Well, the school holidays have begun and Christmas is just around the corner. It’s officially day two of Queensland holidays and only about 100 degrees outside! So other than cooling off in the pool, we really haven’t been doing too much. We had our hearts set on doing something ‘festive’, and baking was not an option (no need to further increase the temperature).
So we found something simple (messy! but simple). Reindeer food. This is such a great activity. Environmentally friendly, full of imagination, and great for building on children’s fine motor skills.
The first part of our activity required us to venture out into the heat. We quickly gathered what we needed…
- leaves (as many different colours as we could find, some were old and crunchy, some were green and fresh)
- Grass (it’s a bit of a mission finding green grass in this drought, look in the shady spots!)
- Gum nuts (lucky for us the wind had bought down a large branch covered in these little nuts, perfect!)
Back inside we placed our finds and gathered up some…
- Child friendly scissors
- The most Christmassy hole puch we had… a star! A circle would be fine too.
- A bowl to put our food into.
- Some cardboard to make a cone holder.
Now for the fun part… I watched as my son chopped the grass into the bowl. It was a good opportunity to help correct scissor skills and remind him to cut away from his body. Next I helped him pull the gum nuts away from the branch and sprinkle them into the bowl, there were so many. Carter usually looses interest quickly, I was very impressed that he was still so focused.
And finally. time for the star punching, this part was the “most fun” apparently. Great for fine motor skills, it took lots of focus to line the leaf up, and then coordination and use of strength was needed to push and puncture the leaf. It kept him amused for a good hour or so, experimenting as he went. We talked about the leaves; the beautiful shape of the Maple leaf, and the strong smell of the Eucalyptus. It reminded me how much I love holidays, it’s so nice to slow down and find time to actually do these things together.
We mixed all the ‘ingredients’ together in a bowl and then experimented with how we could present them to the reindeer… Carter was so proud of the stars he’d stamped that he collected some in a jar to keep. He then helped me make a paper cone to hold the remaining reindeer food.
Technically it’s not Christmas Eve here… so we decided our elf could deliver the food to the North Pole and we could make sure the Reindeer like their treat. Check out this adorable note Carter left for our elf.
Too cute! I’m sure we’ll get the tick of approval from the reindeer. So we will definitely be making more come Christmas Eve.