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  • Writer's pictureKeith

Weekly Activities - Christmas Cards

Book of the week: The Jolly Postman or Other People's Letters.

Synopsis: The Jolly Postman or Other People's Letters has been a favourite for children ever since its first publication in 1986. Children can take each colourful letter out of its envelope and discover for themselves what well-known fairy-tale characters are writing to one another.

The Jolly Postman has delivered the mail . . . what could possibly be in the letter from Goldilocks to the Three Bears? There is a message for the Wicked Witch . . . but who would write to her?

As the postage stamp says, this is 'first-class' fun for children everywhere, and the fun continues with The Jolly Christmas Postman, a follow-up full of festive letter cheer.

Weekly Activity: Making and posting Christmas cards.

After reading our book of the week at basecamp, we thought it would be a lovely idea for parents and careers to receive a Christmas card from their child so we set about making our own. We gave the children some card and suggested a few ways of decorating the front including painting, drawing or the most popular idea, making a colourful collage using various materials such as twigs, leaves, pom poms, lolly sticks, ink prints and various pieces of fabric. Once the children had finished their pictures or collages we turned to the inside of the card. We wrote out "Merry Christmas" on a piece of paper for them to copy and some also drew pictures. We gave the children an envelope to put their cards inside, wrote out the address on the front and stuck on a stamp.

Then it was time to post the cards. We walked to the nearest post box in small groups and helped the children to post their cards home. Now it was time to wait for the postal delivery person to make the all important delivery a few days later!

We tend to take simple tasks such as posting a letter for granted but there are actually many learning opportunities in such a seemingly simple task. Creating the cards in the first place requires using imagination, using various arts and crafts, learning to hold pens or paintbrushes correctly, learning to write words, using fine motor skills to put the card into the envelope etc. Posting the card also helps to improve hand to eye coordination, foster dexterity as well as learning to voluntarily release an object. The children also have to figure out if the shape of the card will fit into the entrance of the post box and then post it themselves. They will also start learning about the job of a postal worker and we talked about how letters and parcels are sent from one place to another and all the stages involved.

Home Activity: Here are a few ideas you can try at home relating to holding, posting and releasing objects which will help their development and fine motor skills.

1) Drop toys into the bath to make a splash.

2) Put clothes into the washing machine or washing basket.

3) Make a giant animal face out of cardboard and feed the animal food items.

4) Tidy up teddies into a large basket/net bag.

5) Drop small objects or toys into a noisy tin container.

6) Stick some pieces of scratchy Velcro onto a fabric conditioner bottle – add soft Velcro squares to a range of small objects and stick them onto the bottle. Take the lid off the bottle and ask your child to pull the objects off and post them into the top of the bottle.

7) Save the cardboard tubes from wrapping paper. Drop ping pong balls down the tubes catch them in a washing up bowl.

8) Collect plastic bottles and post pom poms into the bottle.

9) Cut small holes into cardboard tubes and ask your child to post pom poms through the holes.

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