Christmas Discovery Boxes: Simple (and free!) Christmas play ideas.

Our Healthier Gingerbread Houses were great for both of my girls to eat, but much more fun for my three-year-old to make than it was for my “baby” (16 months). This time, I wanted to share a Christmas play idea that is perfect for our little toddling, baby friends.

(Of course, my three-year-old didn’t want to be left out! So there are ideas in here for preschoolers, too.)

Nate loves giving our girls random household objects to play with. (“Here–have a whisk! What’s that? You need a tunnel for your cars? Take a toilet paper roll!”) There’s a fancy name for this type of thing–heuristic play. You can read more about heuristic play and get more ideas for year-round discovery boxes here and here.

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Christmas Discovery Boxes--simple, sweet, and FREE way for little ones (especially babies and toddlers!) to play at Christmastime.

My friend Melissa (a preschool teacher) had the brilliant idea to take nesting gift boxes (like these) and turn them into Christmas discovery boxes.

My 16-month-old loved pulling open the lids.

Christmas Discovery Boxes--Simple and FREE Christmas play idea. Great for babies and toddlers!

Peeking inside. (Isn’t that “oh!” face adorable?)

Christmas Discovery Boxes--Simple and FREE Christmas play idea.

And checking out the goodies.

Christmas discovery boxes--simple, sweet, and FREE way for babies and toddlers to play at Christmastime.

The jingle bells were a hit.

Christmas discovery boxes--simple and FREE Christmas play ideas for little ones.

Big sister liked them too! The bell tambourines, by the way, were made from a strand of jingle bells from the dollar store and an old ring handle from a broken purse. I feel so resourceful. And out-of-style. I can’t even find a purse on amazon to show you what I mean. It must be THAT old. Moving on…Christmas discovery boxes--simple, sweet, and FREE way for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to play at Christmastime.

I’ve left these boxes under the Christmas tree, and my little one keeps coming back to them over and over and over again.

Her favorite thing to do is to transfer the balls from one box to another.

What do you expect your child to gravitate towards?

Some ideas for what to include in your Christmas Discovery Boxes:

  • Jingle Bells
  • Kid-friendly cookie cutters
  • Shatterproof ornaments (ours are from Ikea–and they’re awesome! But there are similar ones on Amazon.)
  • Garlands
  • Ribbons and bows
  • Felt stickers
  • Tissue paper
  • Crinkly wrapping paper
  • Red & green pom poms
  • Pinecones and pine needles

Common sense warning: as always, please supervise and use discretion! Some of these small parts may not be suitable for your child.

Our Christmas Play Days series wraps up on Thursday. My third and final post will allow me to cross an important item off our Christmas Bucket List! To make sure you don’t miss it, follow our blog on pinterest, subscribe by email (using the box in the upper, right-hand side of the blog), and/or join the conversation on the Nothing if Not Intentional facebook page

Before you go, check out the other awesome posts from the bloggers participating in the Christmas Play Days series!

Pom Pom Painted Christmas Trees by Fantastic Fun and Learning

Scented Wreath Craft for Kids  by My Nearest and Dearest

Holiday Breakfast Train by Play Trains!

Toddler Christmas Activity: Decorate the Christmas Trees by Buggy and Buddy

Fine Motor Christmas Trees by Fun-A-Day!

 

Christmas discovery boxes--simple, sweet, and FREE way for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to play at Christmastime.

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