Communities Active in Play Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time

Communities
Active in Play
Ho, Ho, Ho its
Christmas Time
Communities Active in Play
Ho, Ho, Ho it’s Christmas Time
Active Play Sheet
Santa Hokey Pokey
Christmas Wreaths
To the tune of Hokey Pokey
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Paper plate or craft wreath
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Natural materials (leaves,
Children gain
awareness of their
environment when
they have repeated
experiences in
nature
feathers, bark, flowers etc.)
You put your belly in; you put your belly out
You put your belly in, and you shake it all about
You do the Santa Pokey and you turn around
And that’s what it’s all about.
You put your boots in; you put your boots out
You put your boots in, and you shake them all about
You do the Santa Pokey and you turn around
And that’s what it’s all about
You put your Santa Sack in; you put your Santa Sack out
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Christmas ribbon
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PVA Glue
This activity is great for raising your child’s
awareness of what they can find in nature, what
lies in their very own backyard or local park.
Take a walk outside with your child and collect
interesting leaves, seed pods, flowers, feathers
etc…
Once back home, display all the things collected.
Talk with your child about what you have found.
Cut the inner circle of the paper plate out,
attaching two plates together will provide extra
strength to the wreath. Together glue the natural
materials onto the paper plate.
Allow time for the wreath to dry, then attach
some Christmas ribbon and display it for
everyone to see and admire.
You put your Santa Sack in, and you shake it all about
You do the Santa Pokey and you turn around
And that’s what it’s all about.
Encourage your child by doing the actions with them.
Use props from around the house i.e. a pillow to make
a big Santa belly, gumboots for Santa boots and a bag
filled with stuffed toys for Santa’s toy sack.
Make up some new verses to the song together with
your child. Or perhaps change the theme to a ‘Reindeer
Pokey’ or a ‘Christmas Elf Pokey’, and use props around
the home to use when doing the actions.
Letter to Santa
Help your child to write a letter to Santa with a
Christmas wish list. The list doesn’t only have to
include presents they want, but also wishes they
hope to come true for the next year.
Put the letter in an envelope and address it to Santa
in the North Pole. Then walk with your child to the
nearest post box to send the letter. Alternatively
make your own cardboard letterbox to leave out
from Santa to collect your child’s letter from.
Reindeer Race
Every movement a
child preforms has to
be thought through
and processed
This activity is great to provide your child with a fun
Christmas prop to play with either inside or outside.
For instructions on how to make your reindeer refer
to the Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Activity Sheet.
Demonstrate and encourage your child to ride on
their reindeer.
Lots of fun can be had pretending to gallop through
the snow on the ground, across the park or race
along the beach for a traditional Aussie summer
Christmas!
Your child may also enjoy galloping on their
reindeer to Christmas music.
Play music with a fast beat (but not too fast) and
encourage galloping.
Santa Drop Obstacle Course
Create an obstacle course in your own home or
in the backyard and encourage your child to be
Santa delivering presents.
Set up a North Pole for the starting point, you
could use white sheets for snow and pillows for
Santa’s house. Use a bag for Santa’s sack and
load it up with some of your child’s toys for
them to deliver.
Create different houses (behind the couch,
under the dining room table, a clothes horse
with a blanket over it or children’s tent) around
the obstacle course for your child to stop at and
deliver toys.
Cardboard boxes can also make great houses or
props such as letter boxes or even pretend fire
places or a table for Santa’s snack.
Play a game of freeze, when the music stops
children freeze. Stopping and starting with the
music is a fun activity that children enjoy. Consider
having music to unwind with at the end of your
game so the children can regulate and slow
themselves after being stimulated by the faster,
more up beat music.
Pretend to climb down the chimney with them
and sneak quietly into the house.
Another game you may enjoy playing with your
child requires 2 - 4 different stations. A couple of
examples include a drinking trough station, reindeer
food station, sleigh stop, grooming station, flying
school, hoof check up station etc… When the music
stops the children gallop as fast as they can to the
station you have called out and act out (pretend
play) actions relating to that particular station. You
may demonstrate some actions at the start when
identifying the different stations.
