Tradition, history and meaning surround the festivities of the Christmas period and the joy, magic and wonder of the season brings about excitement for children and educators alike! Families celebrate Christmas with their own unique rituals and embracing these within early childhood centres opens possibilities to appreciate the diversity of celebratory customs.
Planning for innovative experiences that include both creative art and craft activities as well as other learning areas can present broader opportunities for children to expand their ideas by creating, problem-solving and investigating. Children’s natural curiosity of Christmas traditions can provide an impetus for inquiry-based projects.
Pondering ideas and asking questions extend upon children’s thinking and stimulate further questioning and discussion. Responding to children’s ideas by including science, engineering, dance, music, literacy and mathematics can provide another platform to embrace the festivities and extend upon children’s learning through designing, creating, making and experimenting.
Santa, sleighs, reindeer and elves encompass the magic that surrounds Christmas for many children, which brings about fun, excitement and anticipation of Christmas Day. Relishing in the sheer delight that the festive season brings is fulfilling as children share their awe and amazement of the seasonal rituals.
The festive season is also an opportunity for educators to share the deeper messages of Christmas including the value of family, the joy of giving, showing gratitude and the significance of philanthropic activities to support those in need. Discussing and implementing initiatives with children to support the community gives them an authentic purpose to show kindness and help others. Consider implementing one or two of the points below to build connections and relationships during the season.
- Align with one of Australia’s major charitable organisations to host a food or toy drive.
- Encourage families to bring in toy, clothes and food donations for the local community.
- Create hand-made gifts to give to family, friends or neighbours to show the value of something made with love and care.
- Bake treats to give to the local aged-care home or to workers from local businesses.
- Write (or draw) a card and send it to a family member or someone special.