Christmas Phonological Awareness Activities

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As the festive season approaches, why not sprinkle some holiday cheer into your literacy lessons with Christmas phonological awareness activities?

Here’s a collection of easy-to-do Circle Time activities for Christmas time that will help you teach rhyming, letter sounds, and syllables to your preschool learners.

Rhyming Activities: Christmas Phonological Awareness

Rhyming Gift Wrap:

Wrap small objects in wrapping paper or tissue paper or place them in gift bags. Children can unwrap the gifts and tell a word that rhymes with the object. For example, if they unwrap a wooden “block”, they can say “clock” or “lock”. You can also encourage children to give nonsense rhyming words. For example, if they unwrap “scissors”, they could say “fizzers” or “mizzers”.

Alternate Activity: You can do the same activity for beginning sounds. Wrap small objects that represent different beginning sounds. Children can unwrap the gifts and identify the sounds.

Rhyming Snowball Toss:

Write two words on pieces of white paper, some with two rhyming word pairs and some with words that don’t rhyme. Crumple them into “snowballs” and place them in a container. Make enough “snowballs” for each child in the class. At circle time, have a child take a snowball out and toss it to the teacher. The teacher will open the crumpled paper and read the two words out loud. The class will decide if the two words rhyme or don’t rhyme.

Christmas Rhyme Corners Game:

Place pictures of a Christmas tree, stocking, Santa, and sleigh in the four corners of the classroom. At Circle Time, call out a rhyming word and have the children move to the corner that rhymes with that word. It’s fine to use nonsense words. 

Examples:

Tree: bee, key, see, me, she, knee, we, free

Stocking: mocking, bocking, docking, flocking, clocking, rocking, zocking

Santa: banta, fanta, janta, lanta, tanta, Atlanta

Sleigh: bay, day, fray, gray, hay, kay, may, nay, pay, ray, tray, way

Christmas Carol Rhyme Challenge:

Sing familiar Christmas carols and challenge children to identify and generate rhyming words during the songs. You can hit pause on the song if you are using a CD or video. For example, “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose.” Stop at “nose”, and think of rhyming words for nose. Then continue the song, and stop in other parts of the song.

Letter Sounds Activities: Christmas Phonological Awareness

Santa’s Sound Sack:

Fill a sack with objects that start with different letter sounds. Have children reach into the sack, pull out an object, and identify the initial sound.

Holiday Sound Walk:

Place letters or pictures representing different sounds on the floor. Have children walk around the room looking for them. When they stop on a letter, they will identify the letter or sound. Write letters on Christmas tree shapes, or use Christmas-themed pictures.

Christmas Sound Hop:

Label spots on the floor with letters or pictures of items with different sounds. Children can hop from spot to spot, saying the initial sounds.

Alphabet Reindeer Run:

Label spots on the floor with letters or pictures representing sounds. Children can run to the spots called out, identifying the sounds as they move. If you have a large class, divide them up into “teams” so that everyone is not moving to a spot at the same time. For example, you could say, “Rudolph team, find the letter sound /w/.”

Beginning Sound Stockings:

At Circle Time, divide the children into “teams” and give each team a stocking to fill. Use a safety pin to pin a paper letter to each team’s stocking. Have children walk around the room, filling the stockings with objects or pictures that begin with the corresponding letter sound.

Syllable Activities: Christmas Phonological Awareness

Christmas Word Syllables:

Use Christmas-themed objects or pictures representing words (you can use these Christmas picture word cards). Ask children to clap or stomp for each syllable in a word, helping them develop an understanding of syllables.

Jingle Bell Syllables:

Provide each child with a jingle bell. Call out Christmas themed words. Ask children to shake their jingle bell for the number of syllables in each word as they hear it. Example, for “rein-deer”, children would ring the bell two times for “rein” and “deer”.

Holiday Clapping Song:

Sing a Christmas song and encourage children to clap along with the syllables in each word. This can be done with traditional carols or holiday-themed songs.

Syllable Snowball Toss:

Label three containers with numbers 1, 2, and 3. Write Christmas-themed words with different syllable counts on pieces of white paper. At Circle Time, take a paper from the stack, read the word to the class, and count the syllables in the word with the class. Choose a child to crumple the paper into a “snowball”. Have the child toss the “snowball” into a container labeled with the correct number.

Syllable Ice Skating:

Label spots on the floor with different numbers 1, 2, and 3. Call out a word and have the class clap the syllables in the word. Children can “skate” to a spot with that number. Children can pretend to skate or you can give them small paper plates to put under their feet to “skate”. With a large class, you could tape off large areas for each number, so that everyone will have enough room, or you could make spots with multiple number 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s, so that children can go to different areas without crowding one spot.

Christmas Syllable Graphing:

Create a graph with different syllable counts. Children can graph Christmas-related words or pictures by placing them in the correct category.

Syllable Sorting Stockings:

Label stockings with numbers 1, 2, and 3. Children can sort Christmas-themed pictures or small objects into the stockings based on their syllable count.

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