Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. A great way for small children to learn about Christmas is to have a wide variety of activities. My eldest son is non-verbal so we use the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). He also relies on visual aids to support his understanding. Routine is important for him so I like to stick to our usual activities but give them a Christmas twist. Here are my favourite Christmas activities.
Baking mince pies, gingerbread men, cakes and biscuits are great activities for young children. My boys love mixing the ingredients together and making a mess of the kitchen. If you are short on time or your little one has a short attention span start with the best bit – decorating.
I picked up a Christmas biscuit decorating set from the supermarket and my eldest loved it (see the results below). We also had a decorate your own Christmas biscuit stall at my son’s school fayre which was very popular.
Music & Singing
Music is a really fun activity for children. We have a music bag full of instruments and nursery rhyme visuals. At Christmas time I replace the visuals with Christmas songs. The poster below is for the Twelve days of Christmas song.
I have made visual cards for some Christmas songs:
- Jingle Bells
- We wish you a Merry Christmas
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
- When Santa got stuck up the Chimney
- Mince Pies (to the tune of 5 current buns)
These are placed in a bag so the kids can take turns picking out our next song.
Christmas Attention Autism
Attention Autism is a great activity for young autistic children. We regularly do Attention Autism at home and my eldest does it at school too. For our Christmas bucket I have filled it with wind up reindeer and Santa toys saved from last year’s crackers and a light spinner with a Father Christmas head and a very annoying Christmas tune that we picked up at a local Winter festival last week. The bucket also has a lovely robin toy that sings and flaps its wings I picked up at B&Q last year. The shops are full of these sort of toys at the moment.
For stage two you can use some flour and shake it (like snow) over some Christmas templates to reveal the shapes. Children can take a turn for the interactive stage and make their own templates for stage 4.
Small world play
A couple of years ago we had a Happyland Advent Calendar and it was full of great Christmas figures. Now we can play decorating the Christmas tree, visiting Father Christmas, posting cards and other adventures with these great toys.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is my sons communication method so we like to do some Christmas themed PECS activities. For example choosing different coloured and shaped ornaments for our tree and requesting stickers to go on our homemade Christmas cards.
I hope this post has given you some ideas you can try out over Christmas. You may want to also check out my guest post on Steph’s two Girls with tips to get through Christmas with an autistic child.
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