Christmas Lesson Plans

Christmas Lesson Plans2017-01-12T11:08:49+00:00

Area of Study: Fine Arts, Language Arts, Math, Science, Fine Motor Skills. Ages: 3-6 (extensions for older kids).

The Wikki Stix Christmas Lesson Plan is designed for children ages 3-6. Where possible, extension activities are given for older children in the red text. The suggested books and the Wikki Stix Christmas Crafts can be enjoyed by children of all ages!

Introduction

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsberg is a classic book for introducing Christmas lessons to children. It is a delightful book with wonderful illustrations that has become a Christmas tradition in many homes and classrooms. The story of the Polar Express paves the way for discussions about Santa. If Santa visits your younger children, it is fun to talk about the North Pole, the elves, and the anticipation of Christmas Eve.

For older children, the book can open discussions about Santa and/or the true Christmas spirit of generosity, hope, and kindness.

In The Polar Express, the spirit is Christmas is embodied in a Christmas bell. All who truly believe in the Christmas spirit will continue hear the bell. Invite the children to make a Christmas bell bracelet/band craft to wear for the day. The bell will be a special symbol of the spirit of Christmas at home or in the classroom.

Polar Express Bell Bracelet Crafts for Kids

The Polar Express Bell Bracelet Craft

Materials needed: Red, White, and Green Wikki Stix and craft bells.

Thread one Wikki Stix through the opening at the top of the bell. Press the Wikki Stix ends together to form a circle bracelet for the children to wear or shake. A two-toned effect can be achieved by twisting a separate strand of Wikki Stix around the bracelet (see photo above).

The Wikki Stix Christmas Countdown Crafts below are great crafts to begin lessons during the Christmas Season.
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5 Little Ginger Cookies

Wikki Stix Christmas or Hanukkah Countdown Chain

Materials needed: Wikki Stix

Activity: It’s fun for kids to make a countdown chain to Christmas or Hanukkah, but once you rip a chain off, you are left with scraps of paper that get thrown in the trash. By creating a countdown chain with Wikki Stix, each day you are left with items that are re-useable! Also, you only need one item for this activity as no staples or glue are necessary to hold the links together!

Make a chain of Wikki Stix with each link of the chain containing four Wikki Stix of the same color. This will keep your countdown chain sturdier than just using one Wikki Stix per link. Make one chain for each day left until Christmas or Hanukkah. As your child removes one chain each day you can practice counting backwards. Your child also has Wikki Stix to play with each day as they take off each link.

Countdown Pony Bead Garland/Chain Crafts for Kids

Wikki Stix Christmas Countdown Pony Bead Garland/Chain

Materials needed: Red, green and white small pony beads; Red, green or white Wikki Stix.

Activity: Children can place pony beads onto the Wikki stick to make a necklace or chain. This activity helps children to strengthen their fine motor skills as well as work on hand-eye coordination. Children can also work on creating patterns by making simple AB patterns with the beads. To make an AB pattern you will need two different colored pony beads. Children alternate colors on their necklace to complete the pattern. For younger children, you can start the pattern for them and they can finish the pattern chosen.

Older children can create the AB pattern on their own, or work on more complex patterns using two or three colors. Some examples might be an AAB (red, red, green), ABB (red, green, green), AABB (red, red, white, white) or ABC (red, white, green).

Extension idea: You can continue to work on finding patterns in your environment by looking for patterns in lights, ornaments, garland, etc.

Literacy Activities

Literacy Activity

Wikki Stix Christmas Ornament Letters and Words

Materials needed: One Christmas Ornament Letters_Words printable per child (download the PDF here), scissors, and Wikki Stix.

Print the ornament file to heavy paper and laminate the pages for durability. Cut out the ornaments prior to use.
Invite the children to create any letter(s) that have been introduced with Wikki Stix on the ornaments. Scissors will be necessary to cut smaller pieces to form the letters. Wikki Stix can be cut with safety scissors, but younger children will need assistance.

All letters and the _at words are located on the second page of the file. There are blank boxes on the second page to use with any additional words your children may be working on. Younger children may wish to look at the letter/word formations while creating with Wikki Stix. Wikki Stix aids in the retention of letter/word recognition by asking the children to use a hands-on manipulative to cement basic concepts.

For older children: The children can create any words by using as many individual ornaments as necessary for the number of letters in each word. It is a great hands-on way to practice new words as the words are introduced.

Name Train

Polar Express Name Train

Materials needed: One printable train (download the PDF here), scissors, and Wikki Stix.

