Countdown to Santa!

This Santa Countdown was inspired by an activity Crystal, my friend and fellow first grade teacher, introduced me to my first year of teaching. I didn’t have a copy of the printable teddy bear that was on her original Christmas Countdown, so we improvised by adding a paper-plate Santa instead!
The last past 2 years of Santa Visits have not been good. Big Brother was terrified at 11 months and again at almost 2 years. Little Brother was just a month old last Christmas, so he slept through the picture-taking. Nevertheless, awaiting Santa’s visit will be fun this year {I hope}. :)

Here’s what you’ll need: a paper plate, red and green construction paper, cotton balls, crayons, googly eyes, a glue stick and a glue bottle.

1. Let your little one use a peach marker to color the white paper plate.

2. While he/she is busy coloring away, cut out the shape of a hat from red construction paper.

3. Then cut out 24 strips of paper- 12 red and 12 green. I made mine 3 inches wide…but that was too wide. I would suggest making them 2 inches wide.

4. Add googly eyes, a nose, and a smile (I would love to tell you that this terrible artwork isn’t my doing…but I would by lying). Then use your glue bottle to put glue all around Santa’s mouth to form a beard.

5. Let your little one pull apart the pieces of cotton…

…And stick them on the glue.

Awww…much better!

6. Let your child decorate the strips of paper. After decorating 4, Big Brother was done. That is totally fine…the rest will just be blank!

7. Using your glue stick, add a line of glue to one end of the strip of paper to form a loop. Loop the next one inside the last until you have a nice long strand of 24 loops.

8. Attach the strand of loops to the Santa face.

9. Hang where your child can reach it. You may have to lower it a bit as Christmas approaches.

Let your little one tear off one loop each day until Christmas! Don’t want to start tomorrow…no problem! You can start whenever you want…just make the strand of loops the number of days until Christmas (minus 1). ‘Tis the Season!
Literature Link
The Night Before Christmas
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (Illustrated by Mary Engelbreit)
Mary Engelbreit makes the classic Christmas poem come alive with her beautiful and colorful illustrations. Every detail on every page is so beautifully captured. I LOVE the illustrations in this book!
The Mouse Before Christmas
The Mouse Before Christmas by Michael Garland
This is a cute spin-off of the classic mentioned above. A mouse anxiously awaits the arrival of St. Nick then hops into his bag for a ride! Santa’s sleigh travels all over the world until finally Santa discovers the mouse and gives him a special gift…just his size.
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town by J. Fred Coots (Illustrated by Steven Kellogg)
You can’t help but sing along while reading this fun book. The vibrant illustrations truly make the song come to life!

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