Are you ready for another Read & Make post? I have so much fun doing these because they bring together so many of my older ideas with newer books or vice versa. I love creating great resources and this post is so easy to take to the library and grab whatever book they still have left on the shelf and know that you will have a great craft to activity to go with it. We have about 60 Christmas crafts on the site so if you don’t see something rad here check out our archives too.
Each pair includes a link to the full post for the craft or activity tutorial and a link to amazon.com for the book. I have read and reviewed most of these books and have paired crafts that would work not only with the book but with the book’s target age group as well. All book titles are affiliate links.
In McDuff’s New Friend by Rosemary Wellsthe puppy makes tracks in the snow. Your child can make their own with our Tracks In The Snow Playdough activity even if you never get the real stuff in your area.
Count your way through Merry Christmas, Mouse! (If You Give…) by Laura Numeroff then make ( and count) these Letter Ornaments were a cinch to make and after many years they still look great.
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston is a great book for older children and this Button and Nail Tree is craft that they can really get into as well.
What is your favorite Holiday read?
These easy Christmas ornament crafts are so simple to make and the perfect craft for school age kids that are busy but still want to make a fun Christmas craft. They really sparkle and are ready to go in just minutes which makes them perfect for impatient kids like my son. Also the addition of a low temp glue gun sealed the deal, my son was so excited to get to use this very grown up tool. Low temp glue guns are safe for even younger kids if you have taken the time to teach them how to use them safely. Of course if your child isn’t ready for that you can do this step for them.
Gather your materials. You will need some jar lids ( ours are from my favorite Trader Joe’s salsa I love the gold tone) , holographic tape from the dollar store, shiny pipe cleaners, and a low temp glue gun.
Start by adding the tape to the jar lids. My son decided he was making these for some of his buddies so he had clear idea of designs for each. The tape was tricky to get going at first even for a 7 year old for younger kids I would possibly pre-cut some and have it on the edge of a table or box for easy handling.
Plug in your hot glue gun and add a glob on top of the jar lid then place the pipe cleaner in and stay still for a minute while the glue hardens enough to lay it down. I helped my son do the first one and then when he was more confident he did the others.
Books are my favorite teaching aid for any age. I love how books can open up children’s eyes to experiences they have never imagined, to discover places they have never been to ,and to feelings their heart has not yet felt. The very best part is that books are accessible. Books with tough lessons can be shared with a parent at home where answers can be given, feelings reassured ,and the story related to the experiences of the reader. Whether these books get shared at home at bedtime , at school at circle time ,or a child reads them alone at quiet reading time they are all filled with valuable lessons.
The books are listed alphabetically by author so it’s easy to print out and take to a library and find the books. I have included a short note next to each title to explain the lesson that the book focuses on. Books are subjective and there might be some lessons that I get from a book that you do not. I welcome your comments , your opinions ,and of course your suggestions . My 88 is just the start. All book titles in our lists include affiliate links.
- A Picture Book of Helen Keller (Picture Book Biography) by David A. Adler tells readers that we are all different with different abilities but are all capable of great things.
- Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen is about more than ballet, it’s about overcoming being different, accepting your body and even standing up for yourself.
- Parts by Tedd Arnold is a funny book with a great lesson about figures of speech. Young kids are very literal and this book helps kids see that language is not always what it seems.
- The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race by Stan and Jan Berenstain is about not giving up and playing by the rules.
- Calvin Can’t Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie by Jennifer Berne is a story about how being yourself is important but also about when to depend on others.
- The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is a story about living in the moment and the fleeting nature of life.
- The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau is a story that teaches children about giving as well as where happiness can really be found.
- The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle is great for teaching telling time but it’s also a wonderful lesson in not taking the bait when someone wants to fight.
- The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forestby Lynne Cherry is a beautiful book that teaches children about taking care of the environment.
- My Mouth Is a Volcano!by Julia Cook is all about interrupting. This book finds a fun way to teach kids when it’s appropriate to speak.
- Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is a inspirational lesson about how we can all make the world more beautiful in our own way.
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin teaches readers about the need for good working conditions, the role of negotiation, as well as the basics of what a strike is.
