Dress Ralph up in a Santa hat, tinsel, scarf and gloves, or party crown, orred nose and antlers. Wear something a bit festive yourself, such as a Santa hat, or Christmas deely boppers. Also decorate your room as much as possible.

Songs and music

  • Little Donkey
  • When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • Jingle Bells
  • Away in a Manger
  • Snowflakes Dancing
  • Christmas Time is Here
  • Five Jolly Santa’s
  • The lights on the tree
  • jingle jingle little bell
  • he’ll be driving eight brown reindeer
  • Santa’s Coming
  • the cows in the stable
  • snowflake snowflake
  • I see Santa
  • the north wind doth blow

Activities

The warm up, instrument box and rhythms can be done to some Christmas music. Also Guess the Sound can be made more Christmassy using jingle bells, fire burning (on a winters night), snoring (everyone asleep whilst Santa comes). There are also some special Christmas activities you can include in your plans:

Santa’s Coming

This is one of the Musical Mayhem activities. This game is based on the popular children’s game ‘Captain’s Coming.’ On the track there are 5 different excerpts of music, repeatedly randomly. Each one corresponds to a different festive action that the children must do:

  • Wrapping Christmas presents (up beat music)
  • Galloping like reindeer (jazzy music with bells)
  • Spinning like snowflakes (soft and twinkly music)
  • Decorating the Christmas tree (sedate music with trumpets)
  • Santa’s coming (quiet sleigh bells)

The children must listen for a change in the music. When it changes, the children change their action. Remind the children and parents of the new action as the music changes. Each excerpt lasts about 10 seconds, so there should be a sense of urgency and fun in the game. Randomly interspersed between some of the excerpts there will be a moment of silence and some distance jingle bells. When they hear this noise, it means ‘Santa is coming!’ They must run to one end of the hall and lie down and pretend to be asleep – quiet and still!! You can run after them with Ralph dressed as Father Christmas – can they all be asleep before he reaches them? When the jingle bells stops, the different music will start again and the children get back up and do the relevant action. You can either use the long musical track which has all the pieces of music in a random order and interspersed with ‘Santa’s coming’, or you can choose to use the individual musical tracks and decide the order for yourself.

Ralph’s Santa Sack

This is a simple, fun Christmassy story about Ralph which is suitable for all age groups. You will need a bag to be Santa’s sack and some props inside:

  • a gold star
  • happy father Christmas
  • glittery tinsel
  • smiling Christmas angel
  • green spiky Christmas tree

Gather everyone around in big circle and listen to the story, pulling out the props as you go.

Ralph’s Christmas Story

If you feel like a challenge then you could do this version for the older children instead of Ralph’s Santa Sack. It is a special story about Ralph searching for a Christmas tree. You can hear it spoken on the MAD Christmas Theme CD. This is worth playing twice, first just as a listening exercise, so the children hear and follow the story and the second time on your feet adding some movement to it. Because it is quite long, you may find it hard to remember the words, try instead to remember the order of things that happen, so you can anticipate the moves. You could imagine you are a mime artist when you play it.. get them to listen with you but use no speech… just encourage them to follow your lead on the moves. If you have ever seen Mr. Tumble on CBeebies you will know the sort of thing!

Decorating Trees

Buy a small tree (£1 shop sized) for each 5 children in your party/class. Have a selection of Xmas decorations (not glass) for the children to decorate the trees with. Play some heart-warming festive music for instance ‘White Xmas’ or ‘Silent Night’ while this activity is taking place. The children learn fine motor skills and social skills while carrying out the activity and the parents love it. When the trees are all decorated, put them all on display on a table for the remainder of the lesson.

Christmas Snap/Xmas Threading

Use a pack of themed Christmas snap cards (there are some on the intranet) and play a variation of animal snap. The children get to look and name lots of Christmassy themed pictures.  Alternatively you can print the cards then punch a hole in them and use them as a themed treading exercise.  Simply use a long length of narrow ribbon or string, fix the end with a little sellotape to make the threading easier then have the group hold it in a circle.  The class leader then threads the card (or you can nominate a child able to do this), and the rest of the group feed the pictures all along the ribbons passing it to the next child.

