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Since November is here and we’ve noticed all of the Christmas lights going up around our town, we’re making a start on some Christmas crafts and activities. The boys love to craft with me, especially to make different seasons and occasions in the year. I love to tie in crafts with books that we read too and approach of the festive season seemed like the perfect opportunity to make some crafts linked up with Christmas books.
I asked some friends for recommendations on their favourite Christmas books that their kids love, and drew up a little list.
- Stick Man by Julia Donaldson. This recommendation came up time and time again, and since we love Julia’s other books this definitely had to be on the list!
- The Empty Stocking by Richard Curtis. This is a fun Christmas story featuring a pair of naughty and nice twins. I’m a twin myself and the boys are very close to their aunty (my twin sister) so this was a great fit for our family.
- Snowflakes by Cerrie Burnell. I have heard such great recommendations for this one, and it sounds like a beautiful book for children.
- Zoe and Beans : Zoe’s Christmas List by Chloe Inkpen and Mike Inkpen. We’ve enjoyed other Zoe and Beans books so this seemed like a fool proof option.
- Cat in the Manger by Michael Foreman. This sounds like a really interesting and different book, telling the navity story from the perspective of a cat!
- Mr Men: Mr Christmas. Since the kids love Mr Men’s style of humour this would be bound to be a hit.
We went to Waterstones for a browse. There are lots of Christmas books displayed at the moment to make it easy to find something suitable for the season. I love to see the shops all decorated too, it always gives a little boost to my mood to see the lights and the tinsel and the trees! This is Waterstones Oxford Street which would be a great branch to choose if you want to soak up the festive atmosphere while you shop.
We read all of the books. Mr R was keen to read all three one after the other! We read and looked at the pictures and chatted about what we could see and enjoyed each of the books in their own different way.
I wanted to do a craft to go along with one of the books, and we chose to do this for The Empty Stocking. I had some card blanks cut out into the shape of stockings so this was perfect and made for a really simple but fun festive craft that was ideal for Mr R to make (he’s 3 years old)
We looked at the stockings shown in the story and noticed that they are all colourful and stripey so we decided to make ours the same. We cut plenty of strips of coloured tissue paper, and a few strips of ribbon too. Then all we needed was some glue and a little creativity to create some cute stripey stockings to go along with the book.
Mr R had lots of fun creating this stocking craft and referring back to the book to compare how ours looked just like the story. The great thing about this craft is that whether perfect neat stripes, or a little rough around the edges it still creates a great effect with lots of personality. Mr R loved choosing all of the colours and carefully sticking the pieces down. You could use these as cards, or seal up the side leaving just the top open and then take the craft further by creating mini presents to put in and out of each stocking to allow the children to retell the story.
In case you are worried by the name “The Empty Stocking” it does have a happy ending, with two big full stockings for both twins, and a little twist at the end of the tale! My boys really enjoyed this book, and it is something a little bit different to the usual. It is quite a gripping story for little ones, so we would recommend this christmas book. Why not have a go at the craft too, or make up your own idea!
Are there other christmas books for children that you would recommend to add to our list? Leave your ideas in the comments so that everyone can look out for them while doing their Christmas shopping!
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.