On the hunt for an easy Christmas activity? Try a jingle bell scoop and transfer. This simple activity packs a big, engaging punch – and holds little attention spans in a busy holiday season.
What is a scoop and transfer activity?
Scoop and transfer activities are exactly as they sound: the child is scooping and transferring materials from one space to another.
What’s so great about that?
Scooping and transferring is a “life skill.” That means it’s a skill children will use throughout their entire life.
Life skills are such an important part of early childhood education. In these years, kids learn the skills they’ll need to successfully navigate their world and find their independence.
What ends up being of utmost important is giving them the chances to actually learn these kinds of life skills.
RELATED: Need more easy Christmas activities for kids? Try my list of fantastically simple ideas.
How to put a holiday twist on the activity
Scoop and transfer activities are an old classic and this jingle bell twist was perfect for Christmas.
Instead of having kids scoop toys or transfer sensory materials, I opted for jingle bells. A Christmas scoop and transfer, indeed!
RELATED: Check out my list of homemade Christmas ornaments that kids can actually make.
The best part of this activity: I found the supplies at the Dollar Store:
- Jingle bells
- Dish pans
- Food coloring
- (My slotted spoon isn’t from the Dollar Store but they do sell them!)
Great toddler activities don’t need to cost an arm and a leg. They don’t have to take hours to set up. Kids don’t need fancy to have fun.
I took two dish pans and set them in a 28-quart storage bin. I wanted a way to keep the water container. You can also set the bins in the bath tub or on a large beach towel.
In one bin, I put green dyed water. In the other bin, red dyed water. I tossed my bags of jingle bells into one of the bins and set up my son on a scoop & transfer game.
His job: use the slotted spoon to move the bells from one bin to the other.
RELATED: If you are planing a holiday party, check out my list of the best Christmas games for kids.
Jingle bell scoop and transfer skills
Jingle bells scoop and transfer as a life skills activity is perfect for toddlers. In this holiday themed- activity, kids can work on:
- Scooping and transferring
- Hand-eye coordination
- Grip strength
- Arm strength
It might look like an easy Christmas activity, but it packs a whole lot of learning.
RELATED: If you’re feeling crafty, here’s my list of best Christmas crafts for kids.
How this Christmas activity inspired play
After my son had finished scooping and transferring (he went back and forth 3 times), he turned this into a jingle bells water play activity.
One of my favorite things about good kid activities is how they can change and transform, and become little invitations to play for the child.
Let the child take the reins of the activity – let them transform it into their play.
Frequently Asked Questions
Food coloring “dissolves” in water. In this activity, the concentrated food coloring is so diluted, it doesn’t get on little hands. If you find some on your child’s clothing, set it in cold water for a few hours to let the color “dissolve.” *Always do what you think it best though, I am just some lady on the Internet.
To keep with the holiday theme, you could use ornaments, holiday sensory materials, or just use their favorite toys!
Remember: think stages not ages. Instead of going based on age, ask yourself these questions: can my child hold a spoon? Can they lift a spoon? Are they working on crossing their midline? Would my child enjoy this?
Susie Allison, M. Ed
Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.
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