Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Our favourite free christmas printables

A couple of weeks ago a wonderful thing happened, I finally got my own laminator. To say I'm slightly obsessed with it would be a gross understatement. I've never loved a machine as much as I love my laminator {if that's not a sign I should be a teacher I don't know what is}. Needless to say ever since I've had the laminator I've been on a quest to laminate all the things and that's involved printing out a tonne of printables that we can re-use.

There are so many super talented bloggers out there making educational, fun and interactive printables and the cool thing is you can pretty much find them for any theme, you just have to know where to look for them. Over the last fortnight I've been scouring Instagram to find the best free Christmas printables from some of my favourite kid bloggers. Holiday themed printables are great because they build her excitement for Christmas, while also reinforcing fundamental developmental skills. Like most kids bub learns best when playing and printables are a wonderful way to facilitate this {in a slightly more structured way}. These are our favourite free Christmas printables we've been using this year and links to where you can download them for yourself.

our favourite christmas printables

CHRISTMAS TREE PLAY MAT


This Christmas tree play mat from Learn With Play at Home is so versatile and can be used to play a number of different counting games. Simply place a number in the circle at the top and let your child decorate the tree with the correct number of baubles {or other decorations}. It's great for number recognition, counting and one to one correspondence, and most of all it's heaps of fun and can be reused numerous different ways. 

Free christmas tree printable

It can be used with a variety of materials such as playdough, loose parts {beads, buttons, shapes pieces, gems}, craft items {sequins, pom poms, stickers} or whiteboard markers depending on your child's age. You can also use a variety of different numbers in the circle at the top, e.g number magnets, wooden numbers, puzzle number pieces, write them in whiteboard marker or shape them out of playdough. Please keep in mind loose parts play is not recommended for children under 3 years of age and young children should always be supervised when using small parts.


We've been using ours with little wooden numbers and a variety of loose parts, but I have so many other ideas for using it. The great part is I only had to show her how to do it once and she played with it for over half an hour counting all the numbers and pieces as she created each design.


SHAPES CHRISTMAS TREE


Our first Christmas tree mat was such a hit so I went looking for other Christmas tree printables and found this awesome collection of Christmas tree learning activities from Totschooling. The pack includes numerous activities that help kids work on literacy and numeracy concepts through various Christmas tree themed games. Simply sign up to be a subscriber of Totschooling to access all the free printables.

She's very much into matching games at the moment so this shape matching poster has been a huge hit. We've used it with the shape cut outs it comes with {pictured above} as well as various shape loose parts we have from other games. She loves finding where each shape goes and telling me which ones they are as she matches them up. We've also printed out the alphabet matching tree {included in the pack} to try soon.

CHRISTMAS SEARCH AND FIND POSTER


Bub's been a little bit obsessed with the search and find posters on Twinkl ever since we got our subscription, so when I saw the Christmas search and find poster I knew she'd love it. I laminated ours {of course} and she uses transparent glass pebbles to find all of the items. It could also be used with whiteboard markers to circle the items as they're found.


Search Christmas at Twinkl to find heaps of other Christmas themed printables including colouring sheets, word activities, maths worksheets, craft activities, pencil control sheets, labels, sensory play ideas, busy bag games and classroom resources for teachers. Sign up for a free account to access the printables {selected printables may be for paid subscribers only}.

GINGERBREAD HOUSE ALPHABET MATCHING GAME


I don't know about you, but I for one am not game enough to try putting together a real gingerbread house with a toddler. However, seeing them all being shared all over social media did make me want one, so I went looking for easy no bake versions. I found this awesome gingerbread house alphabet matching game from totschooling which still allows bub to have the fun of decorating her own gingerbread house with lollies but there's no mess after {and no sugar high to deal with either, yay}.


I love that this game lets kids practice letter recognition while having fun. I also love that there's both and uppercase and lowercase versions included as so often lowercase letters are overlooked in alphabet resources. I laminated ours and painstakingly cut out each individual lolly, but it was so worth it. If we had velcro dots I would add them too so the lollies could stick in place. She was so proud of her finished gingerbread house and it's something she can do over and over again {unlike a real one}.


