The holiday season is upon us, and that means Christmas break is just around the corner. While your children are out of school, they still need to be entertained as they count down the days until Santa Claus comes. The Christmas season is a great time to curl up with a good book. With shorter days and colder weather, when you’re done throwing snowballs, gather around the fireplace for a good book. Hand out the hot chocolate, and bring out your favorite Christmas songs and books with these fun Christmas reading activities.
Christmas Reading Activities
Not only will it bring you and your kids closer together during the holidays, reading books together is one of the Christmas activities that help keep their literacy skills sharp while they’re out of school. But why stop there? There are plenty of literacy activities you can do as a family during the holidays that revolve around reading! Here are some of our favorites.
- Make a list of Christmas books to read together and take turns reading aloud. Divide the list up so that everyone has a turn picking the book. This is a great way to bond as a family and get everyone involved in the fun activity. Plus, it gives everyone a chance to read aloud, which can be really enjoyable, and help your younger family members with their sight words and letter recognition.
- Have a themed reading night. Pick a genre, author, or time period and make it the focus of your reading night. Everyone can pick out their own book as long as it fits the theme, or you can all read the same book. This is also a great opportunity to make some snacks that fit the theme! For example, if you’re reading books about Christmas cookies, you could make some of your favorite holiday cookie recipes. If you’re reading a book about a Christmas tree, you could also take the time to decorate your family’s tree after you finish reading the book. Get creative and have fun with it!
Appreciating the Classics
- Read holiday classics together. Whether it’s A Christmas Carol or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, there are plenty of holiday classics that are perfect for reading aloud as a family. Or, if you’re looking for something a little different, try one of your favorite lesser known holiday stories from your childhood. This is a perfect opportunity to introduce your favorite Christmas stories to your children. Give your children a new book for Christmas that you can read together on Christmas Day. Then every year you can bring out the past books before Christmas and read them throughout the season.
- Have a contest to see who can find the most mistakes in a book. Helping your children find mistakes is a fun way to improve their reading and writing skills. This is a great way to encourage close reading habits! Choose a book from your personal collection or check one out from the library and see who can find the most typos, grammatical errors, or historical inaccuracies. The person with the most finds gets to choose the next book on your family’s reading list!
- Make sure that your children understand what is going on. Find or create a list of reading comprehension questions that you can go through together after you finish your book. This will encourage your kids to pay attention to the story, help you improve their understanding, and foster a great discussion with the whole family that can also be a great teaching opportunity. Lisa is a middle school teacher who put together an excellent reading comprehension activity for her students reading A Christmas Carol.
- Focus on more skills than just reading. Have your younger children, such as preschool students, come up with a list of all of the Christmas words they can think of, and then go around and share everything you came up with. The person with the most holiday related words gets a prize, like candy canes or Christmas cookies. Give your kids children writing prompts to test their comprehension and improve their writing prompts. They can come up with stories about the same characters you just read about, or write some paragraphs about what happened in the story.
Creative Writing Activities
- Write a holiday acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is where you write a Christmas word vertically down the page. Then you take each letter in the original word and come up with another Christmas word or phrase that starts with that letter. So if your original word was CHRISTMAS, you would find a word that starts with “C”, one with “H”, and so on until you have a word for every letter in CHRISTMAS. This activity is perfect for your kids who are reading and writing at a higher level, such as middle school students.
- Help your kids write their letter to Santa. They can learn how to format their letter, and ask for their list of Christmas presents. Then you can all get bundled up and take the letters down to the mailbox.
- Write your own Christmas story together. This is a great activity for families with younger children who may not be able to read yet but still want to be involved in the fun. Take turns coming up with sentences or paragraphs until you have enough material for an entire story. Then illustrate it and bind it together to create your very own family keepsake! This Reading Mama has some fun picture prompts to help you get started writing your own Santa story.
Christmas Reading Activities For All
These are just a few ideas to get you started — there are many more activities that you and your family will come up with together. ! The important thing is to have fun and enjoy spending time together as a family during this festive season. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy some quality time with your family over the holidays, why not try one of these fun Christmas reading activities? From themed nights to writing your own stories, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. So grab some hot cocoa, settle in, and happy holidays!