- Duck for President by Doreen Cronin teaches readers that being a leader isn’t about being the bossy one but rather having the most responsibility .
- Is There Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis has a wonderful lesson about what is really important ( hint : it’s not the rat race) and to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
- The Empty Pot by Demi is a lovely book about the importance of honesty.
- Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio doesn’t just teach us that girls should run for President it also explains the Electoral College pretty well.
- Pink Tiara Cookies For Three by Maria Dismondy is all about friendship and how to make it work when your friends become friends with someone new.
- Spaghetti in A Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are by Maria Dismondy is about bullying but it’s also about doing the right thing especially when it’s hard to.
- The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson is a fairytale like book about problem solving with a creative imagination and intelligence.
- Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley is a great lesson in subtle similarities amidst more obvious differences.
- Her Mother’s Face by Roddy Doyle teaches readers that grief isn’t something we deal with one time and move on.
- The Sissy Ducklingby Harvey Fierstein teaches us that all people are unique and to respect everyone for that uniqueness not for their ability to fit some societal mold.
- Imogene’s Last Stand by Candace Fleming is well loved at my house for it’s love of history and for it’s lesson about standing up for something when you can see it’s value even when others do not.
- Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. This book is all about finding the similarities in all people which is a grand lesson in empathy.
- The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke teaches readers that sometimes the only person who can save you is you.
- Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman is a lesson in resourcefulness , something in today’s disposable culture should be taught to every child!
- Rosa by Nikki Giovanni is a book about Rosa Parks it’s written beautifully to teach another generation about how one person can make a huge difference.
- All the Colors of the Earth by Shelia Hamanaka does not have a subtle lesson you will have to dig for, it’s lesson is simple and upfront. Children come in all different colors.
- Most Loved in All the World by Tonya Cherie Hegamin is a touching story that introduces children to the underground railroad as well as to sacrifices that parents make for the sake of their children.
- Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purseby Kevin Henkes teaches children about taking responsibility for our actions and forgiveness.
- Shelia Rae, The Brave by Kevin Henkes teaches us that it’s OK to let someone help you when you need it.
- Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks is a really cute book about why trying new things is a good thing
- Brontorina by James Howe has a beautiful message about inclusive environments and respecting people for who they are not for who we think they should be.
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston is a lesson in what makes Christmas special and more than any preachy book this story drives this lesson home.
- Ben’s Trumpet by Rachel Isadora is a wonderful book with a lesson in following your dreams even when you are the only one who can see that they are attainable.
- Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse is all about security and how children need to know that no matter what children do their parents will love them all the same.
- My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis teaches kids that when other people express who they are it’s not up to us to decide if it’s OK or not just because it may not fit into our narrow expectations.
- The Paper Princess (Picture Puffins) by Elisa Klevin has a great lesson that imperfection is not a flaw and it shows us that in subtle ways page after page
- Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus is one of my favorite books to turn to when kids feel like they just can’t keep up with their peers
- The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll teaches kids to embrace competition but to know when cooperation is a better choice.
- The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf is about being who you are no matter what environment you are in .
- Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester teaches children to tolerate differences in others and how sometimes what we feel most vulnerable about isn’t all bad.
- Fish Is Fish by Leo Lionni is a cute book about change and the way true friendships can withstand change.
- It’s Mine! by Leo Lionni is one of my favorite books to pull out when I hear those words… a great lesson in sharing and working together.
- Swimmy by Leo Lionni is one of my favorite books about bravery and teamwork.
- Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell teaches kids to be proud of who they are just as they are.
- The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon is an unexpectedly tender look at being different at school.
- Mr. Peabody’s Applesby Madonna is an important lesson about how rumors can spread and words can really hurt people.
- Hugo and Miles In I’ve Painted Everything by Scott Magoon is about creativity and how it never really runs out.
- Dinosaur Woods by George McClements is about about conservation and teamwork.
- Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud has such an important lesson about kindness to others and the importance of treating all people with respect.
- I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt isn’t just about unconditional love it’s also about meeting the needs of those you love.
- The Monster Princess by D.J. McHale is filled with lesson about doing what is right even when we are angry and hurt, discovering that what we dream about being may not be all it’s cracked up to be as well as my favorite message that there are ” All kinds of special.”
