Here we are. Back in December and all of the joy and creativity it brings. As I write this in 2022, looking at these pictures of us spending time in nature reminds me of just how important the fresh air is for all of us. This is one way we help keep germs at bay. Getting outside and connecting with the planet keeps your immune system strong, and those few precious hours of sun during our short days makes it even more important to get that natural vitamin D when we can. Get outside, even in the cold. Even if it’s for 20 minutes! Run, jog, sled, trot, wait outside for the Polar Express, whatever! As you can see, work never stops for the outdoor diggers. Sand or snow, these trucks know how to get it DONE! We love our rugged machines. If you are looking for the best digging machines for your child this Christmas, click below. My boys and girls have tested many brands and these are by far the best: John Deere and Bruder.
The season would not be complete with all the delicious food that gets created. From cookies to maple candy, we use every opportunity we can to bake as a part of our homeschool day. At this time of year, our kids bake food to eat as gifts, but they also make their own salt dough ornaments. I will link our recipe in another post. The kids make a bunch of ornaments for their extended family members, teachers and friends. Sometimes, they don’t use a cookie cutter mold like these. They’ll just create whatever they’re into. One year, we had snowmen and this year we had a poop emoji. Insert shaking-of-the-head emoji from Mom here. They were not always painted, but now that they’re older, they really go to town. Paint, glitter, googly eyes, and yarn have all been used to fashion some unique and memorable Christmas ornaments. We always write the year the ornaments were made by using a Sharpie or writing on the ornament before it’s baked with clay tools or a fork. The recipe we use is kid-safe, and although it hasn’t been eaten by any of our kids, it has in fact been licked to check for salt content (not by me, promise!). Regardless, it is non-toxic and safe for little ones to play with, although I don’t recommend them eat any large amounts due to high odds of getting a stomachache. Supervision is still needed for kids under 3. Make sure to brush your teeth well after all the baked treats!
We were able to really spend time on our Christmas traditions since most of us were home this year. From visiting Santa Claus to cutting our own tree, memories were made. Check out your local events or Facebook pages to see what’s going on in your area. There are many local events that pop up, even post-Covid, that your kids will talk about for years to come. One of ours that seems to be on repeat every year is our tree tradition. My family will hike all over the Green Mountains looking for that great $5 tree. We get a permit through the Vermont National Forest service for $5. There are certain places you can travel to to cut one down, and let me tell you, some of our trips have not been for the faint of heart. And to top it off (no pun intended), we always “have” to get a 12-14 foot tree. We have one area of the house with a cathedral ceiling and a regular-sized is not good enough for our kids. Go big or go home is their motto when it comes to a tree! Other memories of the joy of getting it into the living room will not be posted on this site…some years are smoother than others, let’s just say that!
When the big day finally arrives, all of their hard work pays off. They are so proud to give their creations to their family members and friends. They have helped wrap presents for others. They’ve cooked and baked and now get to eat…and eat…and eat. Then play! There is so much learned from play. We used to run all over from Christmas event to Christmas event on the big day, and we made the decision to stop this when the kids were young. They needed to enjoy the magic of waiting for Santa and playing with their gifts. Watching movies and eating. Napping or playing outside. We were losing the fun and sparkle of the event, so we scaled things back. It was worth it!
Don’t forget to rest and recuperate after the big day! The anticipation and work done can be exhausting and thankfully Christmas break gives people a chance to recharge. Enjoy the magic of the season with your crew! Build in as many traditions into your homeschool day as you can while you have your children with you during the day. There’s so much you can do!