Christmas is a magical time.  As we start the season of Advent and begin looking forward to Christmas, our children are full of anticipation and excitement!   When thinking about presents, we could also be thinking about how we can help the environment.  The festive season is an excellent time to consider carefully about what presents to give and to challenge ourselves to have a ‘greener’ Christmas, doing our bit to help our beautiful planet.  This year I will be encouraging the children at Pre-Prep to make some presents rather than buy them, as part of my ‘Challenge of the Holidays’.

The act of making presents helps children to really think about a gift, to be fully part of the process of giving and is guaranteed to be a winner with family and friends as they appreciate and treasure a gift they know a child has spent time making.  It is also a wonderful way to include educational and craft activities in the preparation of this exciting advent period, bringing the family together, in addition to keeping the children busy and learning, of course!

For example, children love cooking and baking and there are many excellent recipes to choose from to create some delicious presents.  Not only this, they can practise their maths during the weighing of ingredients and telling the time while the treats are in the oven!  Christmas is also the perfect opportunity to create ‘craft’ presents, helping a child explore their creativity and develop their fine-motor skills too. There are so many wonderful ideas that will bring Christmas alive, many of which do not cost the earth – for example making beeswax candles or a decorated candle holder using a jam jar.

Finally, don’t forget the labelling of these lovely presents – the opportunity to practise writing and spelling skills and if children are not yet able to write their name independently, they can still feel part of the process by adding a picture.

Let’s help our planet and at the same time make Christmas a time of learning and fun!

Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year!