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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would pass these ideas along
These are ideas our family does
along with ideas I shared when working as a therapist:

Children love simplicity. These are great ideas for holiday gifts.

Activity Boxes: (and handprint calendars)

Gather a variety of boxes: shoesboxs, clothing boxes etc decorate them
with fabrics, wrapping paper, stickers following the theme of what
will be inside. Here are some ideas:

watercolor pallet
homemade finger/body paint

instruments made out of decorated household items
rainstick made from a paper towel roll
drum made from an oatmeal can

fine motor/dexterity:
home made dough
stringing beads or seashells
a lrg button sewn on a piece of material to practice buttoning and
tiny broken crayons
lacing cards ( heavy duty cardboard and holes made with a hole puncher)
coins and cup ( to flick)


a variety of items that match each season with lots of texture:
crab shells
( this items can also be what you will put on the nature table so
items can be gathered in the beginning of the season )

toys that dont have much life to them but toys children may enjoy on a
rainy day.

Steriognosis: ( able to identify items with eyes closed)

you can make a seperate box or utilize this activity with all the
other boxes. To make it more interesting you can go as far as taking
pictures of all the items in a box so the child has a reference and
then to place the object on the picture once they pic it out.

Handprint calendars:
this is hard to explain unless showing it however this is a wonderful
gift idea for family members. Each month starting with January the
child with make a handprint out of either water color or tempera. The
handprint each month is positioned a different way to resemble the
current season (example HP of april is made into a umbrella and then
child draws a handle with crayon or paint) each month also has a poem
that follows.
you can either scan and print at home or have them professional made (
which I am doing for christmas at Kinkos) this is a wonderful
keepsake. For DH his will be made into a planner.


1,531 Posts
ooooooo...thanks michele! i love this thread...may i add to it?

the "button game"
take an old egg carton and various buttons in matching pairs and play match games. this is for little kids, of course. you vary the difficulty with age/skill of child, starting off with a pair that is red/white checks, a pair that is bright green, a pair that is silver metal, a pair that is wooden and keep making it harder as your child gets better (and is still interested, of course!
) by making all the pairs, say black and about the same size, with the variations being in number of holes and slight differences like the raised edge vs. a smooth edge.

hole punch jewelry:
use a hole punch and styrofoam cartons and punch holes then string them with needle and thread. this kept my best friends and i occupied for MONTHS when we were little!

that's all i have for now, but as i remember others we have done, i will come back!

1,531 Posts
remembered one more:

"family tree" memory:
use the ends of frozen juice cans or bits of cardboard (or whatever works for you) and take a variety of duplicates of family photos and paste 2 of each person on two of the can ends. make a "memory" game out of it - "can you find the other aunt mildred?"
you can also take more than just two of each picture, say four of each, paste on heavy cardstock and make family "go fish." if your family is small like ours, for either game, you may have to use friends AND family.
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