Holiday Programming Ideas

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Holiday Programming Ideas

CD: Sing the Cold Winter Away by Kathy Reid-Naiman. There are lots of songs about winter, snow, food, Christmas, Chanukah and even a round for New Years.
Kathy Reid-Naiman


"Fartsy Claus" and have someone in the audience have a whoopee cushion. Families love it!
"Christmas Orange" has a great message about greed. Hide an orange in a gift box for the very end of the story. Clementines can be a treat for after the program.
Alan Katz has a great sing-a-long Christmas book. Make large charts with the words or make song books so everyone can easily participate. "Where Did They Hide My Presents?: Silly Dilly Christmas Songs"
"Brown Paper Bear" - Hardcover (Oct 1 2004) by Piers Harper Put a nice brown bear in a paper bag.
Marilyn Walsh []


Sleep Big Bear, Sleep by Maureen Wright.

You could teach them the signs for Sleep and Bear and have them sign it with you as you read Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson.

Snore as you read this one. Each chorus the kids can Snore as the animals prepare for the feast.
Rachee Fagg


You might check out for songs & fingerplays.

A great book that just came back into print is THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE SPRINKLE SNITCHER by Robert Kraus.

I like doing the following as a flannelboard (adapted from RHYMES FOR FINGERS & FLANNELBOARDS).  You can also use styrofoam balls to build your snowman as you do the rhyme.  I added the bit about the arms because my kids were always yelling "You forgot his arms!"

    Roll a snowball large,

    Then one of middle size;

    Roll a snowball small,

    Use lumps of coal for eyes.
    Place a carrot for a nose,
    An old hat on his head,
    And for his necktie, tie around
    His neck a ribbon red.
    A corncob pipe goes in his mouth,
   Some buttons on his vest;
   And there he stands so round and fat,
    Of snowmen, he's the best.
    But something's missing...Can you guess what?
    Let's give our friend a hand;
    Some sticks from a tree will work just great
    As arms for our snowman.

An old storytime technique would be to do a story like "My Kitten's Mitten" as a clothesline story.  You string a clothesline (it needs to be sturdy) & pin up the different colored mittens of the story.  They can be real mittens or can be cut out by hand or with a die machine from paper or fun foam.   I found the rhyme at

Sandra Wallick

My all-time favorite song is the Snow-ky Pokey.

You take your hat off, you put your hat on You take your hat off, and you shake it all around.

You do the snow-ky pokey and you turn yourself around.

That's what it's all about.
Then you ask kids what else they wear in the snow. (Coat, mittens, boots, scarf, snowpants, earmuffs, etc.) Each one gives you the next verse.
Just remember that you always do Take it OFF first in the song.

Jeanne Steinbrenner


Santa's Hat -- I made a Flannel board where Santa is bald, and children must help find the right hat for Santa. Use about 7 other hats (firemen, cowboy, winter cap, baseball cap, astronaut helmet) and children eagerly shout "NO" until you find the right hat

Who will Pull Santa's Sleigh? By L. Rader

Adapt this story and use puppets to "try out" for the part of Santa's helper

Reindeer Cookies Flannelboard

5 little cookies sitting on a plate

Waiting for Santa

But he was running late.

Along came a Reindeer and guess what he ate? (Chomp Chomp Chomp)

One of the cookies sitting on the plate.

4,3,2,1, repeat

No Little cookies sitting on the plate,

Because that's what Santa's Reindeer ate.

Flannel or Fingerplay

8 Little reindeer pulling Santa's sled

One fell down and bumped his head.

The elves called Santa and Santa said,

"Can 7 little reindeer pull my sled?"

count down to....

1 little reindeer pulling Santa's sled

He fell down and bumped his head.

The elves called Santa and Santa said,



Jingle Bells/ Also, if You're happy and you know it ring a bell/Shaky shaky/Shake and stop

Reindeer Pokey (front hooves, back hooves, antlers, tail, reindeer body)

Hat, Whiskers, Belt and Boots

(Tune: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes)

Hat Whiskers Belt and Boots, belt and boots

Hat Whiskers Belt and Boots, belt and boots

Twinkling Eyes and Cherry Nose,

Hat Whiskers Belt and Boots, belt and boots!


Debbie Socha


Merry Unchristmas is an amusing holiday tale.
There are many cut and tell stories out there that relate to the holidays.

Michelle Turnis, Youth Services

The following flannel board fingerplay is easy to prepare. Find whatever animal patterns you can and cut them out of brown construction paper. Tape flat magnets (like you get from insurance company ads) on the back and use them on a cookie sheet.

