Christmas traditions are an important part of the holiday season. Our fondest memories aren't of the gifts but of the time spent with family, playing games and laughing together (and eating lots of food).
You may want to make reading games a part of your holiday traditions. Make some happy memories at Christmas parties or throughout the holiday season with our festive activities. You can start with our December reading calendar, which includes many of our Christmas ideas.
Christmas Photo Props
This is a fun activity for a Christmas party or just hanging out with friends - free printable Christmas photo props. From Santa's hat and beard or Rudolf the Red-Nosed reindeer's antlers and nose to a snowman's top hat and carrot nose - you can get them here. Just print them, cut them out, attach a long sucker stick or skewer, then they are ready for your kids to pull out the phone or camera and start taking pictures!
12 Day of Christmas
One of the most memorable traditions for many children is performing acts of service for others. One great way to do this is to choose a family in your neighborhood to bring the Twelve Days of Chirstmas to. This can be performed each of the twelve nights prior to Christmas or the twelve nights following Christmas.
Here, we have provided coloring pages as well as smaller images that can be included as part of your gifts.
Your children can get into the spirit of the season by sending their own Christmas cards. Kids love sending mail (and receiving it for that matter). Encourage your kids to write their own messages inside the cards before they stamp them and send them off. (For more information about writing letters, see our Letter Writing page.) Allow your children the chance to choose their own cards, make their own, or print our free downloadable Christmas card.
(Be sure to download both the outside and the inside of the card. Print the outside, place the same paper in your printer facing the opposite direction and print the inside.)
As with any holiday, you can sneak in a little extra reading time with a word search: Christmas Word Search .
Illustrate Your Own Story
'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Celment C. Moore is one of the most famous stories of all time. Your children can illustrate their very own copy of this timeless story. You will need to print or download the cover as well as the story. Print the cover on cardstock, and the rest of the story on regular paper.
(You can download the story as an entire document and set your printer to two sided printing, or you can download the page set individually. Each set has 2 pages that should be printed on opposite sides of the same paper.)
After printing, fold the cover and pages down the middle (be sure the story appears in the correct order), then staple the booklet together. Your kids will enjoy becoming the illustrator for Clement C. Moore's wonderful story.
Give your kids a chance to write a Christmas "Add-an-Adjective"story. Have them read this story through first, then they can create a Christmas atmosphere by adding their own adjectives. By writing a different adjective in each of the blanks, they can create a fun, festive story. Encourage them not to use any adjective more than once. After they fill in each of the blanks in the story, they can give it an appropriate title.
Your kids may enjoy making some fun holiday goodies with you. Following a recipe is a great way to help improve your child's reading comprehension. Try some of our Christmas Recipes.
Below we have a few free printable Christmas coloring pages:
Christmas extreme coloring pages and mandalas:
If you enjoy our characters and reading activities, you may be interested in giving our books as Christmas gifts. Visit our Mystic Arts books page.
Christmas Photo Scavenger Hunt
Are you having a Christmas party -- here is a fun game that is a twist on the traditional scavenger hunt. Download our Christmas Photo Scavenger Hunt List, then take your digital camera, smartphone, iPod, etc. and try to be the first to take a picture of everything on the list. With smaller children or wider varieties in ages, pair up in teams to even out the chances. (Two lists per sheet.)
Our family has enjoyed playing Christmas Bingo as part of our holiday party. We bring gifts (generally from the dollar store) for the prizes. Your family may take delight in making Christmas Bingo a part of your holiday traditions. It has the added benefit of reinforcing the importance of reading.
This set contains playing cards as well as the “calling cards." (We’ve used the Christmas M & M’s for markers. Make sure you buy plenty of Christmas M & M’s because when you use them as markers they have a tendency to “disappear”.)
You have heard of homonyms -- words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Well, you and your children may enjoy our "Homonym Phrases." Read the clues on each card, you will be reading words that seem to make no sense. But when you listen to the words you are reading all together, they turn into Christmas phrases. Give it a try! Here's an example: Read the words "Sand does were chop." When you listen to what you are saying, you hear the homonym phrase "Santa's Workshop."
These cards are available in sets. Each set has one page that holds the clues. The second page in each set holds the answers to those clues. When you print the two pages on opposite sides on the same piece of cardstock, the answers will be printed on the backs of the card with the clue. You can then print the next clues on the page with the the answers from the first set for double-sided cards.