Christmas guess the sound

you could make up a little Christmas story using the guess the sounds

  • Crackling fire (all cosy and ready for Christmas)
  • Snoring (all tucked up in our beds waiting for Christmas morning)
  • Jingle bells (can you hear the tinkle of reindeer bells – I think Santa is on his way)
  • Footsteps (I think Santa is here, is he going to leave us any presents?)
  • Church bells (It’s Christmas morning!)

 

Ralph’s Christmas parachute adventure

Follow the Christmas script or Ralph’s Big Parachute Adventure, using some Christmassy music (but ideally without vocals to distract from the story) – Try In Dulci Jubilo – Mike Oldfield. And lots of Christmassy props

Alternatively – driving 8 brown reindeers works really well as a parachute song

Down for “he’ll be coming down the chimney”
Up for “he’ll be piling up the presents”
Shaking the crumbs off for “he’ll be eating all the mince pies”.

Colouring Pictures

Remember we also have colouring pictures you could give out, or post on your facebook page.

You could print and give these away at your Christmas party or put them on your facebook pages for download. You could even ask children to print them and colour them in and bring them along for Ralph. Then photograph a few nice examples and put up on your facebook page after the party.

Other ideas from franchisees

  • Lots of you use a Christmas decoration as props to play with in class and then finish by using it to decorate a tree, either a 3D one, or a cut out one. Tinsel, stars, baubles all proved popular.
  • Some of you suggested music for a Christmas warm up – Step Into Christmas, Rockin’ Robin, anything from Ally McBeal’s Christmas album.
  • Doing textures with a Christmas theme works well for the baby classes.
  • Turn Harry Horse (from our Step activity) into a reindeer and trot along to a version of jingle bells which exactly matches his beat.
  • If you have a local pound shop, buy some hats and mittens (gloves can be tricky!). In class the children wear the mittens while you blow bubbles – they stick to the mittens really well.
  • Give each child a hat and throw 100s ping pong balls onto the floor, they have to fill the hats with the ‘snow balls’ as fast as they can, then after a count of 3 all of them throw them up in the air again and again. It’s great to fast music such as ‘Yakety Sax’ or a bluegrass song called ‘Roanoke’ that can be found on itunes
  • The Christmas cards idea works well. There is a set on the intranet but if you want to download some free coloured ones too they have some here. http://supersimplelearning.com/…/browse/type/flashcards/ (look at the animial snap activity in knowledge of the world and play the same way.
  • Craft bells are really cheap if you want to make sets of jingle bells, just thread onto thin elastic and tie up securely.
  • An imaginary sleigh ride on the mats, or perhaps one behind each other in one big sleigh is also fun, get everyone to lean this way then the other, then over the bumps, up the hill down and again etc (use something like ‘sleigh ride’ in the back ground)
  • A snowball fight with cotton wool balls is also fun, put a bit of tape down to mark off half the room then one side of the room has to try and get as many snowballs into the otherside while the music is playing (both sides do this at the same time).
  • Parachute play, and bubbles (snow) are a must.
  • If you have a small amount to invest the highlight of my parties is when they decorate the trees (i have around 5 or six pound shop trees and a load of old decorations and they do it to Silent Night of Oh Christmas tree One of my nursery manager still goes on about how it made her cry last year!
  • Christmas story with Ralph’s sack always goes down well. I got all my bits from the 99p shop so only cost about £5 and that included the sack!
  • I usually sing Twinkle Twinkle and make a big star out of cardboard and cover it with gold wrapping paper.
  • Obstacle course with the kids delivering presents (Bean Bags) to either a Christmas tree or decorate a box as a Chimney and get them to throw them in.
  • Use the Tinsel to ‘Dance like snow flakes’ – that works well.
  • Ping pong balls or cotton wool balls work well on the parachute too.