Companion to recording by Nancy
Many of the songs on this recording are familiar holiday songs, and children will simply listen and enjoy (songs with no additional activities have been omitted from these notes). Others provide opportunities for related discussion, activities, or movement. Several holidays and customs presented in these songs may be unfamiliar to children. Therefore, some explanation and or supplemental materials will be helpful. It is only by learning about each other that we can teach tolerance and peace to the children in our care.
Since most children ( and adults for that matter! ) don’t know what Kwanzaa is, this is a great opportunity to introduce this wonderful holiday to children.
Kwanzaa is a time for African Americans to honor their people,
their past, and their unique culture. It lasts seven days, from December 26th to
January 1st. Have children hold up seven fingers every time the word seven is
sung, or a picture of the number seven. Gather several traditional African
instruments to play. Or make special shakers decorated with African designs.
Have three pictures of African Americans to represent family, history (example: a picture of Martin Luther King), and creativity ( example: African textile ). Three children can be given the pictures to hold up during the corresponding words in the song.
Discuss the following:
* note: although there are 7 different principles of Kwanzaa, for the purposes of simplicity when teaching young children, family, history, and creativity are used in the song.
Recommended for more information and related activities:
Give children rhythm instruments and assign each a number. As the numbers are sung, children can play their instruments in their “angel band”
Or place ten angels on a flannel board, and have children count on their fingers.
Make Chinese lanterns out of colored paper following directions below. Children can walk or dance freely with lanterns as the song is sung.
1. Fold a piece of colored paper in half the long way
2. Make cuts inch apart through the fold, and to about 1/2 inch from the edge of the paper
3. Open paper, and staple the top and bottom so that fold goes around the middle
4. Make a handle out of yarn or paper.
* Every year, lanterns are decorated with a different animal. You can draw this on thepaper before folding and cutting it, or glue an animal face on the lantern after it is done.
I Am a Camel
Discuss the following with children:
Thread jingle bells on 1/4 inch wide elastic and sew ends together to make bracelets. Children can wear these as they sing, clap, and dance.
Up on the Housetop
Snap fingers, or clap hands on “click, click, click”
We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Circle dance: Children hold hands and walk in a circle during chorus.
During verses stop and use following motions:
Verse 1- We want (arms open wide) some Figgie pudding (hug self)
Verse 2- We won’t go until we get some
( hands on hips, and
stamp foot on “won’t”)
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas (fingerplay)
Jolly old St. Nicholas, lean your ear this way cup hand over ear
Don’t you tell a single soul what I’m going to say shake finger and nod head
Christmas eve will soon be here, now you dear old man hands form big tummy
Whisper what you’ll bring to me, tell me if you can cup hand over ear and lean forward
When the clock is striking twelve, hands in praying position moving back and forth
when I’m fast asleep lay head on hands in sleeping position
Down the chimney with your pack, softly you will creep fingers creep down arm
All the stockings you will find hanging in a row point to stockings in a row
Mine will be the shortest one, you’ll be sure to know point to “Santa”
Johnny wants a pair of skates, Susie needs a sled two fingers skate on other hand
Nelly wants a storybook, one she hasn’t read open hands in front for book
As for me I hardly know, so I’ll go to rest hands up, head cocked
Choose for me, dear Santa Claus, what you think is best
Eight Days of Light
Tell the story of Hanukkah. Have or make a small menorah (you can use eight birthday candles stuck in clay) Light the candles one by one as the sung.
Recommended for more information and activities: Hanukkah, Happy Hanukkah, by Jeff O’Hare paperback $4.95
Star Shine Bright
Have four felt stars in red, blue, purple, and yellow. Place on a felt tree as each verse is sung.
Stars shine bright on our Christmas tree form diamond shape with hands over head
Tell me what color star you see place a star on the tree
Red star shine, red star shine, twinkle and shine all through the night open and close stars to in the air to “shine”
(repeat with other colors
Rub a Dub Dub
Children follow directions and “scrub” themselves clean for the holidays! You can give children wash cloths to make it more fun!
How we take lots of baths in this country, but in many countries baths are saved for special occasions.
In some parts of England it’s believed that the bees sing lullabies on Christmas Eve, and beekeepers place holly on the hives in late December.
Listen to the song and then have the children be the singing bees by buzzing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.