the ball made of toilet roll into the hole. You could help them aim for a space under the chair, an empty box turned on its side, a space below the sofa – or generally any space with some limits by it’s sides.
Children love tearing things, so why not turn tearing into a game for them? Take wrapping paper leftover from Christmas gifts, and slowly tear one piece apart in front of your baby. Say: “Tearing, tearing, tearing it all up!” Then throw the bits of paper up and say: “Whoosh, it’s snowing!” Then take the next piece, put into your baby’s hands and help them tear it apart, repeating the comments.
This is a great stress-buster for you too Mum, so enjoy it!
We hope you enjoyed 13 Early Learning Games with Boxes & Wrapping Paper to keep the kids busy this Christmas holidays!