It is a developmental milestone when younger children can correctly recognize the letters that form their own name. This activity is a pre-writing activity that enhances letter/name recognition and fine motor skills.
Print the train to heavy paper and laminate for durability. Invite the children to create their own name on the train using Wikki Stix. For very young children, write the child’s name on a separate index card and see if the child can copy the letters to the train template with Wikki Stix.

For older children: older children can create any spelling or sight words they are working on with Wikki Stix on the train template. The children can also use the train template as a start to a writing activity. Ask the children what they liked best about The Polar Express and have them use a separate page to write about it. The children might also like to write about a time when they have seen a train or even rode on a train.

Extension Activity (Name Rubbing Plate): Place the train with the Wikki Stix letters on a clipboard with a plain sheet of white paper on top. Invite the children to gently rub across the Wikki Stix letters with a crayon. The letters of the child’s name will then appear on the white sheet of paper. Children think it is a little “magical” when the letters appear (see photo above).

Math Activities

Snowman Counting Activity for Kids

Wikki Stix Snowman Counting Craft

Materials needed: White, black, orange, red and brown Wikki Stix; small buttons of assorted colors and sizes.

Activity: First, create several snowmen by using the white Wikki Stix for the snowballs/body, brown Wikki Stix for the arms (branches), black Wikki Stix for the eyes and mouth, and orange Wikki Stix for the nose. Then, using the red Wikki Stix have your child practice making numerals 1-5, and place each one next to one of the snowmen created.

Next, give your child small buttons and have him/her count out the number of buttons corresponding to the numeral next to the snowman. For example, for the number two snowman, your child would place two buttons onto their snowman. This is a great activity for children to work on one-to-one correspondence. One-to-one correspondence is the ability to match one object to a number (i.e. two buttons = 2).

For slightly older children, you can practice the concept of adding on by 1’s. For each numbered snowman, children would try to predict how many buttons are needed on each snowman by adding +1 to the number shown. For example, on the snowman labeled with the number 3, the child would mentally try to add or count 3 + 1 and place 4 buttons on the snowman.

Another extension activity would be to create the snowman but not place a numeral next to each one. Instruct your child to place as many buttons as s/he wants in each of the circles of the snowman’s body. Then your child can practice beginning addition by adding the buttons in the top circle of the snowman’s body to the bottom circle. For example, if there were 2 buttons in the top circle and 1 snowman in the bottom circle your child can practice saying and/or writing the addition fact 2+1=3.
Wikki Stix Christmas Counting Book (#’s 1-10)

Wikki Stix Christmas Counting Book (#’s 1-10)

Materials needed: One printable Wikki Stix Christmas Counting Book (download the PDF here) and Wikki Stix. For durability, laminate the book pages before the activity. Note – clear contact paper works well to laminate the pages if laminating supplies are not available.

Print the counting book for each child. Introduce the numbered pages one at a time to younger children. Have the children make balls or spirals from Wikki Stix that correspond to the number on each page. Invite the children to count out loud as they place each Wikki Stix ball (spiral) on the white circles. The counting book will help the children understand that a number (and/or number word) corresponds to the number of Wikki Stix balls on each page. Once the children have completed all the pages, save the counting book for future practice.

Wikki Stix Ornament Symmetry Craft for Kids

Wikki Stix Ornament Symmetry Craft

Materials needed: Wikki Stix Ornament Symmetry.pdf (download the PDF here), Wikki Stix

Activity: Print off one or both pages of the Wikki Stix Ornament Symmetry.pdf file. Page 1 is for older children to do independently and page 2 is for younger children who are still learning about the concept of symmetry.

For this activity, children can use Wikki Stix to decorate one side of the ornament circle by creating lines, shapes, or patterns. Then the child can make the other side of the ornament look identical to the design they made initially. Younger children can use the second page of the PDF file to copy the design on the blank side of the ornament. Very young children might need to outline the shapes on the left-hand side of the ornament first and then move or transfer it to the right side when complete.

Christmas Math Activity for Kids

Wikki Stix Christmas Bells Counting Sticks

Materials needed: Wikki Stix (at least 10 per child), a permanent marker, and assorted (colored) craft bells (note – pony beads with Christmas colors can also be used as counters for the activities suggested below).

Prior to playing the math games: Invite the children to thread a strand Wikki Stix through each of the bells to form a counting stick (the bells should be kept near the top of the Wikki Stix – see the silver bells in the photo above).

4 Math Game Suggestions for the Wikki Stix Christmas Bells Counting Sticks

1. One-to-One Correspondence: Label the bells with any numbers the children have had introduced and put them on top of a Wikki Stix. Ask the children to place the corresponding number of bells/pony beads on the Wikki Stix.

