It all started with a book...
Have yourself a HAIRY Christmas! Yes, HAIRY instead of MERRY!!
This book looks like it will be the BEST book for Christmas play and so far it has been used for:
I started by sharing the story in a group time whilst wearing a Santa beard and invited the children to help Santa decorate it! I got a fake beard from LookSharp for $4 but out felt holly leaves, got ribbon for a rainbow beard, bells with velcro to attach to the beard, some foil and MOUSEY made and appearance. Children have been bringing in clips and bows for Santa's beard making it look even more jolly!
Some of the suggestions for decorating it were more outrageous than the book and had us all laughing. Including children in storytelling is so beneficial for them and you! I always look for opportunities to do this as hands-on learning is so important.
Conversations about what beards felt like led to a shaving cream sensory experience where the children could explore the beard or decorate it. Rather than glitter which was Santa’s final choice we used coloured salt our sustainable glitter. We always smell so good after shaving foam play! I added a little peppermint essence the second time we put it out and it did not really work with the foam smell. I will make some Aquafaba or chickpea foam next time and add the essence.
Decorating his beard continued with the lightpad and I can see this lasting some time as the children keep coming up with new items to add! The beard outline is simply printed onto transparency or tracing paper making the activity inexpensive, fast and with no drawing skills needed! The beard outline is FREE in my group Exploring why I teach.ec. Our new acrylic numbers added counting to the beard decorating with items from my story telling being used! I added a rhyme to this play that you will find later in the blog.
Playdough was the next material we used but this time we made and decorated them on baking trays. I added a potato ricer for some whisker texture and the children loved using it. You could use the outline and make Santa beard dough mats but I wanted to focus on the process and not the product. Again, I used coloured salt and some Christmas items. We also tried some natural items that could get stuck in Santa’s beard on his travels and then dabbing and painting his beard.
A good extension on this may be to make gingerbread beards rather than people and houses! I am also thinking of making felt beards to decorate like last years houses and people. I love a quick and easy set up!
There are plenty of rhymes that include Santa’s beard and these are the top 3 so far:
Counting down to Christmas-
Santa’s beard is very bare, on his chin, there is no hair.
So, each day add a fluff of white.
When his beard is full, he will come that night!
I'm a little Santa short and fat, Here is my beard and here is my sack, On Christmas Eve I hop in my sleigh, With a "Ho ho ho" I'm on my way.
For the lightpad-
I know a man with a long white beard And Santa is his name-o. S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, And Santa is his name-o. He slides down the chimney with a pack on his back, And Santa is his name-o. S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, And Santa is his name-o. Eight little reindeer pull his sleigh, And Santa is his name-o. S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, And Santa is his name-o.
Last but certainly not least has been a couple of story baskets.
The first was a matter of collecting the different Santa’s we had made of different materials and placing them in a basket with the book. The second story basket was created through my making and sharing story basket process and included different textures and items I noticed the children were interested in and would support them in re-telling the book.
You can see my craft texture sticks which are easy to make and often used in the That's not my book series. The book Have yourself a HAIRY little Christmas is similar to this series as texture BUT this book has a story line adds depth for older children.
This Christmas I will be wishing everyone a HAIRY little Christmas!
P.S. there are affliate links that if your may mean I get some money.