The classic tale by Charles
Dickens about a man who cared only for money, until his heart was
changed by three good spirits of Christmas.
Twas The Night Before Christmas
The classic poem about that jolly
old elf we know as Santa.
Christmas Stories from Santa's Secret Village
This site features a number of
online stories about Santa, most of which offer the choice of
reading the text of the story yourself, or hearing it read aloud
over the computer
You know --
Story! With the baby and the manger...
Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus
The favorite story about a little
girl's curiosity and the spirit of Christmas.
The Gift of the Magi
The famous story by O. Henry in
which love and poverty cook up a comic and sentimental holiday gift
Fingerplays, & Flannel Board
Stir a bowl of
gingerbread, smooth and spicy brown.
<Pretend to stir>
Roll it with the rolling
pin up and down.
<Making rolling motions>
Take a cookie cutter and
make some little men.
<Use imaginary cutter to cut
Put them in the oven 'til
half past ten.
<Pretend to slide cookie tray
All done! Time to eat!
5 Little Gingerbread
gingerbread men on the tray,
<5 fingers stand on palm of
One jumped up and ran away.
<pop one finger up and move it away, bobbing
up and down>
catch me, if you can!
But I'm pretty fast. I'm the gingerbread man!
for next 4 fingers --"4 fingers on the tray, etc." All
the way to...>
No little gingerbread men on the tray!
Gingerbread Runaways by
Five sleepy men
made out of gingerbread
Awoke one morning on a cookie sheet bed.
"Hey!" said One, "Let's go play."
"No," said Two, "Let's run away!"
"Shhh," said Three, "Someone will hear."
"Phooey," said Four, "There's no one near."
"Come on," said Five, as he jumped to the floor,
And the five little men danced out the door.
Gingerbread Baby by
There once was a
baby made out of bread
With beautiful skin of brownish-red
And a warm cookie sheet for his bed.
He jumped from
that bed one sunny day
Decided he wanted to run away.
He ran away from the nice old woman.
He ran and ran from the kind old man,
From the dog and the cat he ran, ran, ran.
A sly old fox soon caused him to stop
Invited him on his nose to hop.
Now, if you know how this story goes,
You know not to hop on a fox's nose.
patterns that go with this story -- and for more than
2000 great fingerplays, flannel board stories, and great
curriculum ideas --order Pam Schiller's new book:
The Complete Resource Book for
Toddlers and Twos.
Jingle bells! Jingle
Jingle all the way.
Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse, open
sleigh -- hey!
Jingle bells! Jingle bells!
Jingle all the way.
Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse, open
<Be sure to pass out the
bells for this classic sing along!>
Here Is The Chimney
Here is the chimney
<Make a fist, with thumb hidden
Here is the top.
<Cover fist with palm of other
Open the lid.
And out Santa pops!
<Thumb pops up>
I took a lick of my peppermint
to lick a candy cane>
And was it ever yummy!
It used to be on my Christmas tree.
<Make tree shape with hands>
Now, it's in my tummy!
5 Little Christmas Trees
5 little Christmas trees
<hold up 5 fingers>
Standing all alone
Their hearts were very sad
'Cause they hadn't found a home.
Then chop went the ax
<hold up left forearm and "chop" with right hand>
And down fell a tree
<let forearm fall>
And off it went with a happy family!
<pretend to swing a tree onto your shoulder.
Stamp feet as if marching away>
<repeat: 4 little Christmas trees... all
the way down to 1>
No little Christmas Trees
Standing all alone
Their hearts were very happy
'Cause they'd all found a home!
Five Little Bells
Five little bells hanging in a row.
<Hold up five fingers>
The first one said, "Ring me slow."
<Hold up first finger>
The second one said, "Ring me fast."
The third one said, "Ring me last."
The fourth one said, "I sound like a
The fifth one said, "Ring us all at Christmas time."
<Hold up fifth finger>
to: "The Hokey Pokey"
You put your antlers in. You put your antlers
You put you antlers in and you shake them all
You do the Reindeer Pokey and you turn yourself
That's what it's all about!
You put your hooves in....
You put your red nose in....
You put your fluffy tail in...
You put your reindeer body in...
Nutcracker Scarf Suite
For this activity you'll
need some large scarves or streamers to dance
with. Just put on a tape or CD of
the Nutcracker Suite music and let the children
swish, sway, and twirl their way around the
room. Alternatively, this makes great
background music for Christmas themed art and
Christmas Carols Collection
Need the words to your favorite
Christmas songs? Check this site!
Holiday Collection of Songs & Fingerplays
Lots more fun songs and fingerplays!
Christmas Action Rhymes and Fingerplays for Children
Fun ideas from the Holiday Zone.
Preschool Plant Activity – Understanding Watering the Christmas Tree
As you add water to your Christmas tree, is
your preschooler wondering why? Are they wondering where all that
water goes, and why the tree needs it? With this fun preschool
science experiment, you can teach your preschooler why your
Christmas tree (and all plants) need water and how water moves up
all plants, including your Christmas tree.
