Family Christmas time

This Christmas, why not take advantage of the extra time you have to spend with your children to do some of our simple activities together. The activities are designed to be lots of fun, whilst also helping them develop key communication, reading and writing skills.

A letter to Santa
What child doesn’t have a present wish-list at Christmas time?  You could spend time talking about what they might like for Christmas, as well as what they think the rest of the family or their friends would like.  Do they have ideas for presents for Grannies, Grandpas, siblings, friends, Aunties or Uncles?  Encourage your child to write their ideas down, maybe as a letter to Father Christmas.  They could then decorate the letter with colourful pictures and read it aloud to the family, maybe at a meal time.

Christmas cookery
Food plays a big part in Christmas celebrations, and your children will love helping you in the preparations.  Choose a recipe from a book together and ask them to write down the ingredients as a shopping list.  They can then find the items in the supermarket and tick them off the list.  Follow the recipe together and cook something delicious to share as a holiday treat.

Make a Christmas card
The giving and receiving of cards is a tradition at Christmas time. There are no cards more valued than hand-made ones, particularly to a special Granny, Grandpa, friend or relative. Talk with your child about what pictures are on the front of cards and what is normally written inside. Discuss possible ideas for their own card and provide as much writing support as necessary. A hand-made card is can be more special than any present!

Thank you letters
Encourage your child to write thank you letters or emails soon after Christmas, or to write their name on the bottom of a thank you note.  If they’re too little to write themselves, they could draw pictures, or make potato prints or handprints on a piece of paper or card to be sent to friends and family.

Christmas word games
All children enjoy a game of I-spy. Why not adapt this to the festive season, so that all words beginning with a certain letter or sound must be to do with Christmas. This could be done when out and about, since all the shops will be filled with Christmas decorations!

Christmas songs
As Christmas approaches, we are surrounded by Christmas-themed music, whether popular songs on the radio or carols. Sing along to these songs with your children and encourage them to listen to the words. With older children, you could even print off the lyrics and challenge them to change them to make their own song!

Planning some relaxation time
If your children are going to watch television over Christmas, try to plan and watch together, and make it an interactive experience.  Maybe your child could write a list of programmes that they would like to see, and the times they are on.  Talk with them about the programmes they are watching; you could try asking what they like best about the show, who their favourite character is, or to describe a different ending.

We wish you a very happy Christmas!

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