Five Ginger Cookies Use a cookie tray instead of a flannel board

Five ginger cookies lying on a tray

One jumped up and flew away. Take away the butterfly

Four ginger cookies lying on a tray

One jumped up and hopped away. Take away the frog

Three ginger cookies lying on a tray

One jumped up and swam away Take away the fish

Two ginger cookies lying on a tray

One jumped up and hopped away Take away the rabbit

One ginger cookies lying on a tray

He jumped up and flew away Take away the bird

No ginger cookies lying on a tray

I should have eaten them right away.

Prior to that, you can use:

Stir a bowl of gingerbread Make stirring motion

Smooth and spicy brown.

Roll it with a rolling pin Pretend to roll dough

Down and up and down.

Cut it with a cookie cutter Pretend to cut cookies with cutter

Different shapes for fun,

Put them in the oven Pretend to put tray in the oven

And share them when they're done. Pretend to eat cookies

Christmas Candy CHRISTMAS

I took a lick of my peppermint stick Pretend to lick candy

And was it ever yummy! Lick lips

It used to be on my Christmas tree. Form shape with hands

Now, it's in my tummy! Rub stomach

I'm a Little Dreidel HANUKKAH

I'm a little dreidel, Point to yourself

I am a little top, Pat your head

When you twist my handle, Spin around

I spin until I drop! Fall to the floor


Two merry blue eyes. Point to eyes

A cute little nose. Point to nose

A long snowy beard Pretend to stroke beard

Two cheeks like a rose. Point to cheeks

A round, chubby body. Rub tummy or hold hands out like fat Santa

Hurray for old Santa. Clap hands or raise fist "hurray"

We're glad that he's back.

Mittens are easy to produce for these flannel board rhymes. For the Mitten Matching, I decorate the mittens with pompons, lace, polka dots, etc. to make the matching more fun.

Colorful Mittens for Me and You Flannel Board Rhyme

Tune: "Six Little Ducks"

Colorful mittens for me and you

Red ones, yellow ones, blue ones too.

But the one pair of mittens that rhymes with head, They're my favorite mittens, and they are red! Place red mitten on flannel board They are red! They are red!

They're my favorite mittens, and they are red!

Replace with other rhyming pairs such as:

yellow/fellow blue/shoe green/bean crown/brown black/jack kite/white sink/pink cavy/navy cold/gold fan/tan

Mitten Matching Flannel Board Rhyme

Tune: Did You Ever See a Lassie?

Please find my other mitten, my mitten, my mitten.

Please find my other mitten,

So I'll be a pair.

Oh, here's my other mitten, my mitten, my mitten.

Oh, here's my other mitten,

Now we are a pair.
Finally, Raffi has a version of "Must Be Santa" that is a perfect call and respond Christmas song.
Micki Freeny, DCPL


Cookie Theme Preschool Story Time
Greeting and Wiggle &/or Dance (Freeze)

Whole Body Movement: “Making Cookies” & “When the Wind is Blowing
Song: “C is for Cookie” & Invitation to Listen

Book: No More Cookies! By Paeony Lewis or Christmas Cookies by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Magnet Board: Five Little Cookies (2 versions)

Book: Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? By Bonnie Lass & Philemon Sturges

Whole Body Movement: “Great Big Cookie”

Book: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
Magnet Board: Five Little Cookies (2 versions)

Game: Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? (suggested by the book)

Making Cookies

I am making cookie dough.

(hold out arms in a circle, like a bowl)
Round and round the beaters go. (roll hands)

Add some flour from a cup. (shake a pretend cup)

Stir and stir the batter up. (stirring motion)

Roll them, cut them nice and neat. (rolling pin motion)

Put them on a cookie sheet. (place pretend cookies)
Bake them, count them 1-2-3. (counting motion)

Serve them to my friends for tea. (take a bite!)

When the Wind is Blowing
When the Wind is Blowing,

(sway arms back and forth over head)

And the skies are getting gray,
We have to stay indoors,
It's too cold to go out and play, (hug body)
We gather around the kitchen,
And let the oven heat, (pretend to turn on oven)
We stir and mix, stir and mix, (pretend to stir)
It's time to bake a treat. (rub tummy)


C is for Cookie

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me (3X)

Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!


Great Big Cookie

I am a great big cookie, (circle hands over head)

Chocolately and round, (extend hands out to sides)
Filled with lots of chocolate chips, (point to chips)
The best that can be found. (rub tummy)
I am a great big cookie, (circle hands over head)
Take a bite of me. (make chewing motions)
Tasty, sweet, delicious, (extend hands out to sides)
I'm oh-so-yummy! (rub tummy)

I WAS a great big cookie, (circle hands over head)

The very best around. (extend hands out to sides)
Now there's nothing left of me, (shake head)
Just crumbs upon the ground. (sit down) 


The Gingerbread Alphabet


The gingerbread man is running from me.


The gingerbread man is running away


I said stop. He said NO!


Across the river’s where he wants to be.


I can’t catch him even if I try


The gingerbread man is running from me.

[Perry Public Library]

Bridget R. Wilson, M.S.I.S.


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