Friday, December 7, 2012

The All-singing All-dancing Christmaspalooza Resource Hamper (3)

The All-singing All-dancing Christmaspalooza Resource Hamper (3) 
by Susan Stephenson,

This week at The Book Chook is dedicated to bringing you some ideas for Christmas-themed activities you can try with your kids and students. On Monday, I brought you The All-singing All-dancing Christmaspalooza Resource Hamper(1). On Wednesday, I brought you The All-singing All-dancing Christmaspalooza Resource Hamper(2). Here are more fun, educational ideas and activities you can use 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 kids use.)

*Wordle (or close cousins: Tagxedo, ABCya Word Cloud and Tagul) is a wonderful website to explore with kids at any time, but particularly at Christmas. If Wordle is new to you, read more in What's the Use of Word Clouds? Book Chook Tutorial - Adding Pics to Word Clouds, Book Chook Resolutions for 2010. You could use a Word Cloud with your kids to form the basis of a special Christmas greeting. I started by making a word cloud at Wordle, took a screen grab of it, then uploaded the image to Ribbet, where I added some suitable stickers. Kids love playing with the bling offered by image editors, and Christmas is an opportunity for them to go all out!

*Need some Christmas skits or short plays? Try Christmas Plays for Children and Scroll down to the bottom of each script to see the conditions of performance - many are free, so long as you don't charge an entrance fee. Education World has Home for the Holidays a reader's theatre script by Cara Bafile.

*Why not have a go at creating your own Christmas play? Find a suitable children's picture book or traditional tale and reinvent it as a piece of reader's theatre or short play. You can link to some articles I've written about this via Reader's Theatre 4.

* Use an online photo editor to add special effects to photos and make them the basis of a Christmas card for someone special. Image editor, ipiccy, has an effect under Misc that adds snow. At Ribbet, you can add lots of little Christmas stamps/stickers as I did in the top 3 pics.

*Do some Christmas cooking and write directions so others can share your activity. Get some ideas in Children's Writing - Write a Procedure.

*Searching for some Christmas music? Check out Zooglobble. Here's "Christmas" in the archive.

*If you need Christmas song lyrics, check out Songs for Teaching.coms.

*Kids can choose all sorts of Christmas bling to build an avatar at Bless this Chick. What creative activity could they base around an avatar? Writing with Avatars (2) might help.

***Song Videos on Youtube:

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

*Santa Claus is Coming to Town

*Make Santa Happy - a really catchy song that kids will enjoy watching.

*White Christmas Cartoon Song

*Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey

***More videos to share with your kids:

*The Snowman on Vimeo - if you watch one movie with your kids, make it this one. Perfect follow up to reading the book, The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs.

*The True Meaning of Christmas - Charlie Brown (5 mins)

*Here's one of my very favourite cat people, Simon's Cat, in Santa Claws. What other stories about cats can kids find in the library?

*Have you seen the story of the first Christmas told in New Zealand children's own words? It's lovely, and what's more, might be just the inspiration your kids need to present their own version!

*The Night Before Christmas at Watch Know Learn, Pts 1, 2 and 3

*The Small One at Watch Know Learn, Pts 1, 2, 3

Image created at ToonDoo and Ribbet

***Two Book Chook Challenges for Kids:

*If you were a dog/a unicorn/Santa/a pickle, or any combination of these, what Christmas gift would you like? As that character, persuade someone to give you the gift.

*Santa has a problem. His image has been tarnished by the rumours that say he's not real, or ask how one sleigh can deliver so many gifts in such a short time. Help Santa re-brand himself. Create an ad that will persuade people to feel more positive about Santa Claus. You could start by designing a logo for Santa, or generating one at SupaLogo. Play with the options to create a logo you want. Design a picture for your ad, and think of words to accompany it. The Santa Pickle picture above might give you some ideas.

And to finish for the week, I defy you not to smile at this cute video clip of sheep singing Jingle Bells. This would make a great lead in to a discussion about what works in advertisements and why!

I had lots of fun researching this Christmaspalooza of creative and educational resources for kids. Once I started, it was hard to stop! I hope you and your kids/students enjoy one or many, and have a wonderful holiday season. The Book Chook will be taking a break from December 22, 2012 - January 8, 2013.

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.

TIP: If you'd like some new books from the library or to buy, look for my bookish Christmas gift suggestions December 10, or check out "reviews" in the blog's right sidebar.


  1. "If you were a Christmas pickle ..." hahahaha I love it! (Maybe a 'get out of Pickle Jar free' card?)
    Great Christmas activities - and I love that Word Cloud Christmas Card, too. :-)
    ~ Rebecca

  2. @soupblogYes, the idea of a Santa Pickle has a certain charm, does it not? Perhaps he would be guided by a red-nosed rhubarb too.


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