Make Your Own Crystal "Snowflakes"
Students will learn how different crystals are
formed, observe crystals in the making, observe with a hand lens and
cite the geometric qualities, and relate the necessary natural
occurrences needed to create crystals.
scalding hot liquid makes this lesson plan appropriate only for 4th
grade and older.
My Five Senses
The holidays are a great time to do a unit on
the five senses: touch, sight, smell, hearing, and taste! Make
a gingerbread house
for it's wonderful smell, textures,
colors-- and tastes. Gather small spice containers
and fill with a small amount of various spices, such as ginger,
cinnamon, garlic powder, dill, etc. (To make: place
double-sided tape in the bottom of a clean container, sprinkle tape
with a pinch of spice.) For young preschoolers, collect up
board books with textured pages.
For a fun game to sharpen memory skills and awareness of the sense
of touch, make a "Mystery Box" (see below). For
even more fun make your own Sensory
Play Table or use our
Play Recipes to make
Playdough, and etc. Be sure
to talk about how things feel and look to build vocabulary and help
build connections between the left and right side of the brain.
Recommended books: (click titles for
Head, Shoulders, Knees
Oh What a Miracle I Am -- Hap
If You're Happy
& You Know It
Clap Your Hands, Tap Your Feet --
|| Hokey Pokey (or
Where Is Thumbkin?
2 Little Black Birds, Sitting On a
Cloud (one named "Soft" and one named "LOUD")
Going On a Bear Hunt (pretend
to squelch through mud, swish through tall grass, splash
through a puddle or river, etc.)
How to Make A Mystery Box:
Just clean a large yogurt tub, coffee can
(no rough edges), or upright Kleenex box. Next, cut the
leg off an old pair of sweatpants, using the bottom 18" plus
cuff. Place the pants leg over the coffee can
or etc., so that the rough edge is even with the bottom of the
can. The rest of the pants leg stretches up over the top
of the can, with the cuff at the top. Use hot glue to
attach permanently. If desired, decorate with permanent
makers and puff paint fabric glue.
Variations For Play: collect
small objects to place inside. For young children, show a
collection of objects, then while they cover their eyes place
one inside and hide the rest out of sight. Let children
feel inside the Mystery Box. Ask them about what they
feel. Is it hard or soft? Fat or skinny?
Smooth or rough? Does it have legs, wheels? Does it
make a sound when you shake it? Let them try guessing what
the item is. Give clues about what the items use if
necessary. Ask if they can tell what color the
object is from how it feels -- very young children may not have
considered this, that color can only be seen with the eyes.
Finally, let them pull out the toy to see what it was.
Repeat with other objects. Be sure to let the kids
have a turn hiding the object inside and quizzing you!
The Season of Giving
Christmas time is the perfect time to talk
about those who have less. Not everyone can afford a big
Christmas dinner, a Christmas tree, or the new toys their children
are dreaming of. How do we feel about this? Why do
some people have less? What would it be like to be a child in
a family struggling in poverty? What could we do to make
the holiday season brighter and spread joy and love -- like the
historic Saint Nicholas is said to have done? How
does this fit with the teachings of your family's religious faith?
Also, what about animals? All God's creatures need our love
and compassion. How could you share your love with other
creatures? How could you do your part to care for the Earth?
Ways to give service:
donate to food and toy drives,
find out about local shelters for
battered women and their children, homeless persons, etc and
find out if you can donate gently used clothing, small
appliances, toys, or etc. Ask what other ways you
could offer help.
make meals or treats for elderly or
ill neighbors or relatives who find it hard to care fully
invite someone to Christmas dinner who
would otherwise be alone
contact a local nursing home and ask
about ways to share holiday cheer with residents
For more ideas:
Kids Can Change
Decorations, gifts, wrappings, and
even things to eat!
Christmas Fuse Beads
Making fuse bead ornaments is a
fun holiday activity to do as a family, or for school-age
children to do independently. Caution: we recommend that adults
or teens do the actual pressing of the beads with the hot iron.
Below you'll find some kits to order, as well as some refills of
beads or paper. For patterns to isnpire new creations,
check out the link below.
Fuse Bead Patterns for Christmas
Using a glue gun or heavy craft
glue, attach three popsicle sticks together to form a triangle
as shown in the image at right. Glue on the "googly" eyes
and a red pom pom nose. Tie a bit of metallic thread
or a a nice ribbon to the top of the head for the ornament's
Gingerbread Men Garlands
Here's a cute way to use old paper
grocery bags -- use the printable gingerbread man template to trace
out and cut a garland of gingerbread men. Then decorate the
men (and women) with items from around the house: glue on
fruit loops for eyes and buttons, etc., squeezable fabric puff
paints can be used for the "icing".
for more directions and the printable template.
