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It is a great time to do fun and thoughtful holiday activities with kids! I love this season because it is so full of life, joy, and love! It is also a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, spend time with family, and to give thanks for our presence here on earth. What I love most of all about the holidays is GIVING to others!!
Yes, the act of giving makes others feel good but it benefits the giver as well. It boosts “neurochemical drivers of happiness” and helps to normalize levels of serotonin which promotes feelings of comfort and well-being. I wanted my son to give and experience these feelings.
Therefore, we have done the following activities below to share and receive the pleasant feelings of holiday giving!
Paint Rocks and Give as Gifts
Last Christmas, when my son was two years old, I encouraged him to give gifts to family members. We chose to find big rocks in nature and paint them. We packaged them in colorful wrapping paper and gave them away.
My son was so excited that he could give gifts! He asked me 5 consecutive days before Christmas if it was time to give the rocks away. His rocks from last year are currently displayed in my family’s homes and he is proud. This is a simple yet fun project.
- Plastic Container
- Soap Water
- Washable Paint
- Paint Brushes
- Large rocks from outside
- Newspaper or Magazine pages
- 2 Sturdy Paper Plates
- Cup of Water
- Place Newspaper on table for easy clean-up.
- Pour soap and water in plastic container to make soapy water.
- Clean rocks with soapy water and toothbrush.
- Empty soapy water and put clear water in container to rinse rocks.
- You can also run water over rocks to rinse them.
- Pour water in cup for cleaning paint brushes of previous color.
- Put napkins in paper plate #1 to dry paint brushes.
- Pour small sections of various color paints on paper plate # 2.
- Place rock on table with newspaper or magazine paper.
- Let your child be creative and paint the rock.
Count Money and Buy a Gift
When I was young, it was my job to take my parents’ loose coins and put them in a money jar. Every year, about three weeks before Christmas, I would put the pennies in wrappers. Afterwards, we took a trip to the bank to exchange the coins for dollars. I took this money and bought gifts for my mom, dad, and older brother.
There are so many lessons learned within this activity such as: counting, money recognition, sorting and the purpose of banks. Another skill I learned was awareness of others. A child may buy his dad green socks because it is his favorite color or mom a cup because she loves drinking tea in the morning.
- Money jar
- Coin wrappers (call your bank and local credit union)
- Optional: Nadex Sort and Wrap Set
- Have the child gather loose coins and put into money jar.
- Count coins and sort into money wrappers using the Nadex Sort and Wrap Set.
- Take coins to the bank or credit union and exchange for cash.
- If you don’t have enough coins to fill wrappers, then check with your local bank about the loose coin conversion policy.
- Some banks and credit unions convert coins into cash for customers only.
- Some grocery stores have coin machines but will charge a fee.
- Check out this article for more ways to convert coin into cash.
- Brainstorm with child what family members or friends they will purchase gifts for.
- Have the child list the person’s interest and favorites.
- Make a tentative list of gifts for each member or friend.
- Your list may change once you go shopping.
- Go shopping.
- Help the child the wrap gifts.
- Watch their faces light up when family members or friends open their gift!
Check out our new book available on Amazon, Teach Your Child About Money Through Play! It has over 110 Games/Activities, Tips, and Resources. The book is great for kids ages 4-10 and their parents.
- Please note that you can make other items such as hearts and rainbows.
This is a simple project to make with kids. There are two cars in the kit. Kids will enjoy the experience of decorating their cars with colorful stickers. This activity also helps with spatial awareness, creativity, and focusing. This would be a great gift for children to give to family members.
- Follow directions in the Kit for the best results.
Create Your Own Christmas Cards Artwork
Instead of buying birthday cards for family members and friends, my son likes to make his own. The personal touch of a handmade card from a child is priceless. The time and effort it takes to create a masterpiece for a loved one fills their soul with joy. The person knows the child took time to make something especially for them. So why not have this same experience during the Holidays?
My son has started to make his Holiday cards already. It is a symbol of appreciation for the person’s role in his life. Your child can create their own masterpiece and present it to family and friends. They can use crayons, stickers, markers, glitter and whatever their minds come up with to decorate this card!
Complete the Form Below to Download Holiday Card!
Below are details about the card…
- Downloadable 5 x 7in postcard
- Child can create artwork in the white rectangular space
- Ability to type in white rectangular space with computer
- Plenty of room for child to create artwork
- Child can deliver or mail postcard to recipient
Please print and cut the postcard on 100lb card stock paper for best results.
Before you download, please know:
- Simply Outrageous Youth Printables are for Personal Use Only
- You may not modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
- Please do not remove the credits/watermarks.
I hope you try some of the ideas given here. My son and I had fun doing these hands-on projects! A bonus is we learned a lot in the process!
Tell me about your holiday projects. I want to know as I am always learning!
Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write, and “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.“