The holiday season gets into the swing of things now that Thanksgiving is over. Kids of all ages are excited about the possibilities ahead of them during this festive month. It doesn’t matter what they celebrate, students will love talking about Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, and all other winter holidays. Learning about different traditions is a wonderful way to share parts of their own family memories.
Books are the perfect way to begin talking about the holidays. These days, there are a large number of new and classic holiday stories that will get conversations started, work on vocabulary for the season, and boost confidence in participation. As always, it’s important to be sensitive to the children who you work with. Select books that are sensitive to their beliefs and customs. There are plenty of holiday and books for the winter that are not religious in nature. If you need to stay away from holidays, check out stories that center around snowmen, gingerbread people, sledding, snow, and other winter favorites.
Some suggestions for holiday and winter reading that will work well with different ages are grouped below.
- Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin
- Christmas in America (Ellis the Elephant) by Callista Gingrich
- A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates
- How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky
- Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah by Sylvia Rouss
- How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah by Jane Yolen
- Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel
- I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz
- K is for Kwanzaa: A Kwanzaa Alphabet Book by Juwanda G. Ford
- My First Kwanzaa Book by Deborah M Newton Chocolate
- Kevin’s Kwanzaa by Lisa Bullard
- Seven Candles for Kwanzaa by Andrea Davis Pinkney
- Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
- The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- The Mitten by Jan Brett
- The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth
The beauty of books is that they help to spur future activities based on student interest and involvement. Take a book walk, make crafts that go along with the reading, and be sure to check out the author or publisher’s websites for any complementary activities. Think outside of the box in ways to align the books with speech and language goals for each child that you’re supporting. Check with families to see if there are special books that may be good to work with. There may be specific folk tales that go along with their cultures.
Our newest school-based therapy opportunities are as fun as these winter books! Take a look here.