Saturday, December 15, 2012

Montessori-Inspired Christmas Language Activities

Montessori-Inspired Christmas Language ActivitiesBy Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now
I always loved creating Montessori-inspired activity trays before holidays. With the printables that are available online, it's often quite simple to create activity trays for any type of holiday or theme.

Today, I want to share Montessori-inspired language ideas for using some great free printables I found online with a Christmas theme. Thanks so much to the designers who've so generously shared their printables!

C is for Candy Canes Beginning Sounds Activity

For this activity, I used the "C is for Candy Canes" page from the CHRISTmas Candy Cane Preschool Mini-Pack by Itsy Bitsy Learners. You could rotate it with pages like "C is for Christmas" from the Christmas Preschool Printables at Confessions of a Homeschooler, "J is for Jesus" page from J is for Jesus at Confessions of a Homeschooler, or Christmas magnet pages from Making Learning Fun.
C is for Candy Canes Beginning Sounds Activity

I got the idea of using tiny bows from Chestnut Grove Academy. Instead of tiny bows, you could use glass gems, playdough balls, Power Magnets, pom poms with a strawberry huller, magnetized pom poms on a magnetic tray, or dot markers (if you don’t laminate the activity). 

In Montessori education, we emphasize phonetic sounds rather than letter names. I would demonstrate the activity by placing the printable on a rug and saying, "/c/ is for candy cane." You could show how to place a couple of the bows on the page. Show how to trace the letters using a dry erase marker on the laminated page. (Note: When I prepared the activity, I added a small green dot at the starting point for tracing each letter.)  Show how to clean the tray before putting the materials away and returning the tray to the shelf for the child(ren) to use.

Gingerbread Babies DIY Textured Letters and Salt Tray 

 Gingerbread Babies Textured Letters Salt Tray

For this activity, I used the Preschool Gingerbread Baby Printables from Homeschool Creations. You could make a miniature DIY version of Christmas textured letters by printing out the gingerbread babies alphabet cards, laminating them, cutting them out, and adding red glitter glue to the consonants and blue glitter glue to the vowels. 

The miniature textured letters could be used like traditional sandpaper letters except that you'd need to use one finger to trace the letters rather than two because of the size of the letters. You could also make a salt tray for practice tracing specific letters. I love using white salt for writing trays in the winter since the salt looks a bit like snow. You could also make a matching activity with upper- and lowercase letters.  

Gingerbread Babies DIY Movable Alphabet Spelling
Gingerbread Babies Movable Alphabet Spelling

The gingerbread babies textured letters could also be used as a DIY movable alphabet. You could use it for sounding out and spelling phonetic objects or pictures. 

Gingerbread Babies Name Activity
Gingerbread Babies Name Activity 

You could make a name tray using the upper- and lowercase gingerbread babies. You'd need to be sure there are duplicate letters where needed for a name.

 Christmas Creative Writing Activity
Christmas Creative Writing Tray

This creative writing activity for advanced preschoolers and kindergarteners uses the Nativity Preschool Pack from 1+1+1=1 and the Polar Express Pack (or one of the other packs) from 3 Dinosaurs. It's hard to find a much easier activity to prepare. You just need to print out copies of the pages and place them on a tray. You can add a Christmas pencil and pencil sharpener to focus on practical life skills as well.

Younger children could dictate a short story to you. That's an activity I always enjoyed doing as a Montessori teacher.

More of My Posts and Free Christmas Printables

Here are my posts on Advent, Christmas, and other December Holidays: How to Use Godly Play at Home During Advent, December Family Activities, Turning Christmas Crafts into Montessori-Oriented Activities, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Activities, 50+ December Family Activities, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Activities (2011), Holiday Manners, How to Prepare a Special Kids’ Table for Holiday Gatherings, Homeschool Christmas, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Playdough Activities, 40+ Christmas Countdown Activities, Montessori-Inspired Christmas Crafts, Montessori-Inspired Nativity Activities, Montessori-Inspired Hanukkah Activities, and Christmas Around the World: Scotland.

Here are my PreK + K Sharing posts on the 15th of each month with Montessori-inspired ideas for using free printables.

I have links to many more free Christmas printables at Living Montessori Now.

More Kids' Christmas Activities

I have a Kids' Christmas Activities Pinterest Board with links to many more wonderful free printables and activities of all types.

Have a blessed Christmas.

Living Montessori Now
Deb ChitwoodDeb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in Colorado Springs with her husband of 37 years and their cat of 11 years. She blogs at Living Montessori Now. 
 Linked to Tuesday Tots, Tactile Tuesday, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions at Milk and Cuddles and Crystal & Co. Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop, The Weekly Kid’s Co-op, Living Life Intentionally Linky Party, Preschool Corner, Sharing Saturday, Saturday Show & Tell, Show-and-Share Saturday, The Sunday Showcase, Link & Learn, Afterschool Express, December Holiday Blog Hop at PreK + K Sharing, and Montessori Moms Holiday Hop.


  1. Wow! Another encyclopedia of resources everything Montessori and Christmas! What a comlpete set of materials and resources. Thank you, again, so much. This single post might take me until next Christmas! You are so dedicated to making education possible!

    1. Thanks so much, Carolyn! I have lots of fun putting these together. Of course, without any kids at home, I just have to put everything away. I'm saving it all, though, so I'm well prepared for grandkids! I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season. :)

  2. Thanks for linking to me! :). Love your ideas as always!

    1. My pleasure, Jen! I love your ideas, too! Have a blessed Christmas. :)

  3. Oh, some great ideas! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

    1. Thanks so much, Carrie! Thanks for hosting! Have a wonderful Christmas! :)


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