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BLOG: PACEY Champions share some of their favourite festive activities

This month has been a busy one for all but as usual our PACEY Champions have been carrying out lots of creative activities in their settings. Sue, Debbie E, Christine and Debbie S contributed to this month’s blog to tell us about some of their favourite activities for the festive season.

The first Champion to get creative this festive season was Sue, whose children celebrated Thanksgiving at her setting. Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated in the United States, Canada and some of the Caribbean islands and Liberia and usually occurs on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

In the run up to Thanksgiving the children dipped their fingers in paint and added a leaf each to this tree drawing. This was repeated up until the day of Thanksgiving itself, where the completed tree picture was then copied for each of the children and framed in the setting. This was special as all 15 children got to be involved in the finished piece.

Sue says celebrating Thanksgiving is particularly important to her as one of the children she cares for has an American mum. Sharing different festivals and stories helps to develop the children’s understanding of the world around them and their ability to relate to others, a key developmental learning in the EYFS.

The next three champions all shared the wonderful activities they have been carrying out in the lead up to celebrating Christmas. Debbie E did this in her setting by helping the children create snowmen and Father Christmas cards. This involved the use of straws and stickers as well as double sided sticky tape. The children particularly enjoyed putting the cards in the envelope, placing a stamp on and walking them to the post box. She received lots of messages when the parents received the cards and the children found it exciting to tell them how they had made them. Being able to talk through the activities with loved ones is the perfect opportunity for children to express and recall their ideas, build on narrative skills and develop their overall speech, language and communication skills.

In Christine’s setting they have been busy decorating candles. First they drew these pretty trees and other Christmas designs with sharpies on greaseproof paper. They then trimmed around the picture, placed them in position on the candle and covered them with wax paper (using something to hold it in place). Then, with the use of a safety glove to hold it, they used a hair dryer to melt the wax and seal the image. Once, the paper was removed this was the finished result.

In Debbie S’s setting they engaged in lots of different festive activities. They used card, ribbon, glue and glitter to create these wonderful Christmas baubles, Christmas trees and reindeers. They also used an array of different colour paints to create these decorated bags ready to hold any presents the children might be receiving this month.

Activities like these can help with so many different areas of the EYFS such as Physical Development and Expressive Arts and Design. From, giving the children a chance to learn and explore the use of new materials, to the development of fine motor skills needed when creating a variety of designs these are all key to developing a child’s imaginative ability.

We hope that the variety of activities our PACEY Champions have shared inspire you to be creative in your own setting. We always love to see your creative work so please don’t forget to share those with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We also have our own Facebook page, ’Ideas for Creative Childcare’  where we encourage practitioners to help each other to support children to meet their early learning goals. Whether it is tips, ideas or activities, we'd love to see them here.

PACEY Champions help PACEY to support anyone working in childcare and early years. Our champions cover a number of different regions across the UK and help share our message via social media.

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