I am having a ball with Christmas this year…and it started in October. This is the first year that I will be holding Christmas at my house and I’ve been making fruit mincemeat from scratch, a plum pudding, Christmas cake, I made my own fruit mince pies on the weekend. I’ve wrapped my fridge in wrapping paper and strung lights all around my living area. Basically, I’ve gone Christmas OTT this year and it’s been so much fun. I’ve put together a Christmas playlist and I’m listening to it right now – did you know Bob Dylan has a Christmas album…and that the Killers put one out every year? But, that’s enough about my Christmas let’s talk about Christmas with kids and all of the amazing books we can share with kids.

Christmas, for those who celebrate the holiday, is the most fun when celebrating with children (or adults who embrace their inner child) in my opinion. And there are so many things to do at Christmas – bake some gingerbread and develop fine motor skills by decorating them. Practise gross motor skills stringing lights and tinsel around a Christmas tree. Develop hand-eye coordination skills by threading baubles onto the Christmas tree. Practise cutting, gluing, writing, and have fun with stickers by wrapping up wonderful presents. Develop literacy skills with books, songs, and rhymes. Christmastime is an excellent opportunity to do lots of things that are good for little minds and bodies in different and exciting ways.

Books

I’m going to start with a couple of Traditional tales:

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore with illustrations by Ted Rand

This is one of those stories I love to read at Storytime here in the library because the parents know it and the children are still in awe of this wonderful Christmas story. There are a lot of versions of this poem and you can find a number of them at the library.

The Twelve Days of Christmas (illustrations by Britta Teckentrup)

I love Britta Teckentrup‘s books and this is a lovely version of the traditional song. Using cut-outs she has created a wonderful way to share the song and for children to engage with the book while doing so. I sing this one at Christmas Storytime every year and have a lot of fun with it – great for the memory. There are several versions of this book as well.

And now for some modern books…

A Very Pirate Christmas by Timothy Knapman

These naughty pirates Santa-nap the jolly man in red. Pretend to be Kris Kringle to get people’s presents and generally wreck havoc on Christmas, who will save the day…I promise there is a happy ending.

Peppa Pig and the Lost Christmas List

Where would Christmas be without our favourite anthropomorphic pig? Peppa saves the day in this story with her listening and memory skills and as Peppa is still very popular around our Storytimes this was a big hit this year.

Fancy Dress Christmas – Nick Sharratt

All of the animals are dressing up for Christmas, can you guess who came as a snowman? what about the Christmas tree?

Rhymes

There are so many lovely Christmas rhymes and songs and I think my coworkers wish I would sing them less often but it’s December now so it’s inevitable and here are two of my favourites:

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town

He’s making a list, and checking it twice
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
“Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

Then how the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee
‘Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you’ll go down in history!’

Craft

Collage Paper Baubles

What You Need:

  • A template which I printed on heavy duty (200gsm) card.
  • Glue (I used Mod Podge – it is quick drying and you can use it over the top of the collage to seal it all without it affecting the look of the design)
  • Craft paper – the prettier and more textured the better.
  • Ribbon/pipe cleaner,
  • Scissors and hole punch

What To Do:

  1. Print and then cut out the bauble template.
  2. Cut the paper into collage sized pieces.
  3. Glue the pieces onto the template.
  4. If using Mod Podge glue over the top to seal it all down.
  5. Wait for it to dry.
  6. Cut out the bits of collage pieces that hung over.
  7. Hole punch the hole back into the top.
  8. Use ribbon or a a pipe cleaner to create a loop and then hang them somewhere for decoration.

I hope you all have a safe and Merry Christmas if you celebrate and a wonderful December if you don’t.

A collage of my Christmas fun – Christmas Cake, Fruit Mince Pies/Tart, Wrapped Fridge, and my Christmas Tree

Keep an eye our for our library opening hours over the break and get more Christmas book, craft, and rhyme ideas with Karen or Chantelle.