Since Christmas is three days away, I feel like I should post something holiday appropriate, but as it turns out, I don’t really read many “Christmas” books. Or, like, any. I do currently have My True Love Gave to Me on hold at the library, and I have previously read the first couple of stories, which were excellent (the Rainbow Rowell book opener! Goodness, I love that woman). And then I remembered the Christmas storytime that I put together, so here you go! For this storytime, I went with the Christmas versions of some of my favorites. My kids all seemed to have a good time and interacted with the stories really well.First up was I’m Not Santa by Jonathan Allen. I love Baby Owl, and it is so fun to read his tantrums out loud, especially if you REALLY get into it with yelling and whining and crying. And the kids LOVE it. Such fun!
Next, we had a Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells singalong. I never know what to do with myself when I’m just singing a song. I think in the future, I’ll look for a book to go with this or, I don’t know, learn to play an instrument. Also, I am just realizing that this would have been an excellent opportunity to bust out some bells for the kids to shake around.Pete the Cat! I love Pete the Cat, the kids love Pete the Cat, and this is one of the good ones from when Eric Litwin was still writing the stories. I tried watching the video and singing the song the same way, but I could not remember the melody, so I ended up just making up my own, as always.
Then I pulled out my flannel board for a couple of simple flannel activities. First, was Five Little Candy Canes. I found this in a packet of flannel activities that I had gotten during a training I went to. I made my own candy canes the morning of my storytime (which is why they are a little wonky). I love any activity like this where we can all count together.
Five little candy canes on my Christmas tree
The first one said, “Please don’t eat me!”
The second one said, “I’ve got stripes of red and white.”
The third one said, “It’s Christmas Eve tonight.”
The fourth one said, “Soon Santa Claus will come!”
The fifth one said, “Isn’t Christmas fun?”
Then the tree lit up, they each made a wish,
And five little candy canes shouted, “Merry Christmas!”
The next activity, I shamelessly stole from another librarian’s Christmas storytime: we Build a Snowman. It’s super simple, but works really well. I started with the snowman already put together, but with no face or accessories, and I asked the kids what our snowman needed and where the different parts should go. The only pieces that are pre-attached are the two balls of the body, but I suppose you could also start the snowman from complete scratch, and ask the kids what you need to build a snowman. I have a couple different flannel activities like this, and I always think they’re kind of boring, since there’s not much to them, but my kids have loved it every time I’ve done it. Every. Time.
After that, it was time for some dancing around with the Reindeer Pokey (like the Hokey Pokey, but with Reindeer), and my kids had so much fun. I pretty much just had to call out which body part was up and they did the rest. We put our antlers in, our hooves, our tails, our noses, and then they started suggesting parts. Apparently, four year olds LOVE the Hokey Pokey. Who knew? I’ll have to incorporate this more in the future.And to finish us off, I read Red Sled by Lita Judge. This was a fun one because the only words are the sounds the animals make as they sneak the sled out on a moonlight adventure. I had the kids tell me about what was happening in the illustrations and what they though was going to happen next, and they just seemed to really get into it.
Overall, this was a really successful storytime, and I would use any of these activities again in the future. It was a really fun way to end the fall semester with my preschoolers.