Tag: holidays

How to Make an Awesome Christmas Busy Box for Kids!

How to Make an Awesome Christmas Busy Box for Kids!

Winter is coming, and you’re looking for simple play ideas to keep your toddlers and preschoolers learning at home. Between cold weather, rainy days, and lots of holidays preparations that keep parents busy, having a few educational activities set aside for your little ones is a smart idea! Read on to learn how to make a Christmas busy box for your kids. How to Make a Christmas Busy Box for Kids

Note: This busy box can be repurposed for a variety of seasons and holidays. The only thing “Christmasy” about it are the colors I chose — but you could easily make a similar quiet time activities using other colors and symbols!

In case you haven’t heard about busy bags or boxes before, they are simple learning activities that are typically self-contained and set aside for travel, waiting rooms, or quiet time. This Christmas busy box is similar, pulling together a group of open-ended materials that can be used in a variety ways. Toddlers and preschoolers can mix and match their toys for hours of creative play!

Best of all, these materials all fit in one small box, so they can easily travel to a relative’s house or holiday party all season long.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

How to Make a Christmas Busy Box:

Making a busy bag or box doesn’t have to be complicated! Think of learning skills you want to target with your toddler or preschooler and gather related toys.   This Christmas busy box that I put together focuses on fine motor and counting skills. Put all your materials in a small shoe box!

Christmas Busy Box for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Click here to see a short video explaining how to use these materials in a variety of fun activities!

Recommended Materials for Your Christmas Busy Box:

You can use ANY learning toys you have around your house–these are just a few recommendations that are both quiet and easily transportable.

  • UNO cards (specifically the red and green number cards 0-9)
  • ice cube tray
  • red, green, and white pom poms
  • tweezers
  • red and green foam blocks (1 inch cubes)
  • “velcro sticks” (red and green craft sticks with velco dots on the ends)
  • red and green pegs
  • tree cookie cutter
  • green LEGOs
  • empty (clean) Parmesan cheese container
  • red and green straw pieces
  • shoelace

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Christmas Busy Box and Activity Ideas

24 Patriotic Books for Kids

24 Patriotic Books for Kids

From a very young age, we have introduced new topics to our girls through seasonal activities and stacks of books. Whether we are learning about the beach, the solar system, or U.S. History, my girls love pouring over books from the library to discover new ideas.

During the month of June, we’ll be focusing our family read-aloud time on topics related to American history, symbols, and famous citizens who have impacted our nation. This list of patriotic books is by no means the “ultimate guide,” but it will hopefully give you a starting point when you go to the library or book store.

Note: I suggest you read through these books (or any history book) personally before reading them aloud to your children or sitting them out for independent reading time. Our nation’s history is full of war, tragedy, and unfair events. While I always answer my daughters’ questions honestly, I also strive not to expose them to things they are not yet ready for emotionally.

24 Patriotic Books for Kids | Take this list of recommended books to the library for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and President's Day read-aloud options.

Patriotic Books for Kids

(Just a reminder that Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here.)

Alexander Hamilton: A Plan for America by Sarah Albee

The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong

Flags and Seals by Erinn Banting

Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare by Gene Barretta

Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? by Teresa Bateman

America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates

The Children’s Book of America by William J. Bennett

Smart About the Fifty States by Jon Buller, et al.

The Wall by Eve Bunting

A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin

Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz

You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton? by Jean Fritz

This Little President : A Presidential Primer by Joan Holub

The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller

Across America, I Love You by Christine Loomis

Coming to America: The Story of Immigration by Betsy Maestro

The Camping Trip that Changed America by Barb Rosenstock

We the People: The Constitution of the United States of America by Peter Spier

So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George

The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence by Judith St. George

The United States Flag by Amanda Doering Tourville

Just Like Abraham Lincoln by Bernard Waber

The History of the White House by Kate Waters

Finding new books at the library can be a fun way to kick off a study of U.S. history! You can click here for our favorite patriotic resources and a simple sensory bin or here to download our Patriotic Family Activity Guide with 35 learning ideas for kiddos ages 2-6.

What are your family’s favorite patriotic books?

Patriotic Activities for Kids

Patriotic Activities for Kids

Here in the United States, summer unofficially arrives on Memorial Day weekend. Now that my girls are older (9 and 6), we will spend part of the weekend talking about the true meaning behind Memorial Day (no, not barbecues and pool openings). Like most countries, America has experienced a lot of loss — from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts. We will probably travel to see the latest version of the Freedom Rock and make a list of patriotic activities to get ready for our Independence Day celebrations.


Patriotic Activities for Kids | Celebrate Memorial Day and Independence day with these patriotic songs and resources, fireworks crafts, patriotic sensory bin, and more!

Click here to download our FREE Red, White, and Blue Activities for toddlers and preschoolers!

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If you have young kids, you can start with the basics, The Pledge of Allegiance and The Star Spangled Banner! You can also teach them classic patriotic songs like America the Beautiful, My Country Tis of Thee, and This Land is Your Land.

Our favorite resources for learning about American history and geography:

(Just a reminder that Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here.)

School House Rock: America

Stack the States (app)

Liberty Kids

You can also fill your home with fun patriotic books, such as America the Beautiful or Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution!

Click here for our entire list of recommended patriotic books for kids!


If you like to do crafts with your kids, there are lots of choices for Memorial Day and Independence Day. Last year, we made wreaths using red, white, and blue fabric with some senior adults at the local retirement community! You can see our ever-growing collection of patriotic craft ideas on my Pinterest board here.

Patriotic Activities for Kids | Celebrate Memorial Day and Independence day with these patriotic songs and resources, fireworks crafts, patriotic sensory bin, and more!

Our girls love sensory play, so be sure to consider a patriotic sensory bin. We like red and blue dyed rice (mixed in with undyed white rice), along with 4th of July “table scatter” found at the craft shop. My girls also enjoyed adding pom poms to the mix along with their favorite sensory bin accessories.   


Patriotic Activities for Kids | Celebrate Memorial Day and Independence day with these patriotic songs and resources, fireworks crafts, patriotic sensory bin, and more!

Want 35 more patriotic activities for kids?

Click here for our Patriotic Family Activity Guide.