Santa Advent Calendar

The countdown to Christmas starts next week and the children in our MS/GS (4 and 5 year olds) English after school club have started making some Father Christmas advent calendars.

We have been learning parts of the face vocabulary with songs and games in the last few weeks and this craft activity is a great way to revise and re-use the vocabulary in a hands-on way. I first saw an activity similar to this here

We had a surprise visit from Santa/Father Christmas (a hand puppet). I carefully pulled him out of a bag, describing the puppet as I went and asked the children who it could be. They guessed straight away! He then introduced himself and asked the children a few questions. They loved it and responded eagerly. It's funny how children seem absolutely ok talking to a puppet! Everyone wanted a cuddle and a kiss! I then described his face again "Look, he's got a red hat, he's got two eyes, he's got a nose and he's got a little mouth. Look at his beard! It is long and white"  I then asked individual children to touch various parts of his face and repeat the words if they could. We didn't linger too long on this though, we only have 30 minute sessions so the children were then invited to do the craft activity.

To make the faces we used beige circles cut from card, red card triangles and beard shapes cut from paper plates. We used black beans for the eyes, red pom poms for Santa's cold nose and white cotton wool to decorate his beard and hat. We used red pens to draw on the mouths.

We did the activity together. I took the round card and explained "Santa's face, he needs a hat" I then stuck on the hat and some children copied, some didn't "Stick on the hat. Can you stick his beard on now? He needs two black eyes and a red nose. Is your Santa happy or sad? Can you draw his mouth?"

Some children repeated the words as I said them or as they stuck them on the face.

I am really not too fussy if they don't stick the things in the 'correct' places. They are free to use the materials how they wish. I don't correct them or help them, I simply describe what I or they are doing.

The artwork may not turn out to be the most beautiful but I think it is important that it is their work, not mine.

We tidied up. We then got together on the mat for the plenary and our goodbye song.  We sang the "Hello Eyes" face song changing it to "Goodbye eyes, goodbye nose, goodbye mouth and goodbye toes? touching the various parts of the face as we sang.

Next week we shall talk about their Santa faces and stick on the number beards. The children can cut off each number at home as they count (in English, of course) the days to Christmas. Then they will be left with a wonderful Father Christmas decoration.

Main language and communication aims

  • to revise  has got
  • to revise colours and face words
  • to follow simple instructions using glue, stick and draw
  • to introduce Santa

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