Sung to: “I’m a Little Teapot”
You can dress your child up as Santa, or make
the reindeer prop for them to ride.
I’m a Little Santa
I’m a little Santa
short and fat,
Here is my beard
and here is my sack,
On Christmas Eve
I hop in my sleigh
With a “Ho, Ho, Ho”
I’m on my way.
Think about holding a reindeer race with either
individual children or relay team. To add further
interest and challenge you may wish to set out an
obstacle course that allows the children to gallop
around on their reindeer.
This is a great action song to do with young and
older aged children. Keep it simple for the
younger children, demonstrate actions and
increase complexity of actions for older children.
Older children will enjoy coming up with their
own sequence of actions and may enjoy using
props.
Communities Active in Play
Ho, Ho, Ho it’s Christmas Activity Sheet
Make a Galloping Reindeer
What you need
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Large and small paper plate
Brown and white or alternative coloured thick card
Red milk lid for nose, red sticker or Christmas bauble
Stapler, sticky tape and glue
Paint /crayons/pencils/black marker pen
1 pole (Cardboard roll, stick or swimming noddle)
Instructions
Step 1: Paint the two paper plates and set aside to dry. When dry attach the smaller paper
plate (you can cut down a larger plate to make a smaller paper plate) to the large paper plate
as shown in above diagram. Position the reindeer’s nose and eyes and secure.
Step 2: Trace around adult hands and child hands on coloured cardboard of choice and
attach the child’s hands to the adult’s hands (smaller hands are at the front) with sticky tape
to the back of the larger paper plate.
Step 3: Cut out small ears and attach just under the reindeer’s antlers, pointing out to the
sides. A little glitter on your reindeer’s checks also adds a bit of magic to help our reindeers
fly!
Step 4: Once you have completed the reindeer’s head it is ready to be attached to the item
that you have chosen to use as the pole or body of the reindeer (card board roll, stick or
swimming noddle) and secure. Now your reindeer is ready for a name and a gallop around the
yard. Gather several reindeers together and you can have a reindeer race.
Playgroup/s:
ACTIVE PLAY GROUP SESSION PLAN
Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time
Session Date:
Active Play Activities
Presentation/Set Up
Activity: Obstacle Course – Galloping
Reindeer
Equipment/Resources:
 Galloping Reindeer from Ho, Ho, Ho
its Christmas Activity Sheet
Follow the instructions from the Galloping
Reindeer Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Activity Sheet
to make your reindeer. Set out an obstacle
course using available equipment, consisting of 36 different stations that allow the children to
move freely while riding on their reindeer.
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Balancing beams
Raised hoop
Tunnel
Witches hats
Hoops
Rope ladder
Bean bags
Masking tape/chalk
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Decorate artificial Christmas trees or use
potted plants or trees that are in the
ground as markers for the children to
weave through or around on their
reindeer.
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Mark out a course using chalk or masking
tape. Think about creating a spiral or a
large zig zag Christmas tree. Invite the
children to ride their reindeer following
the lines.
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Place the same number of bean bags in a
couple of buckets and have the children
line up behind the buckets. Children
collect a bean bag from the bucket and
gallop on their reindeer to the other end
of the track depositing the bean bag into
another bucket and then returning to the
start. Continue to collect the bean bags
until all the bean bags are deposited in
the bucket at the other end of the
course. Alternatively you may wrap small
boxes of different sizes up in Christmas
Observation/s (How did the
activity go?)
Duration of Session:
Comments (what would I change, add
to and repeat?)
ACTIVE PLAY GROUP SESSION PLAN
Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time
wrap and have the children deposit the
parcel into a Santa sack at the other end
of the track.
