Christmas is coming soon, so it's time to get festive! This storytime includes four books (with non-religious themes), a reindeer finger puppet rhyme, and four songs with motions! We'll wrap everything up (haha, wrap up) with a miniature Christmas tree ornament craft.
Storytime Outfit of the Day
My first group kept telling me "Hello Reindeer!" today. I wore mostly brown to stay with the reindeer theme but I also had to wear my fuzzy Santa socks and my plaid leggings, which remind me of wrapping paper. I also had jingle bell earrings and a cute polar bear snap bracelet. The kids wanted to know where I got everything (Dollar Tree & Romwe).
Books to Spread Christmas Cheer
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas (Eric Litwin)
The kiddos (and I) already love Pete the Cat, so this one was a no brainer! Santa is sick and calls on Pete the Cat to help deliver the Christmas presents, but will such a small cat be able to finish this huge task? It's full of humor and has a catchy song that repeats throughout, which you can sing or you can download the free audio here.
Snowmen At Christmas (Caralyn Buehner)
This is a sequel to Snowman At Night, which I already read to the kids, so they were excited to see their favorite snowmen back (especially the one with the pickle nose). Like the first book, a boy imagines what sort of things snowmen do when no one is watching, but with a Christmas theme this time. I love that each snowman has a unique style and personality. There was even a snow dog and some cute snow babies!
I Got the Christmas Spirit (Connie Schofield-Morrison)
This story says so much with few words. It follows an adorable pigtailed girl as she explores the city with her mother at Christmastime. It is full of onomatopoeia, like the bells going "jingle jingle" and "a-choo!" of a sneeze, so have the kids repeat after you. The little girl also encounters a homeless family and in a surprise ending, she and other townspeople buy them gifts. In the end, you see her running to meet her dad, after having learned the true meaning of Christmas.
Bear Stays Up For Christmas (Karma Wilson)
This one is also part of a popular series. It's Winter, so bear is ready to hibernate, but his friends don't want him to miss out on Christmas! They use various methods to help him stay up until finally the big day comes. I like the repetition of "so the bear stays up" throughout, which I read in a deep, Eeyore-like voice, then how it resolves with "Then Bear Falls Asleep."
Finger Puppet Rhyme: 5 Little Reindeer
Kids go crazy for "5 Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed," and they will recognize the pattern in this rhyme. They loved shouting along with Mrs. Clause and I really got them laughing with the surprise ending. These are the words:
5 little reindeer pulling Santa's sled,
One fell down and bumped his head!
Santa called Mrs. Clause and she said:
"Put that reindeer right to bed!"
(Repeat until the there is only one left, then instead of the last line, shout "Call Rudolph!"
Songs With Motions For Little Carolers
If You're Rudolph & You Know It
Tune: If You're Happy & You Know It
I just added these verses to my storytime hello song "If You're Ready For a Story."
Rudolph - Flash your nose
Snowman - Melt away
Santa - Say Ho, ho, ho!
Old St. Nicholas Had a Tree
Tune: Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Old Saint Nicholas had a tree, (Make a triangle with your arms.)
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho! (rub your tummy)
And on the tree he had some bells, (Make triangle with your arms.)
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho! (rub your tummy)
With a ring ring here and a ring ring there. (wave arm like a hand bell)
Here a ring, there a ring, everywhere ring ring!
Additional verses: Lights (flash), Drums (boom), horns (toot)
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas, (wave arm repeat x3)
And a happy New Year! (raise arms with each syllable)
Let's do a little stomping, (stomp repeat x3)
And spread Christmas cheer! (raise arms with each syllable)
Additional verses: Hopping, clapping, twirling, dancing, waving
Up On the Housetop
Craft: Mini Trees For Your Tree!
These miniature Christmas tree ornaments were simple to make and each child's turned out different, as they were given the freedom to decorate their how they wanted with a variety of ornaments. There are also a number of substitutions that can be made for the supplies.
Popsicle sticks, cardboard, or clothespins for tree trunk
Green foam, felt, or cardstock for tree
Pipe cleaners, ribbon, or string for hanger
Stickers, little cotton balls, or cut shapes for ornaments
Glue stick, hot glue, or liquid glue