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Corduroy's Christmas by Don Freeman. *Use a teddy bear to accompany story*

The Grinch That Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. If your children can listen to a story, skim the book and "read" parts of the story to them. *Use the grinch fingerpuppet to keep attention* The children also like to look at the book/puppet at the puppet center.

Clifford's First Christmas by Norman Bridwell

Franklin's Christmas by Paulett Bourgeois

The Mitten by Jan Brett-We use the masks from Jan Brett's homepage( to accompany our story.

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett

Clifford's Big Snow by Norman Bridwell

The Gingerbead Man by Richard Scarry

The Snowman (Book and Video) by Raymond Briggs



***To hear songs, click on the desired song, open it from current location, wait for it to upload, and then click the play arrow.****

Must Be Santa by Raffi-We sing this song and use cards to go along on our magnetic song board. Each child holds a part (suit of red, cap on head, special night,etc;) and places on board, when that part of the song comes up. This is great for children who use an augmentative communication device, they can participate too.

Make a large snowman from white posterboard. Make a hat and scarf from each color: Red, yellow, green, orange, blue, purple, pink, brown, and black. Add velcro to the snowman and to the hats and scarfs. Each day, at circle, let a child put on the appropriate colored scarf to match the hat. On our snowman, we put each button a different color and shape. We talk about this too, as we do our activity. *(We sing this to put our scarf and hat on our snowman at circle time)

a 1. I'm A Little Snowman-

I'm A Little Snowman,

Short and fat,

Here is my ___ scarf

And here is ____ my hat.

When the sun comes out,

I melt away.

But when it's cold, I'm here to stay!

a 2. Little Pine Tree-

(Taken from Dec/Jan Mailbox)

Little pine tree, little pine tree,

You have branches green and wide, (open arms wide)

Little Pine tree, little pine tree,

Gently sway from side to side, (sway arms back and forth)

Little Pine tree, litte pine tree,

You have snowflakes in your hair, (wiggle fingers above head)

Little pine tree, little pine tree,

Welcome birds to shelter there. (make a welcome sign)

Art Activities

Reindeer-Need: Tan and brown paper, wiggly eyes, and ribbon. Trace child's foot on brown, and
hands on tan. Cut out and assemble the hands as antlers and the foot as the head. Add eyes and embellish with ribbon.

Another Variation:*(This idea submitted by Kathi Goggin-Lewis of Kosciusko Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan.)* Cut out triangle shaped reindeer faces from brown construction paper. The day before this lesson, I use garden shears to cut small branches/twigs from bushes to use as antlers! Use masking tape to secure the branches/twigs on the back of the reindeer's face so that they stick up. Saves on cutting construction paper, and the branches/twigs really look like antlers!

Life Size Angels-Need: colored tissue paper, flesh-colored construction paper, pencil, markers, wiggly eyes, patterns (Wing and face), tagboard, pipe cleaners, glitter, hair colors paper, masking tape, and glue. Pretrace the face pattern and wing patterns. Face on flesh colored paper, and wings onto tagboard. Then, trace the child's hands, feet onto flesh colored paper. Let the student choose hair color, eye color, and tissue paper. Then make hair to attach to the face; glue. Then glue on eyes. Cut a nose from the left over flesh colored paper and glue on. Then add a singing mouth with marker. Next, cut a piece of tagboard in half; staple together, longwise to make body. Then glue body to the neck, and glue tissue robe, to fit around the neck. If desired, let children add a bow (yarn or ribbon) around the neck. Let child pick color of glitter and pipe cleaner. Bend two pipe cleaners together into a circle shape. Attach to the back of the head with masking tape. Let child make any design desired with glue and glitter on the wings. When dry, attach the wings to the back of the angel with glue. Then attach the feet to the bottom of the body, and hands to the robe at the sides. Hang and enjoy guessing which angel is who's. The kids love to do this!

Snowflake Ornament-Need:popsickle sticks, white paint, and irridescent glitter. Glue the popsickle sticks on top of one another to form a basic snowflake shape. Paint the snowflake with white paint and sprinkle on glitter. If desired add small wiggly eyes and pom-pom for nose to make a snowflake character.

Reindeer Ornament-Need: Red shiny ornament balls, black felt, wiggly eyes, brown pom poms,white pom poms, red pom poms, green ribbon, low-temp glue glun or other adhesive. Tie a piece of green ribbon from loop on ornament to form a hanger. Cut out antlers from felt and glue on to ball. Then add a medium size pom pom in front of each antler. Add a larger white pom pom on for the nose and top with a small red pom pom. Add eyes and then add a green bow between the antlers. Cute!! **Use caution with glue gun or glass balls with younger children. Try to use low temp or a tacky glue and plastic balls for very young children**

Reindeer Biscuits- Need: Dog biscuit, clear lacquer, small wiggly eyes, brown felt/paper, small red pom poms, green ribbon, glue. Lacquer the dog biscuits ahead of time. Attach the antlers at each top side of the biscuit. Add eyes and nose in the middle, and then embellish with ribbon. Form a hanger from ribbon or thread.

