Somehow, there's less than a month left until Christmas. I'm not sure how it happened so quickly, but I know that that month is going to go by in about 17 hours, so it's time to get some planning done now to make sure we have some educational fun along the way! After seeing some fun pins pop up on my Pinterest board, I think we're going to try some Christmas Around the World activities. I think there are a lot of good opportunities for learning with a unit like this, and it should (hopefully) be fairly simple to do with both my kids, even though they're five years apart. I'm also looking forward to this because I have a lot of fun memories of my mom and her fellow second grade teachers doing a similar project each year when I was young. Hmm, maybe this would be a good time to bring in Grandma as a substitute teacher!
After doing some research (also known as scouring Pinterest and reading lots of Amazon reviews), I found that there are a lot of products out there for sale, and there's certainly nothing wrong with purchasing something ready-made, especially when time is running out. Most of us, though, are single-income families, and if I can save some money with free printables and library books, I'm pretty pleased, especially at this time of year when money seems to be flying out of the bank account at an alarming rate. So here are a few free resources I found to help you plan and hopefully some of the books will be available at your library!
Christmas Around the World EBook: Really, you could just print this out and call it good. There are activities and links for information and you also can print out a free passport for your kids! The only downside is that I think it would be really difficult to actually complete all of this during the holiday season, at least we wouldn't be able to do it along with other special activities we do, but you can always pick and choose!
Christmas Around the World Crafts: This link will take you to the same page as the EBook link, but scroll down and you'll find links to posts for crafts and activities from many different countries! It would be easy to choose a few different countries that your kids are interested in and focus on those over the next few weeks!
Craft It Up: Christmas Around the World: If you prefer a book to flip through to look for ideas, this one looks like a good choice! There are 35 different projects with instructions and pictures to make it a little simpler.
Christmas Around the World Unit Study and Lapbook Printables: If you do lapbooking or notebooking, check out this unit at Homeschool Share for some free printables!
Tomie dePaola Books: You'll probably recognize Tomie dePaola's distinctive style from when you were young, but you may not know that he has several books about Christmas traditions and legends, like The Legend of the Poinsettia and The Legend of Old Befana.
A few thoughts about planning: This time of year is so busy, so don't feel like you have to cover every country. You could give each of your children a different country to learn about and then share what everyone learned together. You could cover one or two countries as a family and then add to your passport or notebook each year. There's really no wrong way to go about it. Just remember to enjoy learning together and making memories! Happy holidays!