The All-singing All-dancing Christmaspalooza Resource Hamper (1)
by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Kids and Christmas go together like plum pudding and custard, don't they? But the holiday season doesn't mean we forget about trying to sneak some learning and creativity into kids' lives. In fact, holidays are often a time when we have the leisure to share activities as a family, and make wonderful memories. So, like a higgledy-piggledy Christmas hamper, here are some fun and educational ideas and activities you can use with your kids and students over the coming weeks. (Disclaimer: I make no claims as to the suitability of these resources for your kids! Please exert supervision for any websites children use.)
* First of all, here's something I'm thrilled to share! It's a Make Your Own Nativity Set available as a free download. From illustrator and designer, Marloes de Vries, this is just the most gorgeous set, available as pdf either coloured or ready for children to colour themselves. I have Marloes' permission to use this image below so you can get an idea of why I'm excited to be sharing it.
* Little kids might enjoy decorating a tree by dragging baubles with their mouse at CBeebies. The site also has a simple page of decorations to colour and cut.
* Here's a cute song at Vimeo, The Happy Christmas Song. Listen to more music and watch animation in An Unconventional Christmas Story at Vimeo, embedded below.
Natale 2011: la storia di un sogno from utopyamindslab on Vimeo.
* Christmas is a great time for kids to write lists. Having a purpose for writing, and having enjoyment built in to a writing task, means that children will get more out of it. Making lists needn't stop with recording wanted gifts either. Suggest your kids write a list of gifts a literary character might want, or a cartoon or movie character. If writing lists with children interests you, check out Get Kids Writing with Lists.
* Writing a Christmas story or list is even more enticing with a specially themed booklet. Activity Village has some cute ones, both ruled and blank available as downloadable pdfs. Take a look around while you're there. They also have some pretty scrap book paper, gift cards etc.
* I stumbled across this blast from the past and wanted to share it. At Archive.org, you can download cartoons and movies that are in the public domain. Yes, that mostly means they're old, but it might be fun for kids to see how far animation has come! Here's Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - 1948. After kids have watched, they can use public domain thumbnail images to retell stories in comic format because the site has screen shots available as thumbnails. Admittedly, they are tiny files e.g. 8kb. But it's possible, as you will see in the tiny comic Santa's Specs that I finished making at Ribbet.
* Make some Christmas treats with kids by decorating plain biscuits with icing and sprinkles/lollies/candy, or dipping pretzels in milk, dark or white chocolate. Take photos of each step and create digital directions by adding captions with software/online editors. Great sequencing practice!
* Here's a cute story where kids need to discover Rudolph's location. A bouncing red ball prompts them to think about what's happening and make inferences.
* Watch and read-along with A Christmas Carol at Speakaboos.
* Use Kerpoof to have kids create their own Christmas pictures (Make a Picture) and add text for captions or labelling. This would be an excellent way to create a letter to Santa the way I did here.
* Find a story for kids to read along with among Storynory's Christmas Stories.
* Creative Mamma has a downloadable pack of a Christmas Scavenger Hunt and other goodies as a pdf. Check out the other printables while you're there.
* Here are some Christmas Pinterest boards that might inspire you:
Elf Family Academy
Sassy Sites And Crafts Christmas Crafts for Kids
Kids Christmas Crafts - Young
Kids' Christmas Activities
If you've enjoyed this post, or any others at The Book Chook, I'd love you to help me spread my literacy, learning and literature ideas by promoting via Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, StumbleUpon, G+ or any other way you decide.
On Wednesday, I'll bring you more delights in The All-singing All-dancing Christmaspalooza Resource Hamper (2).