I’m teaching a Christmas lesson in Pre-K/Kindergarten tomorrow morning. I like to bring in some of my favorite German Christmas things. This year I’m keeping it simple. So I’ll bring in just a few things:
- der Nussknacker (nutcracker)
- der Hampelmann (jumping jack)
- das Lebkuchenherz (gingerbread heart)
- der Räuchermann (smoker)
- das Adventskalender (advent calendar)
Last year we received a musical advent calendar from our Swiss au pair’s family. You open a little door and press the button and get a song! And there is a switch on the back, so you can choose between German and English carols. It’s called Der klingende Adventskalender.
I’m going to read a sweet book about being together to celebrate. It’s called Frohe Weihnachten, kleiner Elch by
Then I’m going to teach them the song “Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling”. I thought I would teach them just that much to begin. We’ll see if they can catch on to the rest!
We’ll craft some jingle bells, because you can’t sing that song without some jingle bells!
You can find the simple instructions in this post.
I’ll send them home with a coloring page that has the words to the song.
You can download the PDF here: Kling Glöckchen coloring page GitA
Years ago when I was teaching at a German Saturday school, I wanted a fun way for my students to learns some Christmas vocabulary. I remembered making a paper chain advent calendar as a child and thought I could combine the two into a fun activity. For the past few years, I’ve been working on creating something similar for my kids. This new version includes printed stickers (that you make using round labels). Froggy has enjoyed it for the past few years. And now Hippo is old enough to get in on the action. I have the words printed on two different papers, so there won’t be any arguing over whose turn it is to do the calendar!
Here’s more on how it works:
- round white labels, 1 2/3 inches in diameter (compatible with Avery 5293)
- white card stock, 2 pieces
- scissors or craft (X-ACTO) knife
- letter-sized paper in holiday print, red and green, or whatever pattern/color you like, 2 pieces (I have a stack of 12×12 holiday crafting paper, and I just cut it down to size: 8½ x 11)
- Print the stickers on the round labels.
- Choose which version you want and print out the Adventskalendar on the card stock.
- Tape the two pages together to make one long page.
- Carefully cut slits in the bottom page along the two black lines. (You can use an exacto knife or the blade of a pair of scissors.)
- Print the chain vocabulary words on patterned/colored letter-sized paper. *If using patterned paper, be sure to print on the back (white) side!
- Cut out the vocabulary words. A paper-cutter comes in handy here! Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. You won’t really see the lines!
- Begin making your paper chain, securing your loops with glue, tape, or a stapler. Be sure to save one strip to attach the chain to the Adventskalendar. Be sure the word is on the inside and the decorative side is facing out! You can put them in random order or in alphabetical order (like the Adventskalendar). Slip the last strip through the slits you made in the bottom of the Adventskalendar and then through the first loop on your chain.
Hang up your Adventskalendar! I like to use double-sided poster tape. Each day, have your child take off one strip. Copy the word onto the black space (if using the version without words). And match the sticker to the word!
I used to hang ours on the outside of the pantry door in the kitchen. But this year, I hung it up in the dining room next to our German calendar. I like that the kids can see it while they are eating at the table.
Download all the materials in PDF here:
Stay tuned for a fun craft to celebrate Nikolaus!