Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to infuse your setting with life and celebration. The festive season can be a magical time for our children if we choose to ‘let it in’, instead of closing the door to it.
Do we really need 'busy work'?
To offer Christmas to our children we need to do more than put out colouring sheets, or add some green and red elements to our set up. We urge you to sieve all the contrived ‘busy work’, and carbon copy crafts out of your programme and replace them with more authentic, open ended, and child led offerings.
Rather than providing Christmas tree shapes with pom poms, refresh your collage area with beautiful items for children to choose when, what, how, and who to create for. Have wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, cards or card making materials freely available.
Spontaneous gifts have so much more meaning than those set and ‘supervised’ by an adult.
Home-i-fy your Christmas environment
Prepare the environment beautifully. Set your standards - aim for nice department store, rather than a $2 shop look. Better yet, think of your home, and creating a beautiful homely setting.
At home, we take care in deciding what to adorn our space with. We need to do the same with our ECE settings. Think treasures, not tacky, ornamental and rustic, not just cheap and “it will do”. A meaningful environment offers a feast for the eyes and the soul, and keeps our Christmas spirit alive.
We can home-i-fy our Christmas too by engaging in the everyday festive tasks that we were exposed to as little people pottering at home. How about writing your own cards in the children's presence? Involve the children in baking, listen to lovely music, read lots of stories together, snuggled up together. This is the stuff of real life.
Open the doors for your families. A Christmas get together that offers a glimpse into their child's space and day means more than any gift we feel pressured as teachers to ‘get done’.
Finally, be a role model. Showing a genuine enthusiasm just adds to the joy for the children. The season is worth investing fully in because they are.
We have created a beautiful toolkit full of ideas for bringing magic and wonder to the Christmas season. You can purchase The Heart of Christmas here.