Season’s greetings

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

Christmas is a time for giving, so let the children enjoy making this wonderful selection of gifts and cards

Christmas craft

Santa got stuck up the chimney

Make a seasonal pop-up toy

Knowledge and Undertanding of the World


Development matters: show interest in toys with button and flaps and simple mechanisms and begin to learn to operate them (16-26 months); seek to acquire basic skills in turning on and operating some ICT equipment (22-36 months).

Early learning goal: find out about and identify the uses of everyday technology.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

Pictures or books showing Santa in a chimney; computer and printer; sticky tape; glue; red felt or fabric; cotton wool; felt-tipped pens; for each child: cardboard box with a hole prepared in the base, dowelling rod (or garden cane) and disc of card that fits easily inside the box.

What to do

Look at the pictures of Santa in a chimney and talk about how he climbs in and out of chimneys on Christmas Eve.

Invite the children to make a simple pop-up toy, to represent Santa popping out of a chimney. Show them how to use a painting programme on the computer to make a very simple brickwork pattern. Help the children to print the pattern and glue it around the sides of their cardboard box to represent a chimney.

Show the children the basic principle of a pop-up puppet, by taping a disc of card to the dowelling rod. Slot the dowelling through the hole in the ‘chimney’. When the dowelling is pushed up, the disc pops out the top of the pot. Explain that the disc represents the ‘pop-up’ face.

Encourage the children to decorate the card disc to represent Santa by adding a red felt or fabric hat, a jolly smile and a cotton-wool beard.

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