We have a train table that is usually used for anything but trains. It holds Magna-tile creations, marble run masterpieces, Lego displays, and recently it was even set up as a pumpkin patch. Even though the bulk of these materials are available to my children all the time, they seem to play with them more frequently when they are out and already available. To keep it fresh, I try to swap out the building tool every couple weeks. (Plus let’s be honest, sometimes I’m just tired of stepping on that particular toy so it’s time for a change!)
Like many preschools, my daughter’s 3 year program had a rotating table of activities. During the holiday season, they set up a gift wrapping station for the kiddos to wrap their hearts out. While us grown-ups may be complaining about our holiday to-do list, children delight in the simplest of chores. The kids loved it so much that I decided to implement the idea at home.
The supplies are pretty simple and self-explanatory...Wrapping paper (Dollar Tree has a selection perfect for this use), tape, scissors, stick-on bows, and rubber bands (which truthfully have a little to do with wrapping, but the kids love them and they can use them when they don’t get their paper folded together). The first year I put out the safety scissor sticks that you slide along the paper, but my now kindergartner has since graduated to real scissors. I find that this activity entertains my kids for about an hour (!!!), while allowing me to get some wrapping in without them seeing the gifts!
Today at my daughter‘s kindergarten class, I learned of a great extension to this project. Wrapping a friend! It’s exactly as it sounds, one kiddo lays down and a partner wraps them up.
The child being wrapped first has to decide if they want their head wrapped or not. Then they lay down in the center of the paper (for wrapped head) or with their neck at the edge of the paper (for unwrapped head).
Their friend cuts the wrapping paper to size then tapes them shut. Next the wrapped person gets to choose how many bows they want on them. We didn't tape the bows down so we could use a lot at once and easily recycle them.
Last is the very best part! We all sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" then countdown from ten. Once we reach zero the wrapped friend pops out of the wrapping paper!
My kids had a blast and I'm certain yours will, too!