- Elmer by David McKee is all about self acceptance even when that means we must accept that we are very different.
- How the Ladies Stopped the Wind by Bruce McMillan is all about problem solving and that there is power in numbers.
- Mole Music by David McPhail tells us that the arts are vital and can nourish great things.
- The Mighty Street Sweeper by Patrick Moore teaches readers that you don’t have to be the best at everything to still be proud of your hard work.
- Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora is about how one person can make a profound impact on a child’s life and the power of books.
- Makeup Mess by Robert Munsch teaches kids that they are beautiful just the way they are.
- The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch isn’t just about girl power it’s also about being resourceful and sing your brain not brawn to win.
- Zoom! by Robert Munsch is not a preachy book. It’s lesson is that kids that use wheelchairs aren’t helpless and can save the day!
- Enemy Pie by Derek Munson teaches children that enemies might just be friends you haven’t made yet.
- The Only One Club by Jane Naliboff has a great message that we should celebrate our diversity and tell our kids it’s not a bad thing to be unique.
- The Family Book by Todd Parr has a lesson I have been teaching my 3 year old lately, that all families may not look alike but all families are made with love.
- The I’M NOT SCARED Book by Todd Parr teaches kids it’s OK to have fears and that they can overcome them.
- The Kissing Hand by Audry Penn is an absolute favorite book that teaches children that it’s OK to separate from their parents because their love goes with you wherever you go.
- Zip, Zip…Homework by Nancy Poydar is a book about telling the truth at home and school.
- Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuriis a great book that can open up a dialog about getting lost or separated from a parent.
- Let Them Play by Margot Theis Raven is a tough story to read because the lesson it teaches is that there is injustice in this world and kids aren’t immune.
- Ish by Peter H. Reynolds is a wonderful book about the beauty of imperfection and creativity. A must read for all perfectionists.
- A Very Big Bunny by Marisabina Russo teaches kids about being different and how it can feel to be singled out by adults as well as kids.
- The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka is a great book to teach children about point of view and to always look at both sides of every story.
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak to me is a lesson in unconditional love. You can always come home where you are loved best of all.
- A Bad Case Of Stripes by David Shannon teaches children to not change themselves for others but to just be who they are.
- No, David! by David Shannon teaches young kids that there are consequences but that even when they mess up they are still loved.
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is all about entitlement and can be a great tool for teaching children about what makes a bad friend.
- Tallulah’s Tutu by Marilyn Singer has a great lesson about effort and achievement and how sparkly beautiful things don’t usually come without it.
- Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation (Time-Traveling Twins) by Diane Stanley is included in this list because it’s a bang on book about the history behind Thanksgiving. I think it’s vital for kids to know this when it’s something celebrated year after year.
- Amos & Boris by William Steig is a lesson about the power of friendship and how when a friend needs help nothing including being small can stop you from helping them.
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss teaches children about the importance of taking care of their environment.
- Leap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson teaches kids that it’s OK to go out and explore but not to forget where home is.
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst is the ultimate lesson about how everything won’t always go your way.
- Owl Babies by Martin Waddell is about patience and separation anxiety. It is a good lesson for kids that those feelings are normal but that those who love them will come back.
- Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt is hilarious but has a great lesson about taking risks too.
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!by Mo Willems teaches kids that even throwing a fit won’t change the fact that they just aren’t allowed to do some things.
- Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong is about living in two cultures at one time. A wonderful read for all children to better grasp what being part of an immigrant family is like.
- All the Way to America by Dan Yaccarino is a good book to talk about how people came to the United States and why people move from country to country.
- Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen teaches kids that even princesses don’t fit into a simple mold.
I know you have more to add ! Add the titles that help you teach your children or students important lessons in comments.
I wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate that you come here to find ideas for fun activities to do with your kids. I love what I do and I couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving I asked my friends over at Melissa & Doug if they would help me say thank you by offering one reader $100 in store credit for their online shop. They agreed! I want you to know this isn’t a sponsored post. Yes I work with Melissa & Doug, but I am not being paid to host this sweepstakes. It’s a simple thank you and I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to tell you about it.
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