10 Christmas story baskets to explore the magic of Christmas.

At Christmas time I try to focus on the magic and wonder and intentionally create this for children. Story baskets are a great way to do this as they allow a child to re-tell and explore Christmas and its meaning for them, their family and community.


As you will know I love story baskets and have a few blogs that give you ideas on how to create them so you may want to read these if you haven't already. You will find affliate links in here and if you use them then i may get some money and it will cost you nothing extra. There are so many great Christmas books that reflect a summer Christmas now. I used a few from my book advent calendar collection to create 10 story baskets so far.


Let's get started! So you have your basket, a Christmas napkin or material and a cherished Christmas book (or a new one that you will share with the children before presenting the story basket). What else do you need? This is where the chance to be creative begins.


Some baskets are easy to put together like the 12 dogs or cats of Christmas

I just needed to source soft toys for the dogs which was easier than the cats so I went with wooden cats. I wanted to add numeracy to the basket and created wooden counting disks with wooden numbers glued to them. I used plain circles to start with and later Christmas decorations.





I added a second hand Christmas tin and some of the items featured in the book. For more play and story telling opportunities.


This next story basket is a favourite story of mine and it reflects a New Zealand Christmas and includes ter reo Māori. The book was published in 2005 and some of the items in it have since been banned from early childhood setting like the kowhai seed so I had to be creative and check what seed pods were safe. I see that some of the authors books have been reprinted and hope that this one may be too. Making the flax ika was a challenge and took me several attempts but due to this is is one of my favourite story baskets.



Another kiwi favourite is A pukeko in a ponga tree. I had a bit of help with this one and got some story disks from Once upon a story NZ I make my own disks but hers looked stunning and are. I had an early childhood setting request a story basket for mat time and knew I needed bigger disks and she was able to do this.


I added a ponga tree made from a wooden spoon with felt leaves and velcro attached so the spoon could be used for other felt items or stories. As there is counting in the story I added felt numbers and you couldn't have this basket without a pukeko!





The next story basket was for my dinosaur fans and was simple to put together as I had all that was needed from the Harry and the bucketful of dinosaurs story basket for the Christmas book in the series. I just had to add to the dinosaurs and the bucket some Christmas items, plastic eggs from Easter and a new dinosaur I made from felt. I added peg dolls for family members, I do not add Harry as this story is told by Harry and the children are 'Harry'.




Another Christmas classic is the Christmas tree tangle by Margaret Mahy. I wasn't sure how to bring this one to life until I saw the wooden Christmas tree at Kmart and knew I could create a fine motor activity where children could tangle and untangle items, bead, cats, dogs and pompoms.




Christmas always need a book about Santa or Father Christmas. Here are two I did and I have others waiting to be made like A kiwi day before Christmas, A kiwi jingle bells , A kiwi Christmas carol and We wish you a kiwi Christmas (and a few others)! I ran out of time but may still get them done this Christmas.


The first I did was the very hungry caterpillars Christmas 123 which is a counting gem BUT took a while to get all the felt pieces for it. The next was the classic the night before Christmas with Santa (there is a kiwi version too), his sleigh and sack full of presents. Finally There was an old lady who swallowed a star with Santa featuring at the end. the book is ore in keeping with a Northern hemisphere Christmas with snow and cold.


As you can see I was able to use the wooden Christmas tree decorations in several of the story baskets so they were versatile and economical. I have started to make my own pompoms (great as snow, water, greenery) and found an awesome NO FAIL tool, I remember trying to make these as a child and they NEVER worked but with this tool everyone is fab!



The magic of Christmas for me is in the sharing of time, stories and creating memories and story baskets create a space for this to intentionally happen.


Those are the 10 I have had time to do so far but I still have Pete the cat saves Christmas and more to go! I am not sure how may I will get done this year and know some will have to wait till Christmas 2020!




Until next time.

Arohanui.

M


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