Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa and Reindeer

Book Ideas:Santa’s Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene
"When Santa becomes stuck in the chimney of a house on Christmas Eve, the dog, the cat, the reindeer, and a mouse try to free him."

What could be keeping santa? By Marilyn Janovitz
"When Santa fails to appear even though his sleigh is packed and the reindeer stand waiting, he has a very good reason for not being ready."

Choose your favorite version of The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore

Songs and Rhymes:

Santa's coming
Sung to: "Frere Jacques"

Santa’s Coming,
Santa’s Coming,
Sleigh bells ring,
Sleigh bells ring,
It is Christmas eve,
It is Christmas eve,
Ding-Dong, Ding
Ding-Dong, Ding

I'm a Little Santa
Sung to: "I'm a Little Teapot"

I'm a little Santa short and fat,
Here is my beard and here is my sack,
On Christmas Eve I hop in my sleigh,
With a "Ho ho ho" I'm on my way.

~ Santa ~

When Santa comes down the chimney, (downward motion with hands)
I should like to peek. (peek through fingers)
But he'll never come, (shake head)
Until I'm fast asleep. (palms together beside head)


We are the elves. We work all day.
To make the toys so children can play. (Elves pounding toys)
We are the reindeer, around we go
Prancing, prancing through the snow. (use hands on head for antlers)
Here is Santa, delivering the toys,
He has something for good girls and boys. (put hands in front making a big belly and then pretend to pass out toys)

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
You'd better watch out!
You'd better not cry!
You'd better not pout! I'm telling you why,
Santa Claus is comin' to town.
He's making a list and checking it twice.
He's going to find out who's naughty and nice.
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town.
He sees when you're sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good.
So be good for goodness sake!
Oh, You'd better watch out!
You'd better not cry!
You'd better not pout! I'm telling you why,
Santa Claus is comin' to town.

Up on a Roof Top

Up on the housetop reindeer pause
Out jumps good old Santa Claus
Down through the chimney with lots of toys
All for the little ones, Christmas joys

Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go!
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go!
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with old Saint Nick

Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer
You know Dasher and Dancer
And Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid
And Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer(reindeer)
Had a very shiny nose(like a light bulb)
And if you ever saw it(saw it)
You would even say it glows(like a light bulb)
All of the other reindeer(reindeer)
Used to laugh and call him names(like Pinocchio)
They never let poor Rudolph(Rudolph)
Play in any reindeer games(like Monopoly)
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say(Ho Ho Ho)
Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?
Then all the reindeer loved him(loved him)
And they shouted out with glee(yippee)
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer(reindeer)
You'll go down in history!"(like Columbus)

Activity Ideas:

Idea #1: Letter to Santa

Read one of the book titles and then have your child write a letter to Santa. We decorated the paper with stickers and then I had them draw a picture of what they wanted towards the bottom of the page. Depending on their abilities you can write the words for them or let them sound out the letters and write the words. I'm not sure if every Macy's department store is doing this, but our local store has a mailbox in their store to mail letters to Santa.

Idea #2: Cotton ball Santa
Read one of the books and then make a Santa with a cotton ball beard. You will need to print off a large Santa face (I had mine already printed and saved in my teaching files so the link is not the exact same clip art as the one seen in the photos). You will need to copy and paste it into a word document to make it as big as you can fit it on the page.

Let your child color the hat and face first with crayons.

Then squirt a blob of glue on the beard and let your child spread it around using a q-tip, until the whole beard and mustache are covered with glue. Then give them a pile of cotton balls and let them cover the entire beard.

Idea #3: Reindeer Treats
Read one of the stories and then work together to make some yummy reindeer cookies.
Here is the link to instructions for version #1. Here is the link to instructions for version #2.
(I think it would be a lot cuter to put a red nose instead of a green nose. I've even seen a version where they broke the pretzels to make the antlers more branch/twig-like).
Idea #4: Reindeer Prints

Read one of the stories and then make a reindeer using your child's foot and hand prints.

You will need colored paper, glue, scissors, a crayon, googly eyes, and a pom-pom nose (a button or paper could be used too)

Trace your child's hand prints on one piece of colored paper. Then trace one foot on a darker brown paper. If your child is 3 or older, let them practice their fine motor skills and help cut out the hand prints or footprint.

Then, let them glue down the paper prints, eyes, and nose. Guide them, but let them glue it down how they want.

Idea #5: Christmas stocking math/science game
Read one of the stories and then explore the concept of volume and size, using 3 different size stockings. (If you don't have various sizes of stockings on hand and don't want to buy some, just do the second option, listed below)

Option 1:

Gather a bunch of items of various sizes and lengths and have your child explore which of the stockings the items would best fit. Have them make a prediction and then see if they are right by trying to fit the item in the stocking. Obviously some of the smaller items will fit in any of the three stockings so make sure to emphasize which stocking would be best or most suitable for something that size.

Option 2:
For this version you can use just one stocking or all three. You will also need a large amount of some item, like blocks or Legos, that are all the same size. Have your child guess how many blocks (or whatever items you are using) will fit in the various size stockings.

This picture is sort of hard to see, but I had my 5 year old draw the 3 different sizes stockings and divide them with lines. Then she wrote her prediction of how many blocks she thought would fit, in pink, and then the actual amount that fit in brown. Recording and organizing information is an important skill for children to develop. Predicting and recording data is not an age-appropriate activity for my 2 year old. For younger children, let them just play with filling the stockings with items. This exploration will help them gain a sense of volume and size of objects. (My two year old had a blast filling up the stockings with blocks, over and over).

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