New Year Celebration! 1st week of January

This is a short week, so there won't be a bunch of activities. We still need to have some fun, learn something, and celebrate the New Year!


Counting Down to the New Year (or anything else you like!)

This is a great opportunity to learn how to count backwards! Perhaps you could count down to lunch or snack time! Use a visual of some printable numbers or fridge magnets and help them count down to various activities throughout the day!

Confetti Sorting

Cut out circles in various sizes and colors and put them in a bag or bowl. Prepare a few bowls with one of the types of confetti stuck to the outside of each one. Or (for sorting by color) provide bowls matching the colors of the confetti.  For the first round, ask them to sort by color. After counting down to 1, toss them into the air and hoop and hollar with happiness! Make it really fun and exciting! Once the confetti has settled, have the children collect the confetti. Ask them to sort their pieces into the appropriate bowl. Once they have completed this, you can start over again and this time have them sort by size. This is a little tougher and will need more direction.


New Year's Parade!

Give the kids some children's instruments or the hand made kind. Some examples would be moraccas, jingle bells, tambourines, kazoos, etc. Have a parade around the room making as much noise (music) as they can! Play some festive music while you do this.


Firework Pictures

Materials Needed:
Construction Paper
Glue (not stick, liquid)
Tempera Paint (powder)
Shaker Can with Large Holes

Create firework-like formations on the paper with the glue. Allow the children to sprinkle the tempera paint with glitter onto the paper. Shake off the excess and allow to dry.


Materials Needed:
Construction Paper
Tempera Paint
Drinking Straws

Put the tempera paint in several bowls. Poke the straw into the paint, hold straw over the paper and blow through the straw. Repeat as many times as needed. Sprinkle glitter over the paper and allow excess to fall off. Hang to dry.


P. Bear's New Year's Party: A Counting BookP. Bear's New Years Party! By Paul Owen Lewis
Available on Amazon!

A really fun book which will teach counting and the hours on the clock!

Christmas Break Boredom Busters!

For the week of Christmas, I will be taking a break from the structured "school" week. I know most kids will be home and looking for ways to get in to trouble. Here are a few ideas to keep them busy! You can also use the "Basic Free Play Ideas" I have on the blog. Have a wonderful Christmas and we will be back the Wednesday after New Year's!


Cooking, baking, decorating. These are all fun things for the kids to do. Bake some Christmas cookies, then give them a bunch of frosting and sprinkles to decorate with. I usually buy the pre-made sugar cookie dough. It is just as yummy and you get to the fun decorating part much quicker!

Dress Up & Dance

Little kids really love to dress up in special clothes. They don't even need to be going anywhere! Dress them up in something fun and then play music. Make it like a special party. Dancing in their nice clothes will be such a treat, and they will most likely wear themselves out for a really good nap!

Picture Gallery

Buy a disposable camera or two. Take them on a walk in the woods, around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights, or just to a local park and tell them to take pictures of whatever they want. Get them developed and make a gallery on a wall in your house. Help them name the pictures. When its all done, you can have a showing for their friends or family.


Tell them they are going to make a special placemat for themselves (or someone else, if they prefer). Give them colors, stickers, pictures and glue, whatever they would like. When it is all done, cover it in contact paper and use it for a special meal.

Bird Feeder

Take a big, full pinecone and spread peanut butter on it. Roll it in birdseed. String it with yarn or cloth ribbon. Hang it outside and then make it a point to watch the activity over the next few days.

Visit a Working Farm

They are pretty easy to find. Some organic milk farms, Christmas Tree farms, etc will give tours. Kids always love to see animals close up. They will also be learning at the same time! If it is cold, warm up with some hot chocolate and watch a movie (possibly farm related) cuddled in a blanket afterward. Fun day!

Drive In Movie

Make a car out of a cardboard box. Then get some snacks such as popcorn, candy, pretzels, etc. Make a place in or around the car for the snacks to sit. Turn out the lights and sit in the cars while watching a Christmas movie. So much fun.

Christmas Light Car Trip
For a really fun and magical experience, get your child all ready for bed. In their jammies and the whole thing. Place a magic ticket in their bed where they will find it when they crawl in. When they find it and wonder what it is, explain that it is a ticket to ride the Christmas Light Express tonight! Have them get bundled up in a blanket, slippers, whatever and put them in the car. Its fun to have a yummy snack and some hot cocoa ready too! Then take them on a ride around your neighborhood to see all the wonderful lights!

Cardboard Fort

Inevitably there will be pretty big boxes after the gifts are opened. Use this FREE resource and make the kids a fort! Poke holes in the ceiling and stick Christmas lights through the holes and make it even more magical...

Winter Sensory Bin

Collect some blue pom poms, cotton balls, dollar store snowflakes, little glass beads, etc and put them in a bowl or box. Allow the children to explore the items.

Winter Playdough

Use this recipe:
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 2 tbsp. of cooking oil
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ cup of salt
  • food coloring
  • Add the food coloring to the water.
  • Place all of the ingredients in a medium size or large pan.
  • Cook slowly on medium to high heat and stir until the playdough thickens.
  • Done, very simple!
Keep the finished playdough in the fridge in a plastic container, that way it lasts longer. This playdough recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make and is super simple.

BUT ADD peppermint extract instead of food coloring and then add craft glitter at the end.

Stuffed Animal Search

Hide several of their stuffed animals around the house. Have them find them. Easy and fun!