Bells-Need:Small styrofoam/paper cups, yellow, red, green, or blue paint. Paint a cup with the desired color and add designs(optional). Add a coordinating pipe cleaner thru the bottom of cup to form an inside loop. Attach a bell to the inside loop.

Candy cane Rudolph-Need:Paper bag, candy cane, wiggly eye, and small red pom pom nose. Trace a simple reindeer head onto the paper bag. Cut out double thickness, and trim with pinking shears. Glue the sides together, except the neck-leave it open. Insert a candy cane into the neck, and tie with ribbon. Glue on wiggly eye and pom pom nose. See my drawing for an example.

Hand Wreath-Trace a large circle onto tagboard, or use paper plates. Have children place their hands in green paint and press onto the circle. Let Dry. Then dip fingertip into red paint, and dab on some holly berries. After it is dry, cut the middle of the circle out, add bow, and hang up!

Snowmen-Need:White paper towels, Elmer's Glue, water, white tempera, crystalline glitter, assorted colored paper. This is an excellent activity for squeezing/fine motor. First, take five paper towels and crumble them into a ball. Then do the same for three paper towels, then two. Set the balls aside. Tear off three paper towels. Using a glue/water mixture, roll the mixture on to the paper towel. Wrap the wet towel around the biggest ball. Place on a piece of heavy paper. Then roll the mixture onto another paper towel. Take the wet towel and wrap around the medium ball. Place it on top of the large ball. Do the same for the remaining smaller ball. Make sure the snowmen is secure, add more paste if necessary. Let dry overnight. Then paint the snowman white with a brush, and then sprinkle on the snowy glitter. Let dry overnight again. The next day make colored hats, scarfs, buttons, and faces for your snowmen.

Handprint trees-Need: Large piece of paper, green fingerpaint, brown twig. Let children make a tree from handprints by dipping hands in green paint. Press hands onto paper, five times on the bottom, then four, then three, then two, then one. Glue a twig for the base of the tree. Decorate tree if desired.

Gingerbread men-Need: Brown paper or sand paper, ground or whole cinnamon, colored/white glue, glitter, markers,etc; Run the gingerbread pattern onto brown paper or trace it onto the sand paper. If using sand paper, rub whole cinnamon sticks across the paper. Great sensory activity. If using the brown paper, sprinkle on ground cinnamon (like glitter). Then embellish the gingerbread with glue, glitter, markers, or however desired.

Pinecone Santa-Need: Small pine cones, tiny wiggle eyes, polyfill, green and red paper triangles, white glue. Squeeze glue onto pine cone, and add the paper hat; try to press into the pinecone. Then add the wiggle eyes, placing an eye on a "bud" of the pine cone. Place the next eye on the closest "bud". Then press a small amount of polyfil onto the cone, for the beard. This project was super easy and soooo... cute!!

Hands to Heart Mitten-Make a mitten pattern on tagboard. Trace around two mittens, per child, on colored paper. Cut out, dip hand in paint and press onto one mitten. Stamp on a heart or color with markers on the other mitten; add name and year. Attach the two mittens with yarn.

Penguin- Need: 9" paper plate, 6" paper plate, black construction paper, white construction paper, and orange construction paper. Make a flipper (feet) pattern from orange, wings pattern from black, stomach middle from black, white eyeballs, black pupils, and orange triangle beak. I precut the features for my students that can't independently yet. Glue the smaller plate onto the bigger plate. This is the penguin's face and body. Glue the flippers onto the bottom of the plate body. Then glue the eyes on and beak on the middle of the top plate face. Then glue the wings onto the sides of the body plate; and the stomach middle onto the middle of the body plate. Add a black patch on the head from black paper once assembled if desired.

Egg carton Penguins-Need: foam egg cartons, precut orange beaks, precut black triangle wings, precut orange feet/flippers, precut black stomach middle, black paint, tape, and wiggly eyes. Cut out two egg carton cups. Paint them white and let dry. Then tape the egg cartons together, sealing the edges. Glue on the precut features in the appropriate areas. Feet on bottom, wings on side, stomach patch on middle, eyes on top, and beak under eyes.

Centers, Games, and Experiences

Gift Wrapping Station-Need: boxes, wrapping paper,tape, bows, gift tags, "toys" or gifts to be wrapped. Old gift wish catalog, christmas cards, gift bags, elf hats. Let children wrap and open presents till their hearts are content!

Christmas Card Express-Old and new Christmas cards, stamps(old/new),pens, pencils, markers, stickers, envelopes, scale, mailbag, mailbox (these last two can be handmade). Let children make and send christmas cards.

Sensory table-"Snow"-packing foam pieces, hide christmas ornaments, candy canes, small toys, christmas cards, stockings, small packages, fake/real candy, etc; Let children find goodies hidden in the snow.