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Create tunnels from a number of large
cardboard boxes (sheets/blankets draped
over chairs will also make a great tunnel)
and ask the children to maneuver their
reindeer through the tunnel/s. Additional
challenges can be created by hanging
stockings/tights with a tennis balls or
other small balls from the top of the box,
creating an additional obstacle challenge
while moving through the tunnel/s.
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Make several tinsel lays and place them
out along a path on a chair or hang from
a tree and encourage the children to
collect them as they gallop along the
trail.
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Individual Activity: Make the Bell Ring
Equipment/Resources:
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Bell target – thick cardboard, twine
or ribbon for hanging and a large
bell
Stanley knife/ strong scissors
Decorating materials such as
Christmas paper, paint or crayons
Place out a rope ladder or rings (using
hoops) on the ground and encourage the
children to step in each space. You can
draw a ladder using chalk or mark out
with masking tape.
Draw a large Christmas bell onto a strong piece of
cardboard. You may find that a small packing box
or cereal box doubled to create a greater
thickness will produce a strong bell. Cut out a
section in the middle of the bell large enough for
a small plastic ball/tennis ball or bean bag to fit
through. Pierce a hole through the top of the
cardboard (at least 1-2 cms from the edge of the
cardboard) and push two threads (ribbon or
ACTIVE PLAY GROUP SESSION PLAN
Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time
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and markers
Balls or bean bags
Chalk or masking tape to indicate
throwing line
Chalk board and chalk to score
twine) through the hole and secure. One thread
is used to hang the bell from a tree branch and
the other to attach a large bell so it hangs in the
center of the bell. Decorate your bell as desired.
The game is now ready to play. Encourage the
children to throw their ball/bean bag through the
center of the bell with the aim to knock the bell
and make it ring. Have a basket of balls or bean
bags located at an appropriate distance from the
target (move accordingly to meet child’s
individual ability) and ask the child to retrieve all
of the balls/beans bags and place back in the
basket ready for the next person.
Make 2 -3 bell targets depending on the size of
your group 3-4 should and attach bell target to a
swing frame or strong tree branch. Divide the
children into teams and record how many targets
Bell target (see above instructions)
each child hits (how many times they make the
Balls or bean bags
Chalk or masking tape to indicate bell ring) on a chalk board. The team with the
highest score is the winner. Move children closer
throwing line
or further away from the target depending on
Chalk board and chalk for scoring
their age and ability.
Optional Group Activity: Make the Bell Ring
Equipment/Resources:
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Art Activity: Giant Christmas Painting
Equipment/Resources:
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Attach a large piece of plastic to a solid outdoor
surface such as a fence or brick wall etc. Provide
the children with paint in Christmas colours (red,
Paint (Christmas Colours)
green, yellow, black, white, silver and gold) and
Sheet of plastic, paper or glass ask the children to paint something to do with
surface
Christmas. Placing the plastic on a wall or fence
Paint pots and different sized encourages the children to stretch up and out,
brushes and/or rollers
using large strokes while painting. Alternatively
Dishwashing detergent (for window you may invite them to paint on a window or
painting)
ACTIVE PLAY GROUP SESSION PLAN
Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time
Group Time
Activity: Santa’s Workshop
Equipment/Resources:
 Number of toys to create the
different toy stations such as hula
hoops, balls, stilts, dancing ribbons
etc… Be creative!
 Cd player
 Christmas music
Group Time Songs:
Equipment/Resources:
 Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time Active
Play Sheet

Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time Song
Sheet
glass door depending what is available. Add
dishwashing detergent (about a desert spoon to a
standard children’s paint pot) for ease of
removing the paint from the window. You may
also choose to use paper which can then allow
the children’s art to be taken home. Consider
taking photos of art that will be removed from
windows or plastic and display the photos at
playgroup.
Presentation/Set Up
Observation/s (How did the
activity go?)