Christmas Tree Paper Chain /Garland
Mini "Gingerbread" Houses
This is a classic way for kids
to make their own -- eat it all by yourself sized --
"gingerbread" house. The basis of these great houses
is graham cracker squares. Add ready made frosting from
the grocery store, plus some gumdrops, licorice, mints and candy
sprinkles, and you're there.
for complete directions and photos.
for another version of this craft.
Cream Cone Xmas Tree
This is a very
simple, and yummy, craft that requires: frosting, green
food coloring, assorted candies and sprinkles, and of course
sugar cones. Be sure to lay a piece of wax paper on your
work surface. Now tint the frosting with the food coloring
(young children will need a grown-up to help with this) and stir
well. Turn your sugar cone upside down and frost with the
green icing. Be sure to put it on thickly, so your candies
have something to stick into. Shiny little non-pareils
(edible round silver balls) make great ornaments for this craft!
If you don't see them in your grocery store, try a cake baking
specialty store or ask at your local party store (some carry
cake decorating supplies).
Get out your large size construction paper,
your craft glue, the glitter, and your scissors. Now skibble
out to the mail box and grab up an armload of those advertisements
the stores are all sending out (kids, please ask your parents
first). The advertisement pages (also found in your
Sunday newspaper) are chock full of pictures of Santa, wrapped
gifts, Christmas trees, toys, holiday treats and candy canes, and
much more. Now sit down and cut out those pictures -- don't
worry about being too neat, after all you could even carefully tear
out the pictures.
Once you have a big stack of pictures you
like, get busy with the glue and stick the pictures onto your
construction paper. Sprinkle some glitter on for a really
fancy effect! Maybe you'd even like to get out some holiday
stickers to add in. Here's another fun idea: choose one
fairly large picture and put it on the construction paper all by
itself. Use glue and glitter to make a "picture frame" around
it and add some pretty designs in glitter around the page.
Another great idea, is to fold the
construction paper in half first to make a card. Then decorate
a good idea to take the rest of the junk newspaper and spread it out
on your table before you begin -- so you don't end up with glue and
glitter all over your table!
Paper Chain Garlands
assorted colors of construction paper (green and red works
nicely), cut out strips of identical length and width, 1 inch by 6
Form one strip into a loop, fastening shut with either tape, a
staple, glue stick, or glue gun. Take another strip, of
another color, and insert it through the first loop and fasten
shut. You will now have two loops, linked together.
Now simply repeat with the remaining strips. Alternate
colors in a pattern for a great look.
Own Photo Frame
Make your own
photo frames to give as gifts to friends and
relatives. You can leave the frame empty
for them to fill with a photo of their own, or
you can fill it with a photo of your and your
family. Kids used to makes frames by
gluing popsicle sticks into a square shape, but
you can make it easier (and fancier) by starting
with one of these inexpensive kits. Each
photo magnet craft kit below comes with enough
supplies to make twelve frames.
12 Christmas Train Photo Frame Magnet Craft Kits
You can buy a
plain, undecorated T-Shirt or Sweatshirt at your
local craft store or drug store (Walgreen's, Rite
Aid, etc.). Bring it home, toss it in to wash
in hot water to pre-shrink it. Dry it.
And then get ready to make a fun and practical gift.
different ways to decorate your gift shirt:
you can print out a photo or clip-art picture onto
an iron-on T-shirt transfer (a picture of you could
make a nice gift), then iron it on and decorate
around it with fabric paints or fabric
OR you could decorate the T-shirt with a
design made from your handprints.
Ornament for Someone
Jingle Bell Ornament Craft Kit
materials and instructions to make 12 penguins.
(Approximately 2 3/4” when assembled)
unit (12 items per unit)
requires you to trace and cut 10 hand prints out of green
construction paper or craft foam. Arrange four "hands" in
the bottom row, overlapping slightly. Fasten together with
glue stick. Next, maker a new layer out of three more
"hands", and lay this on top of the first one you made, with
just the fingers hanging over it. (See photo below.) Keep
going, making another layer out of two hands, and finally making
the last layer -- the of the tree-- from a single hand.
Make sure everything is securely fastened down with glue stick.
To make it
even more fun, decorate your tree. Cut out a gold star for
the top, some round circles to be the ornament balls. Make
strings of "garland" on the tree with glitter.
These are a sweet-smelling
ornament that adds the fragrance of apple pie to
your house! Hang it in the kitchen or
dining room, or place it on the tree. To
make, line a colander with heavy paper towels or
cheesecloth and pour in a jar of applesauce.
Let sit for one hour then remove drained
applesauce to a mixing bowl. Add an equal
portion of cinnamon (i.e. 1 cup sauce plus 1 cup
cinnamon) and mix together to form a dough.
Note that Costco is good source for bulk
spices, as is most Indian markets.
Roll the dough out on
wax paper to ¼ - ½ inch thick. From
shapes by hand or use holiday cookie cutters,
then use a straw to poke a hole in the top of
each ornament for hanging later. Let dry
for several days in a warm location. When
your ornament is completely dry, slip a ribbon
or yarn through the hole and make a loop for