The beauty of making Christmas the curriculum is that you can simplify your school and combine learning with celebrating the season. It is also very easy to combine preparing for the season with learning as well. So many of the things we do to get ready for Christmas can be valuable learning experiences for our kids.Christmas Activities for Kids: Valuable academic and life-skills to learn from Christmas preparation.

Here are eight ideas to get you started.

Christmas Activities for Kids

1. Christmas Budget

Need a budget for your Christmas purchases? Let the kids help. Discuss budgeting and how much you plan to spend on each person you are buying for. Then have them help find gifts that fit into the budget. Estimate, add, subtract, and plan as you work out your Christmas list. Don’t forget to figure discounts and taxes too for older kids.

2. Letter to Santa

Practice friendly letter writing skills while writing your annual letter to Santa. Discuss the parts of a letter and talk about what you might write in a letter. Then write the letter in your best handwriting being careful to include all parts.

3. Addressing Christmas Cards

More letter-writing practice. This time have the kids help sign the cards (name-writing practice for the younger set). Older kids can learn to address a letter and practice handwriting by helping with a few.

4. Baking Cookies 

Double that cookie recipe. How much do you need of each ingredient? For younger kids the simple act of measuring and reading a recipe is a valuable life-skill and lesson in fractions. If the recipe makes five dozen cookies how many will we have? Why do we add salt to the dough; cookies are sweet? So many math and science lessons in the kitchen. If mom doesn’t know the answer send the kids to the computer to find out why.

5. Christmas Dinner

Once again work within a budget and use sale papers to do some comparison shopping. Where is the best place to buy your ham or turkey? Should we do all our shopping at one store or would it be more cost effective to shop multiple stores? How much will our Christmas dinner be per person? Which dish costs the least per person? Which the most? Can we substitute a lower priced dish?

6. Making Gifts

Making gifts is a practical way kids can put their creativity to work this holiday season. We have an entire series with ideas of gifts kids can make for the holidays.

7. Wrapping Gifts

A life-skill instead of an academic one, gift-wrapping is nonetheless a learned skill — some would even say an art. Give a few lessons in how to wrap and then let everyone practice on a gift or two on their own. They will be thankful for the lessons one day.

8.  Home Ec

Cleaning, preparing for guests, decorating, table setting, etiquette, hospitality, baking and catering are all important skills that can be practiced during the holiday season. Don’t miss the opportunity to have kids practice those valuable life skills they will need to know before leaving your home.

What about you? How do you make holiday preparation learning experiences for your kids each year?

Yule School Videos

Every few days I will post a new, helpful video to my Ed Snapshots Facebook page about a Christmas tradition or custom. You can watch the video with your kids and then head to the Yule School Resources Page for links to activities, crafts, and learning ideas for each topic.

Use these to help you plan a simple or more elaborate Yule School in your home.

Be sure to like Ed Snapshots on Facebook and subscribe to the email list so you don’t miss a resource.

This post is part of the iHomeschool Network’s 5 Days of Christmas Series. Be sure to check out the other great posts for more fun Christmas ideas.

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Pam Barnhill

Pam Barnhill

Pam is the author of The Your Morning Basket Guide and Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace. She also is the host of three popular  podcasts -- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, Your Morning Basket, and The Homeschool Solutions Show. She lives in the Deep South with her husband and three kids, where she is the go-to lady for great curriculum recommendations or a just a pep talk on a rough day.
Pam Barnhill
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