Set up a couple of different play stations in a
designated area. Allocate a different toy at each
station for example hula hoops, balls, skipping
rope, quotes, stilts, dancing ribbons, large blocks
etc.. Allocate and adult at each station to assist
children or adapt activity to cater for different
ages for example balls may be rolled back and
forth, thrown and caught or bounced. Explain to
the children that they are Santa’s helpers and
must help test all the new toys. Play Christmas
music for a short period of time, you may choose
to play one Christmas carol per station. When the
music stops the children move onto the next toy
station. Continue until all the children have had
an opportunity to play at each toy station.
Sing familiar group song such as Twinkle Twinkle
Little Star. Introduce the Santa Hokey Pokey to
the group; refer to Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time
Active Play Sheet. You may choose to use props
(such as a Santa hat or beard) and encourage the
children to come up with new actions for the
group to follow. Refer to the Ho, Ho, Ho its
Christmas Time Song sheet for further song
Comments (what would I change, add
to and repeat?)
ACTIVE PLAY GROUP SESSION PLAN
Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time
Activity: Story time
Equipment/Resources:
 Book
suggestions.
Gather everyone for story time by singing
“Everybody sit down, sit down” song.
Finish the session by reading a book of choice
relating to the theme.
For example:
Communities Active in Play
Ho, Ho, Ho It’s Christmas Time
Session Preparation Checklist
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Communities Active in Play
Ho, Ho, Ho It’s Christmas Time Song Sheet
I’m a Little Santa
I'm A Little Christmas
Tree
(Sung to tune of I’m a Little Teapot)
(Sung To: I'm A Little Tea Pot)
I’m a little Santa
short and fat,
Here is my beard
and here is my sack,
On Christmas Eve
I hop in my sleigh
I'm a little Christmas tree tall
and straight
Here are my branches for you
to decorate.
First you put the star on the
very top
Just be careful that my balls
don't drop
With a “Ho, Ho, Ho”
I’m on my way.
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed
Reindeer
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer,
Had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it,
You could even say it glows.
All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names;
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.
Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"
Then how the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee,
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
You'll go down in history."
Twinkle, Twinkle
Christmas Star
Twinkle, Twinkle Christmas
Star
Way up high is where you are
Shining bright for all to see
On the top of our tree
Twinkle, Twinkle Christmas
star
Way up high is where you are
Jingle Bells
Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh,
O'er the fields we go,
Laughing all the way.
Bells on bobtails ring,
Making spirits bright.
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight. Oh!
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.
Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.
A day or two ago,
I thought I'd take a ride;
And soon Miss Fanny Bright,
Was seated by my side;
The horse was lean and lank,
Misfortune seemed his lot,
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot!
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.
Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.
Santa Hokey Pokey
(To the tune of Hokey Pokey)
You put your belly in; you put your belly out
You put your belly in, and you shake it all about
You do the Santa Pokey and you turn around
And that’s what it’s all about.
You put your boots in; you put your boots out
You put your boots in, and you shake them all about
You do the Santa Pokey and you turn around
And that’s what it’s all about
You put your Santa Sack in; you put your Santa Sack out
Ring Those Bells
(Sung To: Jimmy Crack Corn)
Ring those bells and stomp your feet
(stomp feet)
Ring those bells and stomp your feet
(stomp feet)
Ring those bells and stomp your feet
(stomp feet)
Christmas time is here!
Ring those bells and turn around (turn
around)
Ring those bells and turn around (turn
around)
Ring those bells and turn around (turn
around)
Christmas time is here!
Ring those bells and jump up high (Jump)
Ring those bells and jump up high (Jump)
Ring those bells and jump up high (Jump)
Christmas time is here!
You put your Santa Sack in, and you shake it all about
You do the Santa Pokey and you turn around
And that’s what it’s all about.
Here Comes Santa Claus
Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane! Vixen and Blitzen and all
his reindeer
Are pulling on the reins.
Bells are ringing, children singing; All is merry and
bright.
Hang your stockings and say your prayers, 'Cause
Santa Claus comes tonight.
Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane! He's got a bag that is
filled with toys
For the boys and girls again.
