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Holiday Activities For Preschool Children in the Home or Classroom

written by: lhunsicker • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 10/31/2012

Children tend to get squirmy around Christmas! Embrace their enthusiasm and have fun with these holiday activities for preschool children. Practice shapes by making a Santa face, decorate mittens, and conduct a brief science experiment.

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    Circle Time Activities

    Learning about what the children know and what they need to learn a great way to start a new lesson. Before beginning these holiday activities for preschool children, spend some time exploring such questions as:

    1.) Have you seen Santa yet?

    2.) Does Santa wear red?

    3.) What does Santa drive? A truck or a sleigh?

    Reading stories is a great way to improve vocabulary skills. Here are a few selections you might wish to share: Saint Nicholas The Real Story of the Christmas Legend 

    1.) Saint Nicholas; The Real Story of the Christmas Legend, by Julie Stiegemeyer

    2.) The legend of Saint Nicholas, by Dandi Daley Mackall

    3.) The legend of the Christmas Stocking, by Rick Osborne

    4.) The Legend of the Christmas Tree, by Rick Osborne

    Songs and finger plays are always a big hit with little ones! Try these to complement your holiday activities for preschool children:

    Snow is Falling (to the tune of “Are You Sleeping")

    Snow is falling, snow is falling

    All around, all around

    See the pretty snowflakes, see the pretty snowflakes

    On the ground, on the ground

    The Mitten Song

    Thumbs in the finger place, fingers all together. This is the song we sing in mitten weather.

    It doesn’t matter, if they’re wool or leather, thumbs in the thumb place, fingers all together.

    Math activities are important for preschoolers, too! Here are two you may wish to try:

    Snowball Counting:

    This activity focuses on learning to count and following directions. Using large index cards make a set of 10 cards. The first card has one dot (made with a marker) the second has two dots and so on until you reach 10. Lay the cards on a table and set out 15 cotton ball snowballs. Let the kids count the snowballs as they place them on the dots that are on the cards.

    Mitten matching:

    This activity teaches matching and sorting skills. Have a bunch of mittens cut out of several different colors of construction paper. Have them laminated. The kids then match the mittens by color.

    Language arts activities focus on reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills. Try this to complement your holiday The Legend of the Christmas Stocking activities for preschool children:

    After reading the story the “Legend of the Christmas Stocking" ask the children make their own Christmas stocking. Start with red construction paper with a stocking pattern drawn on it. Next let the children decorate the stocking using cotton balls, markers, glitter, until finally they cut out their stocking.

    Arts and crafts activities help to pass the time and occupy little hands. These particular holiday activities for preschool children helps to reinforce shapes identification:

    Materials Need for Shape Santa

    Circle - for face

    Triangle - for hat

    Smaller circle - for top of hat

    Cotton - for top of hat

    Cotton - for beard

    Wiggle eyes - for eyes



    Construction paper

    Let children experiment with the different shapes. Then, challenge them to use the shapes to create a Santa face. They can use the glue to attach the shape pieces to the construction paper. Let the children use the markers to draw in a nose and a mouth.

    Science experiments are always a hit with preschoolers! Try this Hard/Soft Santa experiment to reinforce the concepts of hard and soft.

    1.) Place the following items on the table; cotton balls, soft sponge, pile of yarn, marshmallows, small walnuts, marbles, and metal caps.

    2.) Have each child take a turn, first feeling and identifying a hard and soft object. Praise their responses; do not criticize a wrong answer.

    3.) After everyone has had a turn, give each child a premade Santa Claus face containing only a cutout of his red cap, while his face is left blank.

    4.) Assist the children in gluing the cotton and other items to create a Santa face; eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, and beard.

    Finally, remember to fill your library area with books about Christmas and the other holidays celebrated around the same time.

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    Make Photo Memories

    The little ones in your care are bound to have fun with these holiday activities for preschool children! Remember to take lots of pictures to keep as memories of the time spent together.

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