Speech Language Pathologist, Katie Yeh, shares a holiday mini-book called The Very Hungry Reindeer. Inspired by Eric Carle and The Very Hungry Catepillar, this activity uses repetition and predictable patterns to develop language and literacy skills. In this book, the Reindeer finds himself very hungry as he thinks about all the flying he will need to do on Christmas Eve. So, he starts looking for something to eat! This book targets many different Christmas vocabulary words, as well as counting skills and basic concepts. Vocabulary targeted includes Reindeer, jingle bells, ornaments, presents, Christmas lights, stockings, Christmas tree, hot chocolate, candy cain, gingerbread house, fruitcake, gingerbread man, eggnog and chestnuts; counting 1-6, all the days of the week, concepts of big, round, colors, etc.
The mini-book is available as a free download on the site.
- Download the mini-book.
- You will need scissors to cut out the pictures and glue to glue them in. (Optional: you can laminate this book, and the pictures, and use Velcro to attach the pictures to the pages. This would be great for small groups.)
- Real objects can also be used to supplement the pictures.
- Read the book once through with your child.
- Go through the book a second time and have your child either glue in the appropriate pictures on each page. You will find that there are extras of each picture. This is so that your child can practice counting out the correct number of objects (You could also have your child draw his/her own pictures for each page.)
- As your child glues/draws, talk a little about each Christmas item: What color is it? What shape is it? What is in it? What sound does it make? How big is it? What does it feel like?
- Talk about all the items on page 8…have you ever eaten them before? What do they taste like? Is it warm or cold? Hard or soft?
- Read the book often in the weeks leading up to Christmas. See if your child can “fill in the last word” on each sentence after you have read the story several times.
Follow up activities: Have a scavenger hunt: Can you find the items in the story in your home? Where are they? What about at the store?
Have the child help to write the book and talk about what the reindeer might want to eat.
Create a story box using real objects to tell the story.