Hear those sleigh bells jingle jangle, what a beautiful
sight.
Jump in bed and cover up your head, 'cause Santa
Claus comes tonight.
We Wish You A Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year.
Now let's all do a little clapping (clap)
Now let's all do a little clapping(clap)
Now let's all do a little clapping (clap)
And spread Christmas cheer
(raise arms above head)
Now let's all do a little jumping (jump)
Now let's all do a little jumping(jump)
Now let's all do a little jumping (jump)
And spread Christmas cheer
(raise arms above head)
Now let's all do a little waving (wave)
Now let's all do a little waving(wave)
Now let's all do a little waving(wave)
And spread Christmas cheer
(raise arms above head)
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year.
Communities Active in Play
Fast Facts: Ho, Ho, Ho its
Christmas Time!
Christmas is a perfect time to get active with your children. Most of us spend
more family time together during Christmas, staying active will keep your
family healthy and reduce stress .
Fine Motor Skills
What are they?
Children who watch TV
for longer than 2 hours per
day are more likely to have
an unhealthy diet, less likely
to eat fruit and less likely to
participate in physical
activity.
Fine motor skills are the capacity to control the small muscles in the hands
and fingers needed for specific movements.
Examples of activities that support fine motor skill development from
“Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time” Active Play Sheet includes:
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Writing a letter to Santa
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Cutting paper plate to create a Christmas wreath and pasting
collected item onto the wreath
Considering purchasing
your child a bike for
Christmas. Visit your local
bike store they can fit your
child so they receive the
correct sized bike. Some
stores also provide basic
riding lessons.
Gross Motor Skills
What are they?
Gross motor skills involve the use of the entire body or various parts of the
body at the same time. Examples of gross motor skills include rolling,
crawling, walking, jumping and running. They are the BIG movements.
Examples of activities that support gross motor skill development
from “Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time” Active Play Sheet includes:
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Running and galloping in “Reindeer Race” activity
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Repeating big movements in” Santa Hokey Pokey” song
Don’t forget about
purchasing active play
equipment for family and
friends at Christmas time.
Children will love presents
that encourage family to
spend time together
outdoors. Consider a kite,
football or soccer ball,
beach cricket set, butterfly
net, bug catcher or
binoculars for spotting birds
and other animals while
bushwalking.
Sensory Processing
Sensory processing is the ability of the brain to recognize and make sense of different types of sensations.
This includes SMELL, TASTE, TOUCH, SIGHT and HEARING.
Examples of activities that support sensory processing development from “Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time ”
Active Play Sheet include:
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Collecting items to make a Christmas wreath
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Singing Christmas songs such as “I’m a Little Santa”
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Creating Christmas craft projects
Imaginative Play
When children play using their imagination they are showing us how they understand experiences or
what is around them, rather than simply copying what they see their parents or others do.
As an adult you can encourage your child to use their imagination and abstract thinking during play by
simply providing your child with uninterrupted time, space and household items/props that support the
theme or ideas your child chooses.
Examples of activities that support imaginative play from “Ho, Ho, Ho its Christmas Time” Active Play
Sheet include:
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Dressing up as Santa, an elf or reindeer
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Using household items as props such as pillow for Santa’s belly, gumboots for Santa’s boots and bag
filled with stuffed toys for Santa’s sack
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Writing a letter to Santa and posting it to the “North Pole”
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Pretending to be a reindeer (role play) from” Reindeer Race” activity, including stopping to drink
from the water trough, eating hay and galloping around as a reindeer pulling a sleigh
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Doing actions to the song “I’m a Little Santa” song
Glastonbury Community Services, Communities Active in Play (CAP) Program aims to support and
encourage parents to meet the Australian Government recommendation that children from birth to
5 years of age engage in physical activity every day for at least 3hours, spread throughout the day
and not be inactive for more than 1 hour at a time except for when they are sleeping.
CAP is on the move and coming to you!
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