Children and families arrived to find a Christmassy alien corner set up to inspire them to chat about Christmas, aliens, Santa and presents, and to play with the decorations, taking them off and putting them on the tree. I used really safe decorations on the little tree as some babies and toddlers came along - wooden shapes with ribbon, and little Santa-shaped card gift tags. I added some printed word cards (from Twinkl) to inspire talk.
We read the story together using props from my bag - a santa puppet, alien in underpants and some jingling bells. Everyone was very quiet (ssshhhhhh) when we got to the page where Santa and the aliens are leaving a present for the little boy sleeping in his bed.
The all the children and parents sit round the big circle of tables to make some story props to take home. We have brown paper take-away bags to put all their goodies in, labelled with a sticker "Aliens love Panta Claus". The open-ended resources can be used to make alien or space ship stick puppets, santa puppets, or anything else that the story has inspired.
We break for a coffee, juice and a snack then all get together on the carpet again at the end. This time I decided to sing some Santa songs - "When santa got stuck up the chimney" and "The Santa's very happy". We hand out a certificate to all the children to say thanks for coming, and each family takes away a challenge - this time the challenge is to put some aliens in the spaceship we have printed out, and make up their own story... encouraging talk using the words we have learnt today, and enabling the children to recall the story at home later.
Here's some images showing what we did, and how much fun was had... (photo permissions obtained from all)
Aliens love Panta Claus is by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. It's a hilarious rhyming story about the night when Santa had some help from the famous aliens in underpants.
Why not borrow it from your local library? (link to Norfolk library here as that is where we are!)
For more story ideas and inspiration:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/itsallaboutstories