Inside: When planning your December lesson plans, make sure to add some of these Christmas circle time activities. A fun collection for toddlers and preschoolers!
You are thinking about your December lesson plans, especially circle time.
Your toddlers and preschoolers might be more energetic than usual (if that’s even possible!) because of extra events taking place due to the holidays.
The thought of trying to have them sit and listen to a book makes you nervous because you know after a few pages you might lose them.
This is when you need props, music and movement!
I tell you, circle time can be much more successful when the children are actively involved.
So I have rounded up a collection that you can add to your December circle time activities.
(And I have also added favorite books – because even if we don’t read during circle time, we love to gather a small group of children on the couch in our reading area and read during centers time.)
Christmas Circle Time Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
This collection is meant to get your children activity engaged during circle time.
Some might be more appropriate for preschoolers, depending on how detailed they are, so pick and choose the activities you feel will work best.
If you don’t/can’t have Christmas activities in December, check out these winter circle time ideas.
Looking for tips on toddler circle time? Check out this resource!
Teaching virtually? I will be adding each of my December online meetings here.
As many of you know, I’ve been teaching virtually since our school closed last March. I meet online with my 2 and young 3 year olds twice a week for 25-30 minutes. (You can see snippets of each of my videos on this page.)
I’ve been asked to share what we send home in our packet pick ups.
Here’s what is going home in December:
- I sent home an ornament with each child that has the letter of their first name. I copied it on heavy (card stock) paper and threaded a piece of ribbon through a hole in the top so they can use this as a personalized ornament on their tree. They can decorate these with watercolors or markers.
- The children can decorate their gingerbread men with stickers and markers.
- I assembled these like a book, stapling the left side, and gave them black circle stickers to place on each circle on the tree.
- These are part of our preschool’s instrument collection, so we’ve asked that our families please return these to the preschool when we are finished. We will use these while singing Jingle Bells and others songs in our December Playlist.
- I’ve provided a variety of small yellow pieces that the children can glue to their stars.
I’ve also been asked to share what books I will be reading online. Here’s what’s planned:
Christmas Music for Circle Time
Christmas Songs with Motions: Many of these songs involve hand movements and you can also add props. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
Easy Christmas Songs for Kids: This collection has been written especially for younger children. (Let’s Play Music)
Christmas Music for Preschoolers: 50+ songs and finger plays that would be perfect for circle time. (Preschool Education)
Christmas Sing-Along Songs: These not only work for circle time, but would be fun for a holiday program. (Teach Preschool)
Christmas Finger Plays for Circle Time
12 Christmas Action Finger Plays: Includes free printable song sheets and song cards to download and print. (Childhood 101)
Christmas Finger Plays: This collection includes lyrics, which teachers appreciate. (Child Fun)
Christmas Hand-Made Instruments for Circle Time
Jingle Bell Instruments: Invite each of your children to make their own instrument out of a plastic bottle and use while singing Christmas songs.
Jingle Bell Sticks: Can be used while reading There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Bell, or while singing Jingle Bells.
Jingle Bell Streamers: Work on fine motor skills while creating this jingle bell instrument and dance with them during music and movement. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
Jingle Bell Necklaces: Fun to make and use while dancing to Christmas music. (Pre-Kinders)
Christmas Movement for Circle Time
Christmas Workout: Download the free printable cards and follow each one’s directions. (Toddler Approved)
Christmas Action Songs: Short Christmas action songs with some simple tunes. (Let’s Play Music)
Christmas Puppets for Circle Time
Reindeer Finger Puppets: These can be used while reading reindeer books or singing reindeer songs. (Artsy Momma)
Christmas Trees Finger Puppets: Use this while reciting the 5 Little Christmas Trees poem. Free printable! (Simplistically Living)
Elf Stick Puppets: Download the printable and use while singing the Five Little Elves song. (Picklebums)
Snowman Stick Puppets: These can be used during a puppet show or while singing snowman songs. (I Heart Crafty Things)
Gingerbread Man Story Finger Puppets: Download the printable and use as a prop while reading The Gingerbread Man. (J Daniel 4s Mom)
Christmas Tree Stick Puppets: Use these puppets as props while singing 5 Little Christmas Trees – free printable! (Picklebums)
5 Little Bells Finger Play Glove: Children can move their hands along with the enclosed rhyme, making the bells ring. (Wendy’s Hat)
⭐️ Make sure to check out our Songs and Rhymes props to use during your circle time!
Christmas Circle Time Activities
Gingerbread Man Hunt: Download the free printable and go on a hunt to find different colored gingerbread men. A fun way to move while working on color skills!
Count the Candy Canes: Work on counting skills while using the free printable prop with the song Five Candy Canes.
10 Christmas Bells: Use this free printable for a variety of Christmas bell songs and rhymes.
Graphing with Gift Bows: Set up a graphing area on your circle time carpet using tape and have the children sort and graph bows by color. (And Next Comes L)
Christmas Color Sort (for Toddlers): Tape a paper tree in your circle time area and invite your toddlers to stick a circle on it – while also identifying its color. (Simple Play Ideas)
The Sweet Smell of Christmas: Gather most of the scratch and sniff items shared in the book and place them in a container to explore while reading the book. (Teach Preschool)
Christmas Listening Boxes: Place a sound in each box and invite your children to figure out what’s inside after listening to its sound. (Nuture Store)
Christmas Read-Aloud Books
Planning your December theme?
I’ve got a collection of ideas that build a variety of skills!
Preschool Christmas Themed Classroom Lesson Plans
Explore the symbols and traditions of Christmas and incorporate reading, math, science and more in this 169-page preschool secular Christmas lesson plan set.
- Recommended Book List
- 1-Page Weekly Lesson Plan Grid with Activity Ideas for Whole Group, Literacy, Math, and Science each day
- Alternate Weekly Grids for 4-day, 3-day, and 2-day programs
- 5 Daily Lesson Plan Sheets with Activity Directions and Materials List
- 2-Page Center Descriptions
- Related Printables
Click here for more information: Preschool Christmas Lesson Plans