If you have any bright Christmas ads around, it's time to pull them out. Some of my favorites (for this project) are Kohls, Target, Toys "R" Us, and Pier 1, but even Lowe's, Pottery Barn or Sears, etc. will work! It's a shame to just throw away all these bright and colorful magazine pictures.
My kids love the "I Spy" books, and anything that has to do with searching and finding hidden objects. I came up with this printable to give them a way to dig through the magazine pictures and use their observation skills along the way. I also love how these games force my kids to work together to find things. If your kids are older and you want to make a competition out of it, I'm sure that would be fun, too!
Go here to print this out, give them a catalog and a pen, and the rest is up to them. The beauty of this activity is they can take a pen or Sharpie and circle the objects along the way inside the ad--they aren't hurting anything since it is already trash! If your child is not reading yet, tell her to find the objects pictured on the page by herself and then help her find the rest. Also feel free to make your own list or add to this one! There are MANY things to choose from in these ads!
This is a similar game but instead of circling the objects, let your child hone his cutting and pasting skills along with his observation skills! Print this list, then give your child several catalogs, a blank piece of paper, scissors and a glue stick. See if they can find the amount listed to the left (ex. 2 mugs of cocoa, 3 candy canes) or simply let them find one of each! Depending on the age of your child, cutting and pasting 1 of each might take long enough.
Another fun Christmas catalog activity is to let your kids create some festive paper dolls or cut and paste a Christmas scene (fireplace, stockings, tree) into a room. My daughter LOVES doing this and is currently cutting and pasting her little Christmas room and family now. If you want ideas on how to get started, check out this post. Have fun making use of your colorful Christmas mail!