There is absolutely nothing better than snuggling together as a family on Christmas Eve and reading Twas the Night Before Christmas before the children go to sleep for the night. It’s a definite family tradition in our house, and we actually have a few different versions of the classic story. Because the language in the original story can be a little bit difficult for children to understand it makes a great book to explore further using a story basket.
Materials Needed to Create you Twas the Night Before Christmas Story Basket
- A basket
- A copy of Twas the Night Before Christmas (buy from Amazon US / UK)
- A small stocking
- A toy Christmas tree
- A toy child and bed
- A toy Santa and reindeer
- Bells to ring
- White felt or cotton wool (as snow)
How to Use your Christmas Story basket
I like to involve the children in the whole process of creating a story basket (or story sack) so the first thing that we do is sit down and read the story together. Then we talk about all of the things that we liked about the story and point at the pictures that really stood out to us.
Next, we walk around the house collecting things that remind us of the story. Of course, I have a few things in mind, but the children always find some very creative items that I would never have thought of (or didn’t even realize that we had!)
Once we’ve collected everything we set it all out in the basket so that we can see everything, and sometimes we remove a few things that are similar so that we don’t over complicate things. Again we talk about it all together and make it a real team effort.
Finally, we read through the story again, this time using all of the toys and props that we’ve found to play our way through and make sure that we really understand what is happening in the story.
As an extension, now that Ethan is learning to read I chose a few key words from the story and wrote them on Christmas tree cut-outs. His job was to recognize when these words appeared in the story and read them out to us.
This story basket will now sit in our play area up until Christmas for the children to explore and read whenever they like, so that when Christmas Eve comes they will be even more excited to read it!
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Niki is a former early years teacher and current stay at home Mum to her two children; Ethan (5) and Ivy (2 1/2). Originally from Canada, Niki has lived in the UK for the past 13 years.
She writes about learning through play with games, activities, crafts and fun over on Play & Learn Every Day!
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