Saturday, December 10, 2011

Storytime - Holiday Happiness

I'm always a little nervous when it comes to talking about the Winter holidays, but I think it's important to discuss them. I only cover Hanukkah and Christmas, only talking about the bare bones of their traditions (dreidels, lighting the menorah, gelt, latkes, Santa, decorating a tree, reindeer, etc).

Hanukkah Lights by David Martin

It's Christmas by Tina Burke

Hanukkah: A Counting Book in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish by Emily Sper

I'm Not Santa by Jonathan Allen

I Am a Little Dreidel
I am 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)

Note: This is the cutest song. Children and parents love singing it over and over again!

Let's All

Sung to: "We Wish You A Merry Christmas"
Let's all do a little clapping,
Let's all do a little clapping,
Let's all do a little clapping,
and spread Christmas cheer.


Reindeer Pokey

Sung to: "The Hokey Pokey"
You put your antlers in,

You put your antlers out.
You put your antlers in and you shake them all about.
You do the Reindeer Pokey and you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!
You put your hooves in....
You put your red nose in....
You put your fluffy tail in...
You put your reindeer body in...

This is especially cute if you make reindeer masks or antler headbands.

Felt Board
Hanukkah Candles

Sung to: "I've Been Working on the Railroad"

I've been lighting all the candles
On this Hanukah night.
I've been lighting all the candles
Just to see them shining bright.
Flicker, flicker little candle
Fill me with your glow
Now the time has come to count them
Ready set let's go!

Count candles.

Five Little Christmas Trees 
Five little Christmas trees,
Standing all alone.
Their hearts were very sad,
'Cause they hadn't found a home.
Then chop went the ax
Make a chopping action with arm
And down fell the tree
And off one went with a happy family!
(continue from 4-1 Christmas Trees)
No little Christmas Trees
Standing all alone
Their hearts were very happy
'Cause they all found a home!!!

Spin the Dreidel
I explained to the preschoolers what a dreidel was, then modeled how to spin it. Every child who wanted to give it a try was invited to come to the front and give it a whirl. Not everyone came up to do it, but the brave ones who did had lots of fun. 

Holiday Candles
This is a super easy craft to prepare AND make, leaving more time for holiday songs and games. I used this craft with both groups.
Materials: Colored tissue paper squares, toilet paper rolls, and a yellow construction paper flame. That's it! No glue or tape required.
Directions: Wrap the tissue paper around the roll, tuck in the ends, and tuck in the flame on top.


  1. I just finished making the trees for the 5 Little Christmas Trees flannel. Needed a quick one for storytime tomorrow, so thanks for the idea!

  2. No problem! Such a fun rhyme. Glad it will work for you.