Kids excited for Christmas? This simple Christmas preschool learning game is a great way to use something kids love–opening presents at Christmas–to teach them valuable academic skills. If your kids are anything like mine, they’re fairly bouncing off the walls at this point in anticipation of Christmas morning. And if you are anything like me, you are grasping for ideas of how to keep them occupied during these last few days before Christmas.
That’s where today’s post comes from. It was inspired by my kids’ amazing imaginations and enthusiasm for the holidays.
It cracks me up how my boys love to “play Santa”. One of them will put on our Santa hat and tell the other to go to sleep. Then “Santa” will pile an assortment of toys under the tree, sneak away, and laugh “Ho, ho, ho!” before ducking behind the couch. This is the cue for the other boy to “wake up” and ooh and ahh over the presents under the tree.
They’ve got this Christmas thing down to an art.
A few days ago, I decided to harness their mounting excitement by creating a fun little learning game for Little Brother (3) to do. I’ve been trying to work with him on learning his numbers lately because I realized he doesn’t know them at all. Oops. He can count okay, but he can’t recognize them on sight. So I grabbed a bunch of boxes that I had in my pile of wrapping supplies, and in under five minutes, I had prepped the game for him.We used this game to practice numbers, but you could also practice the alphabet, sight words, or really anything you’re working on with your kids.
Want to play? Here’s what we did:
Christmas Preschool Game: Find the Presents!
What we’re learning:
- number recognition
- following directions
- empty boxes/gift bags
- paper/gift tags
- small toys (ones you already own are great)
How to Play:
- Gather together a number of boxes or bags to be your presents.
- Place a small toy inside. We used ones we already had like Matchbox cars and such.
- Write numbers 1 through 10 on small pieces of paper, gift tags, or index cards. Put one card with each present.
- Tell your child one number and have him or her look for the present with that number on it. Once they identify the right present, they get to open it!
- Continue playing until all the presents have been opened.
Extending the activity:
Once you’re done with the basic game, you can continue to play and learn with presents by ordering the presents from smallest to largest, grouping them by color or shape, etc.
This is a great game to play in anticipation of Christmas to keep them busy while they’re waiting for the real thing, or play it after Christmas with all that now empty boxes and relive the excitement of opening presents all over again. Either way, your kids will be learning and having a ball doing it.
Merry Christmas!…and happy learning!
What a great idea!! I want to try this with my boys!
Thanks, April! Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!
jenna | the urben life
This is such a fun and smart idea!!
Such a great idea! How cute 🙂
I love this idea, and can’t wait to try it—probably next Christmas when my little one is older!
How old is you little one? Christmas is MAGIC with babies. Love it! If he’s not ready for this game, you can always just give him a bunch of wrapping scraps to play with. Endless fun for toddlers!
What a great way to incorporate learning with Christmas gifts! Looks like the kids loved it!
They really did! You can’t go wrong with opening presents, right?
Cute idea that my kids would love. Definitely going to try this!
This is CRAZY because my parents actually did this when I was a kid (on Christmas day), where they’d number my gifts (mainly for them to know the order in which they wanted me to open), but also made it a game for me to pick out my presents by their numbers! I remember this because as I got older it got more difficult – from 1, 2, 3 to 1A, 1B, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C when gifts became parts of other gifts. My husband and I actually now do this…. haha!
SO fun!! My son would love this!
This looks like so much fun!!! Can’t wait until our baby boy gets big enough so we can do fun games like this!!
this is a perfect Christmas game for littles! thanks for sharing!
Hannah | Lovely Little Lives
This is a fun idea! My daughter is in preschool too and she loves this kind of game!
What a simple and fun idea. I’m definitely going to keep this one in mind for my youngest!