Make a snowman-White clay or playdoh, miniature accessories:hat, scarf, coal eyes, carrot nose, twigs, and a neat scene/background. We model the language for the children on building a snowman. The children really seem to enjoy this. Show me the snowmen!

Blocks-Blocks, wrapping paper, tape, plastic santa, and reindeer. Let children wrap the blocks as presents, or wrapped blocks that children can open. Children can also build a sleigh for santa and houses for the reindeer.

House-Supply the house area with a miniature artificial tree, placemats, napkins, and any holiday item you have and that is appropriate. Post christmas recipes/cards(gingerbread, etc;) to give the children some ideas for what christmas goodies to make.

Experiences Build a Snowman-If you live in a warmer climate like me, try making an alternative santa. Use: Clear trash bags, packing peanuts or shredded paper, plastic top hat or other hat available, scarf, coal or lava rock, and fake carrot, or roll a piece of orange construction paper into a cone shape. Pack the small clear trash bags with white packing peanuts. Then tie each bag off and stack on top of each other. To help the bags stick together, use hot glue and dab on to gently connect the bags. Then decorate the santa with coal eyes, buttons, scarf, hat, and nose. Cute!!!

If you don't have access to the packing peanuts and want to do a snowman outside, try using the white plastic garbage bags and leaves. Stuff the bags with leaves and then assemble the snowman as above.


Marshmallow Snowman-Attach three large marshmallows with a toothpick. Then to make a scarf, use licorice or fruit tape. Use chocolate chips for the eyes and a candy corn for the nose. Then add a jelly bean into a jelly ring and place on the top marshmallow.

Jellybean Tree-Turn a sugar cone upside down and frost with icing. Press green jelly beans into the frosting, and if desired use red hots for ornaments. Then top with a peppermint or a candy.

Idea taken from Sesame Street Parents-A truly wonderful publication.

**Parents, you will find a copy to borrow/look at in my box outside my door**

Mitten snack-Wonderful treat to eat while you read The Mitten by Jan Brett. Take a half slice of pita bread (the mitten), coat the inside with marsmallow creme/frosting, and add animal crackers.

Gingerbread faces-Take Little Debbie oatmeal pie, put on cinnamon cany for nose, raisins for eyes, and red licorice for mouth. Great treat after reading the traditional story, Gingerbread Man.

Green Frosting Trees-Need:Sugar cone, green frosting, candies(red cinnamon, gumdrops, m&ms), mini-marshmallows, red licorice string, Optional: shredded coconut. Turn cone upside down on plate, and ice with frosting. Add a licorice garland and coconut icicles. Then add candy ornaments or marshmallow ornaments. Eat!

Reindeer Frozen Pops-Need: Bananas, popsickle sticks, mini pretzels, chocolate chips, candies, peanut butter. Cut bananas in half, push popsickle stick into banana, dip in melted choclate, place on waxed paper, and add candy eys, and nose. Then add pretzel antlers with peanut butter. Freeze, then Eat!!

Bulletin Boards

Christmas Scene-Make a large green christmas tree to put on one side of the board. Decorate the tree with garland and laminated shapes/ornaments. Make a train to go around the bottom of the tree. Then make a gingerbread house on the other side, and add gingerbread men around the house. I put mine on a dark background. If you have a very dark blue, spray the fake snow on the "night" above. Optional ideas: Put childrens' names on the gingerbread men. Put names or pictures on each car of the train.

Functional Hands on Tree-This can be used as a center. Make a large christmas tree from green paper and laminate for durability. Then place the tree on a wall where it is accessible to the children. Cut different colored shapes from paper and laminate. Trace around the shape on the tree in the exact color of the shape. Then add velcro to the traced shape and actual shape. Let children "decorate" the tree by discriminating against colors and shapes. I use colors for the younger children and shapes for the older children. (It's like killing two birds with one stone!)

Our little stars- On a dark background, put your hand made stars! We make different types of stars: popsicle stars, glittered stars, etc; Title it "Our Little Stars". Be sure to put each child's name on his star or underneath/beside/above. You can also make a star, cut out the center, and put the child's photograph behind it.

Colored Gingerbread-Make different colored gingerbread houses and laminate on posterboard. Then die cut coordinating gingerbread men and write childrens' names on them. At circle, give each child his/her gingerbread man and have them find the corresponding house he/she belongs to.

The following idea was taken from a very dear friend and fellow preschool teacher, Ingrid, who is very creative!

Gift Box- Take a piece of red or green posterboard, full sheet, and add a parcel tie and bow. Then at circle, or group, let the children close or cover their eyes. Then, choose one child to come and "hide" behind the box. The other children have to guess who is behind the present. This is a great memory game for young children. I loved the idea and so did my children.

Counting Board- I always make a counting board to use with my thematic units. This time I used trees. I simply take a piece of posterboard, place the appropriate number of cut outs and have the children count them.

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