During the Christmas season, life can become hectic, to say the least. 

But, it is important to remember not to let the urgent things

keep you away from the important things.

Take time to play with your kids each day. 

Here are a few quick, easy, fun ideas. 
If you have older children they can make these activities. 
Smaller children will need your help to create the fun. 

Lace-Up Cards 

Left over Christmas cards, cards from last year, an old calendar or even the front of a cereal/food box can be turned into a quick activity.  Using a one hole punch, make a row of holes around the outside of your picture.  Then using a piece of yarn or shoe lace you can play with your new “sewing cards”.  If using yarn, be sure to wrap a piece of tape around one end to make it stiff enough to push through the holes.  The tape will also prevent raveling.

Flannel Story Box 

A story box is great for travel, telling, or re-telling, a story anytime, anywhere. 
This can be used anytime of the year.
A Story Box can be used for individual child entertainment or for a group of children.
Materials needed: 
an empty shoebox (one with a hinged lid is preferred)
a piece of solid colored flannel and thin batting
felt pieces
small pieces of sandpaper (optional)
white craft glue/hot glue
1.  Measure the shoebox lid and add 1/2 inch on all four sides. 
2.  Cut out flannel with the dimensions you measured in step #1
3.  Press under 1/2 inch toward the back with a warm iron. 
4.  Cut out a piece of batting that is the exact size as your lid
5.  Place the batting on the wrong side of the flannel with the 1/2 inch turn down covering the raw 
     edges of the batting.
6.  Glue the flannel and batting to the lid of the shoebox.
7.  There should be no raw edges showing.
8.  Allow to dry before using.
Cut out shapes and/or pictures using felt, old greeting cards, pictures from magazines or calendars. Cookies cutters and stencils can be helpful in making pieces.
On the back of the non-felt pieces, glue small pieces of leftover felt, or small pieces of sandpaper. This will help the pieces stick to the flannel board lid when telling the story.
A fun idea is to make color copies of your child’s favorite story book.  Cut out the main characters and add felt or sandpaper to the back.  This will allow children to re-tell their favorite story and to create variations as they wish.
Create a Christmas tree from green felt, star from yellow felt and an assortment of ornaments and presents for your child to decorate a Christmas tree. 
The box in the picture below is telling the Christmas Story. 
Felt shapes, as well as old Christmas cards are used for telling the story.

Story Telling

The fronts of old greeting cards are also a great way to create stories.

1.  Creativity and Storytelling:  Present a picture and then make up a story about that picture.

2.  Sequencing and Logical reasoning:  A fun way to tell the Christmas Story (or any story) is to provide a variety of cards that include the major events of a particular story.  Ask children to place them in order.  They can then present a card as they tell the story or lay all the cards out on the floor, table or bed before telling the story.


Remember … old greeting cards can be used as puzzles.  If you have two of the same card left after sending your holiday greetings, these are perfect to make a puzzle.  Glue the front of one card onto the front of an envelope so you can see what the resulting picture of your puzzle will look like. 
Take the front of the second card and cut it into random pieces.  Remember cut fewer pieces for younger children (even as few as two pieces) and more pieces for older children.  

Using cookie cutters to create a few novelty pieces are great to hide hidden shapes inside the puzzle. 
A cereal box – inlaid puzzle

This puzzle is made from a pizza box
 Always write how many pieces are in the puzzle on the outside of the envelope.
If you do not have two of one design, simply add a description and the number of pieces to your envelope front.
This type of puzzle travels well, take little space to store and are always a hit with kids, both young and old alike!

This Blog Post is inspired from the book:

Miraculous, Magical Moments in

Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults
and Children to Share

by Becky B. Baxa

If you would like more fun ideas to share with your children

(that do not require batteries or electronics )

you can purchase this
180 page book,

full of color photos,

for $21.95

from Amazon.com

from the gift shop
Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray
Summit, MO,
Silver Dollar
City General Store in Branson, MO.

This book can also be checked out from the following

Regional Library – Pacific, MO
Christian Church – Washington, MO
State Library – Honolulu, HI
Story City
Public Library – Story City, IA

Public Library – Ellsworth, ME
Public Library – Ludington, MI
Denver Public Library – Denver, CO
Peak Library District – Colorado Springs, CO
Dallas Public Library – Dallas, Texas

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