Are you planning for Christmas?
Capturing the Excitement of Christmas
I’m aware it’s only November, but I also know that most of you will have planned or currently be planning ideas for the Christmas festivities.
Is there any better time to be working in the Early Years Foundation Stage? This time of year is an absolute joy in the classroom, I considered myself so lucky to be working with young children in the build up to Christmas. The excitement and enthusiasm was infectious and December was a truly magical time.
I’ve also been lucky to work with talented and creative staff and we would pool our ideas to plan an excellent festive period for the children. So here are five little fun activities, taken from my “Christmas memory bank” using the Chatta approach to maximise each opportunity.
The First Christmas
Talk about the magic of that wonderful night in the stable.
Read a story about “The First Christmas” and discuss the nativity. Add props to the life play area and encourage the children to act out the story. Add images representing the story into a six frame chat. Model language for the story and encourage children to recall the events and record their own language. Share these lovely chats with parents
Stick Man – Julia Donaldson
What an absolute favourite this book is! Is there anything more heartwarming than stick man being reunited with his stick lady love and stick children three? A superb way to explore feelings of happiness, sadness and excitement. Share this wonderful story with the children.
Wrap up warm and collect some sticks to make stick men with the children. Take pictures along the way and add them into a chat. Model language around the process of making a stick man.
Prepare stick man’s Christmas feast with anything you can forage in your outdoor space. Take pictures of each of the items and add them to a chat, modelling descriptive language for the feast.
Create stick man’s home in the outdoor space (a tree stump, fairy door, nuts and berries around the door and some magical tinsel). Take photographs and add them to a chat. In your very best “stickman voice” model language for each picture and show this to the group as a talking postcard on the interactive whiteboard. Use the chat to invite the children to write stickman a letter or make him a Christmas card and take them to his home.
Christmas Cake – Production Line
Have a Christmas cake making morning; create a production line and assign roles to each child. Include making the cake, creating packaging for the cake and writing labels. Take images of the Christmas cake as it is produced and place these images into a chat, telling the story of the cake baking procedure; What did we do first, next and after that? Use this chat for groups of children to rehearse and redraft language in preparation for a “Christmas cake television advert”. Support the children to use a device to record their friends adverts. Watch the adverts back on the interactive whiteboard.
A Christmas Song
Dashing through the snow!
Share the Christmas song “Jingle Bells” with the parents! Screenshot images to represent the song “Jingle Bells”. Model the words to the song and send home for a sing-a-long.
Everyone loves a Christmas party.
The EYFS Christmas party is always so much fun, a time to dig out the Christmas jumper or glittery top and find some bauble earrings and flashing Santa hat.
Enjoy all of the usual Christmas party games, pass the parcel, have a Christmas dance off, eat Christmas treats, play the “flour mountain” game (it’s a messy one!) and have a bauble scoop off (place baubles into the tuff spot and children must scoop them out with a sand scoop and fill a bag, count after 20 seconds, the bag with the most wins!) Take pictures throughout the party.
Add the images to a chat and use the chat to recall the story of the party the following day. You’ll be amazed by the language that the pictures of this meaningful experience will evoke. If you have writers in your class, use the chats as a basis for writing about the party.
If you weren’t feeling festive, hopefully you are now! We wish you a magical festive period with the children.
Merry Christmas from all of the team at chatta.