Love gift wrapping? Me too. Have you ever thought of wrapping presents as a way for your kids to learn? Measuring the paper to fit the size box you are wrapping, math and spacial relation. Using scissors to cut the paper, pulling tape off the roll, folding the paper to cover the box; all fine motor skills. Of course the only problem is the more practice they get, the less wrapping you get to do.
I started collecting boxes a while ago. It’s nice to have them saved ahead of time, but you can pull some together quickly if you need to. Some items, like cereal or butter, have a box and a bag. Steal boxes from places like that. I’m sure your cabinet can handle a little mess in the name of learning!
We stuffed the boxes with newspaper this year, then taped the sides. This has made them a little more firm. Last year I left them empty and the kids loaded them with toys.
I picked up four cheap rolls of wrapping paper, a bag of bows and a few rolls of ribbon. I added scissors, and tape. Check your space and see if there is a place to set this up in a way that will allow your kids to wrap presents for a few days. M & M return to the wrapping center often through out the day. Yesterday morning, Big M stumbled down the stairs and mumbled, “I’ll be wrapping presents.” I’m not even sure he was awake yet.
Demonstrate how to measure the paper around the box, how to cut the paper, where to tape the middle, and how to fold the sides. Once you have given them a tutorial, stay near by to help if they get stuck. It shouldn’t take long before they can handle it on their own.
Tips(to maximize learning): 1. I bought a 2 pack of tape at the dollar store, but the kids can’t tear it from the roll. Sometimes you get what you pay for! I’ll be going out to buy better tape today. 2. If you want to add a little writing practice, you can simply add tags and pencils to your wrapping center. 3. Once all of the boxes are wrapped, have the kids help you “open the presents”. That way they can start over. Save the used paper for a cutting and gluing project.