Here’s a fantastic way to get a little learning out of those scraps of leftover holiday wrapping paper you surely have at this time of year: turn them into a matching activity for toddlers!
I started by cutting a Christmas tree shape from each of three different wrapping paper patterns and taped these to a larger piece of craft paper on our floor.
I then cut additional squares and rectangles from each pattern to be little “presents”. Now it was Veronika’s job to match each gift to the corresponding tree!
I showed her how the game worked for the first few examples. “The peppermint-print present goes under the peppermint-print tree!” I told her with excitement. She quickly understood that she was looking for a match.
Still, she simultaneously understood the game and had her own agenda. She loved using a glue stick to attach the wrapping paper squares down anywhere she pleased, which of course was just fine.
But if I prompted her directly, she could place a square under the “correct” tree.
This activity was a nice mix of learning and just letting her play her own way.