Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Day 1: Polar Express Activity {12 Days of Christmas}

I am so excited to share with you Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas Book Activities for Babies & Big Kids!  We started the 12 Days a bit early in my house so that you have time to gather the books and materials.  If you start on December 13th, it will bring you right up to Christmas Eve!

Day 1:The Polar Express

There are so many fun ideas you can do with this book, but I tried to limit each day to one activity that would fit our busy schedules (dance and wrestling practices) and would be appropriate for a one-year-old's attention span.

We always start by reading the book together.  This is one of the longer books on the 12 Day list, but it was a favorite.  I had to include it!  If you are reading it to a younger child, you could do it in multiple sittings or you could retell a condensed version.  If you don't have the book yet, you can purchase it at this affiliate link here.

Because it was the middle of the day, the kids didn't want to put on their pj's.  But they were all about wearing their robes. I forgot that Brickston even had a robe! 
I told the kids we were going to make our own Polar Express train and asked what materials we would need.  They had been eyeing a big box from my online shopping pursuits.  Kinsley and Zaven decided they wanted to use crayons to decorate it.  They also used paper to make gears and brakes for the inside of the engineer's cab. 

Zaven remembered that the passengers in the movie had tickets, and the conductor punched each ticket with a special letter.  Kinsley helped me design tickets in Publisher.  You can get your own here! They are ready for your child to write in their name as the passenger.

Kinsley and Zaven were pretty concerned that Brickston was going to mess up their hard work on the box, so I gave him his own laundry basket.  He enjoyed getting in and out of the basket.  All three played passenger and conductor for about 30 minutes.  I left the materials out for the rest of the day.
Later, Zaven asked if he could watch The Polar Express movie.  I turned it on and the boys climbed into their "train" to watch it.  I made some hot chocolate and popcorn for our impromptu movie day.


Materials you need to do this at your home:

  • The Polar Express book
  • Large box or laundry basket
  • Crayons
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Hole punch
  • Printable tickets 

Read the story with your children.  Ask them what supplies they need to retell the story.  See what materials they think of first, before making suggestions.  This allows the children to problem solve and plan out their play.  Play along with your children.  Ask if you can be the conductor.  Maybe your kids would get a kick out of seeing you squeeze into the laundry basket for a trip to the North Pole :)

Stop back tomorrow to check out Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas!  We will be reading Dream Snow by Eric Carle!  I will be compiling all 12 days here as they are posted!

Go here, to see where I link up each week!

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