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Have you ever met one of those Christmas geeks? I’m one of those geeks. Truly, really, honestly. I feel absolutely zero shame or guilt in my Christmas love. I wear my Christmas socks year-round and its not uncommon to hear relaxing Christmas music flowing from my Alexa devices in the middle of June.
This time of the year I’m about ready to jump out of my skin in anticipation! Doubly exciting this year is that it’s my babies first Christmas. I’ve always had dreams for what I wanted to do with my kids during the holiday season. Growing up the wonder of Christmas was kindled in our family. From the music, to the smells, to the gift giving, we had it all. One of my favorite memories is the books. My mom packed away a special box of Christmas books every year, and it was such a delight to take out those colorful books every season and cozy in for a time of winter wonderland reading.
Giving the gift of literacy to my children is one of my biggest aspirations. So, it comes as no surprise that I had a stack of Christmas books well before my firstborn had even entered this world.
And what better way to share the love of Christmas books than with a holiday craft! This craft is completely tweakable for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Use your imagination. I know you can do it! Because the literacy preschool teacher in me is ever present, this activity also has a bit of literacy comprehension in it as well!
I'd love to see your creations! Click on the Instagram icon on the top of this page and shoot me a picture of work!
My little one is currently 7 months old so there was a little extra bit of ‘mommy help’ on these, but if you have older kiddos, please let them do the work! As a Pre-K teacher I can almost guarantee that those 3, 4, and 5 year old’s are probably more capable of doing all the painting, cutting, and assembling than you think! Let them use those fine-motor skills. Years later you will not regret a little imperfection that showcases your child’s young years.
- That’s not my Reindeer book
- My printable titles and prompts - Download above
- 1 small canvas
- Brown foam – I used sticker foam for easy application
- Red button, pom pom, foam circle, paint, or other material for red nose – be creative the options are endless
- Red washable paint
- For babies
- Large Ziplock bag
2 small balls for them to roll around in the bag
- For babies
Toddler and Preschool Directions
- Have the child paint the canvas red. Don’t worry if they don’t spread the paint all the way out! This makes it uniquely theirs.
- Using the brown foam have a grownup trace the child’s right and left hand. If the child is old enough they can practice their scissor skills and cut it out themselves!
- Assemble the reindeer hands using the example pictured.
- Have the child glue the ribbon, eye, and nose on. Grownups can show them an example but feel the freedom to let them assemble it themselves. Embrace the imperfection!
- Prompt the child to finish this sentence: “That’s my reindeer! Its nose is so_____.”
This is where the language comprehension comes in, and it may look different for every age. Toddlers and preschoolers may come up with something literal from the book, or completely abstract. Examples include, but are not limited to: shiny, bumpy, rubbery, sparkly, glittery, red, big, little, rough, smooth, icky, sticky, or even made up words! Toddlers and preschoolers may compare the nose to something that is more familiar, such as apple, raspberry, ball, or a specific toy.
For babies a grownup will help more, but this can still be a great sensory craft. Put large dots of paint on the canvas and carefully put it in a large Ziplock bag. Place small balls inside and seal it tight. You may even want to duct tape the top if you want the extra caution. Let the child roll the balls and the bag to paint the canvas. This is an excellent sensory activity!
When reading the book to your baby, take note if he/she prefers a specific page. Which sensory object does he/she like to touch? Does one make them giggle? Do they do an extra adorable wiggle of delight on a certain page? Use that description to fill in the printable prompt!
Extra note: If you are a busy momma like me, you may not remember in two days why you chose that specific description word for you baby’s canvas. Write it on the back so years down the road you’ll have that delightful memory!