I love to read the holiday cards and letters that arrive each day in the mail. Unfortunately, they don’t hold a great deal of interest for my children if they don’t know the people who sent the cards or if they can’t read the cards. My older girls like to read them all now because they are at that “nosy” age, but this is new. My youngest doesn’t care at all, but I want to have a few minutes to read the cards myself!
Here’s one of my favorite ways to buy a little time:
As a graphing activity, it is obviously a little bit educational, but you don’t have to make a big deal about that part unless you want to. It can also be adapted lots of ways so feel free to change it and make it work for you.
As the holiday cards arrive, have your little ones check the cards out thoroughly and then show them how to color, make an X or use stickers or treats--marshmallows, raisins, mandm’s-- to fill out this simple graph.
(Click to enlarge or print HERE in landscape view.)
(Cut it in half horizontally so there are only 4 symbols at a time to focus on.)
Just draw in the symbols or use stickers or wrapping paper or scrapbook paper, etc.
You can change the symbols each time you do it to keep it interesting. Even young children can do this with very little supervision—after all, no one is grading these papers, right? My oldest made these herself.
You could also do a graph about the card/letter itself with simple statements (using pictures) similar to this: (Graph answers using the same color as the envelope.)
For older children, you can make a continuous graph that they just add on to each day (Print the graphs, cut them up and tape strips together as needed.) as they check out the new cards. And, don’t forget to give them more symbols to look for, too! Even though it looks like work, my girls fall for it every time!
- It’s a card.
- It’s a letter.
- It’s a card with a letter.
- It has a photograph with it.
- The card is a photograph.
- There are boys in the photo.
- There are girls in the photo.
You can do this as a one-time activity by distributing a few cards to each of your children and having each child graph what the cards hold and then comparing the results with each other.
There are so many possibilities. It is simple, quick, and fun!
For your sake, I’m hoping you don’t get tons of cards each day.
The last thing you need is excited children with sugar overload, right?
(Stick with the zero calorie, no sugar crayon!)