From music to movies, flavors and foods, Christmas time brings with it so many lovely holiday traditions, including the classic stories that families look forward to hearing year after year. Create further learning opportunities and new traditions by pairing some of the most popular Christmas tales with enrichment activities that will expose your child to new ideas!
- The Night Before Christmas — This quintessential Christmas classic was written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823 and has been loved by generations ever since. With a heavy emphasis on Santa’s reindeer atop the roof, this story would be fantastic to pair with a trip to a farm or local zoo that houses these magical creatures.
- The Grinch — This Dr. Seuss favorite teaches an important lesson about the real spirit of Christmas and highlights how the Grinch was eventually shown kindness that caused his heart to grow. Spread love and kindness by involving your kids in a special charity project this season, such as making Christmas cards for nursing homes or throwing a bake sale to raise money for a special cause. Check out this article for some more age-appropriate ideas!
- A Christmas Carol — A classic with a spooky twist, this Dickens’ tale talks about the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Take the opportunity to learn more about Christmases past by asking your local, historic downtown museum if they’re holding any special events or exhibits for the holiday. Kids will love learning about where some of their favorite traditions come from!
- The Nutcracker — The perfect way to expose your child to classical music, pair this reading with a trip to the ballet or local theater to watch Tchaicovsky’s musical interpretation of the magical tale. If you aren't able to make it to a show this year, simply play the beautiful music at home with the volume up. Encourage your child to create their own ballet moves and see if they can guess which parts represent the sugar plum fairies or the toy soldiers!
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer — Practice some rudimentary kitchen skills with these cute and delicious reindeer snacks! Just spread peanut butter or Nutella over a couple of graham crackers and see if your child can recreate Rudolph with pretzels (the traditionally-shaped little twisty ones look best) and M&Ms. Don’t forget some red ones for the nose! Sweet and simple, match this activity with some comprehension questions that will encourage your little one to make connections to the story such as, “I wonder what else Santa could have used to help him see?” or “If you were one of the reindeer, how would you have included Rudolph to help him fit in?”