2. Number Order: Label 10 bells with the numbers 1-10 and put them on top of the Wikki Stix. Have the children place the counting sticks in the correct number order – 1-10.
Variation: Label the bells with 10 numbers, but do not begin with the numeral one. Have the children place the counting sticks in the correct number order (starting at a number OTHER than one).
3. Ten Sticks and Skip Counting: Label 10 bells with the number 10. Have the children place 10 bells/pony beads on each of the counting sticks. These counting sticks make great “10 bars” for counting to 100 by 10’s.
For younger children, label the bells with various numbers for practice with skip counting by 2’s and 5’s.
4. Patterning: Write any basic pattern on the bells (for example: Write AB on one of the bells). The children must then choose two colors of craft bells/pony beads – the first chosen color is “A”; the second chosen color is “B”] and alternate the colors when placing them on the Wikki Stix.)

Older children can create the AB pattern on their own, or work on more complex patterns using two or three colors. Some examples might be an AAB (red, red, green), ABB (red, green, green), AABB (red, red, white, white) or ABC (red, white, green).

Science Activity

Sensory Science Activity

Wikki Stix Sounds Discrimination Experiment

Materials needed: At least 3 different sizes of craft bells (small, medium, and large) and Wikki Stix.

Prior to the experiment: Thread a single strand of Wikki through the bells. Make sure that bells of the same size are strung together. There can be as many (or few) bells on each Wikki Stix strand as desired. Bend the Wikki Stix so that the ends meet to form a circle and press them together. (Note – other items can also be used for this experiment. Some suggestions: canning jar lid rings of different sizes, keys (use different amounts of keys on the Wikki Stix), different sizes of binder clips, or other classroom/household items that make a variety of sounds).

Show the children the different sizes of bells. Ring the bells for the children one at a time for the children to hear the different sounds they make.

Set the bells out on a tray or table for the children to explore. As the children become familiar with the sounds the bells make, play a game where the children close their eyes and try to identify whether the bell is the small, medium, or large bell by the sound that it makes.

The children can practice with peers or family members, too. The bell experiment promotes listening skills and auditory discrimination within a playful learning activity.

Wikki Stix Christmas Crafts for Kids

Cardboard Christmas Crafts for Kids

Wikki Stix Cardboard Tube Reindeer Craft

Materials needed: Red, white, black and brown Wikki Stix; cardboard tube (such as a toilet paper roll). The children will use Wikki Stix to decorate the cardboard tube to look like a reindeer or Rudolph.

First, take a white Wikki Stix and create a circle by making a tight, spiral, pinwheel shaped pattern. This will be part of the reindeer’s eye. Repeat the process to create a second eye. Add a small piece of black Wikki Stix to complete the reindeer’s eyeball. Attach to the toilet paper tube near the top. Since the Wikki Stix are coated in wax, they will adhere to the cardboard tube (no glue is necessary).

Next, create antlers by twisting and bending several pieces of brown Wikki Stix. Place inside the tube, with the antlers sticking out slightly from the top. Third, roll a red Wikki Stix into a ball and place just under the eyes, for the reindeer’s nose. Finally, use a black Wikki Stix to create the reindeer’s mouth and to finish your Rudolph cardboard tube craft.

Snowflake Craft

Wikki Stix Snowflake Craft

Materials needed: White or Blue Wikki Stix and scissors.

Make a tray of blue and/or white Wikki Stix and invite the children to play. The snowflakes in the photo above were made by making an X with two strands of Wikki Stix. A third Wikki Stix strand can then be place horizontally across the center of the X to form 6 ends.

Wikki Stix pieces can then be cut and formed into the V shapes. The V shapes are then added (3 per side) to each of the 6 snowflake ends (see photo above).

Wikki Stix can be cut with safety scissors, but younger children will need assistance.

The Wikki Stix snowflakes crafts are simple yet quite impressive looking crafts for kids. Children can also design the snowflakes on wrapping/tissue paper as decorations for Christmas packages (the snowflakes in the photo above were created on white tissue paper).

Suggested Books to enjoy with the Wikki Stix Christmas Lesson Plan

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean and Eric Litwin
A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe and Michael Glenn Monroe
The Night Before Christmas (many different versions to choose from)
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
The Little Christmas Elf by Nikki Shannon Smith and Susan Mitchell
The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever by Steven Kroll
Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko
10 Trim the Tree-ers by Janet Schulman and Linda Davick

Download the complete lesson plan here!

For more Educational and Craft Ideas, visit the Wikki Stix Blog!
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