Christmas is a very busy time of the year with gifts to buy, meals and visits to plan, the tree and the house to decorate … I was very surprised last year when I started doing Christmas Bingos with children because I realized they didn’t know all of the vocabulary associated with this time of the year! 

As adults, we don’t realize how much children are exposed to new words (nursery rhymes, movies, stories) and to what extent they’re supposed to know them.

Take the test! Ask a 3 year old child: what is a mistletoe branch, reindeer, a gingerbread man, a Christmas stocking, a crown, a cane, a sled, an angel … They’re likely to give you the wrong answer. We can imagine that there are several ideas that he doesn’t understand when he listens to a Christmas story.

The holiday season is a great opportunity to work with a lot of new ideas! I suggest you start immediately to expose children to this vocabulary. When you are too busy with the festivities, you’ll already have had the chance to introduce your child to these concepts.

Here is a list of 10 activities to do with preschoolers. If you want to know my good websites, don’t hesitate to write to me!

1. Christmas Bingo

You’ll expose the child to Christmas vocabulary.

2. Treasure Hunt

You can hide vocabulary cards or small items in the room or house.

3. Christmas Drawings

Work on fine motor skills (with drawing) while naming each piece we see. Ex. Draw Santa Claus’ beard.

4. Guessing Game
Make sure you have a visual cue for the child. Example: “I am yellow and I am at the top of the tree. Who am I?” Answer: I am a star!

5. Christmas Stories
Tell the same story often and explain all the Christmas vocabulary words to your child. After a few readings, ask him to help you name them.

6. Show Me
When the house or room is decorated, ask the child to point to different objects. Example: “Show me a garland”.

7. Christmas Crafts
Since your child will be cutting out each piece, you’ll have time to name the pieces. You will also be working on your child’s motor skills.

8. Costumes
Make sure he understands his costume and do activities related to the character. Example: “Yes, you’re an elf! Do you know what elves do? “.

9. Christmas Rhymes
You’ll give Christmas vocabulary in context and improve his language.

10. Write a Letter to Santa
This will be an opportunity to introduce your child to written language.

Enjoy all of these activities and this beautiful time of the year to learn while having fun!

Myriam Thibault

Early childhood specialist │ B.A. Psychology