GINGERBREAD MEN TRACING WORKSHEETS


Bub's been showing a lot of interest in wanting to write letters lately and drawing more interesting drawings, so I thought it was time to try out some pencil control worksheets to help with her pre-writing skills. I love these gingerbread tracing worksheets from Fun With Mama. Much like the gingerbread house, I've been far too scared to bake real gingerbread men after far too many failed cookie attempts, so these worksheets are another way to incorporate gingerbread goodness into the lead up to Christmas without me needing to bake anything.

At first when I told her she was meant to follow the lines she drew a line underneath the dotted lines following the pattern. I probably should've been more clearer in explaining it, but to be honest I didn't expect her to be able to trace them properly anyway. Once I showed her how to draw over the actual lines she went back and tried to copy them properly. I'll be printing these off again and laminating a copy as soon as I find our whiteboard markers so she can reuse the same sheet.

LETTER TO SANTA TEMPLATE


Santa hasn't really played a huge part in our Christmas celebrations in past years, of course she's gotten presents from him, but she's been way too young to understand. We also haven't had a Santa photo since she was 5 months old because she's been petrified of him. While we still haven't conquered the Santa photo this year, she is starting to warm up to him and is definitely starting to click onto the fact that he brings her presents. So, I decided it was probably time we started a new tradition of writing a letter to Santa. I found this cute letter to Santa template by Casey at Little Lifelong Learners and decided to fill it out with bub's help {because obviously she can't write}.


The template comes with both blank and lined options so it's great for younger kids who can't write and older kids who can, or mummy's who want to write one on their kids behalf like me. I printed off the lined version and let bub colour in the Santa picture then I filled in her letter with what she told me she wanted. I probably should've done this a little sooner so Santa could organise more of these items {minus the iPad for mummy, not sure why I need one of those}, but I think she'll still be pretty happy with what he brings her. I'm sure next year her wish list will be a lot more elaborate. I'm going to do this every year and keep the letters until she's older, I think it'll be so cute to look back on them when she's grown up.


We've loved using all of these printables and will continue to use them for years to come. Hopefully they've given you some fun ideas to do with your kids too. 

Disclosure - I DID NOT receive any payment or items for this post, these are all printables I've found {mainly via Instagram} and printed out to use at home. I thought I'd compile an easy reference list for other mums who may be looking for similar Christmas printable activities. To keep up to date with other printables and play activities we've been doing follow Finding Myself Young on Instagram.

Linking with Kylie

11 comments:

  1. While my kids are all a little too hold for these now, they still enjoy a bit of a colouring in session from time to time.

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    1. I still enjoy colouring in as an adult :) I'm sure we'll be doing that for many years to come.

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  2. These are just lovely and yes, once you get a laminator you will never look back!! I have had one for years now (yes, from teaching days) and it's an older model and takes A3. I am currently laminating some of my mandalas for placemats. The only issue I have with a laminator is for it to be stored far away from little hands...and yours too. Mine stays hot for ages. Great post. Have a wonderful Christmas with your little Miss. D xx #teamIBOT

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    1. Yes we're very careful to keep the laminator away from her. I only laminate things at night when she's in bed and I'm paranoid about it catching on fire so make sure its stone cold before I put it away.

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  3. Oh how I love free printables. They just make my heart sing! :D

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    1. Oh and the laminator, best investment ever!

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    2. Yep free printables are aaaawwwesome!! And I don't know how I ever lived without my laminator.

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  4. Yay for laminators! Would you believe I bought mine while I was at uni (2001-2005) and it's still going!?!?
    A great collection of Christmassy activities :)

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    1. I don't think ours will last that long, it was the cheapest one at Officeworks haha. I'll be super impressed if it lasts 2 years {especially with how much I've been using it}.

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  5. I want a laminator too!!! Wah!!! These printables are awesome, Toni. Gosh bub is going to be such a clever clogs with all of these great resources you test out on her.

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    1. Sometimes it backfires and she's too smart for her own good. When that combines with her sassy attitude it can come back to bite us on the ass haha. And you should so get a laminator stat!

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