The upcoming winter break means lots of great family time. I remember well how exciting those first few days off from school were - no schedules and opportunities for fun outings. But I also remember enjoying some quiet time at home with my three children. I resisted using the TV as a babysitter and always looked for fun, art and craft type of projects to introduce. But I also wanted to maintain and enhance my children’s school skills and was always pleased when their teachers sent home “fun packets” to be completed and brought back to school. When I returned to the classroom as a Kindergarten (and later Preschool) teacher, I organized a packet of fun worksheets to send home with my young students over the winter break. Their parents often expressed appreciation for the guided opportunity to work with their child during the time away from school.
Perhaps your child’s teacher will do the same for you. But even if that does not happen, you can spend some quality time enhancing your child’s school skills with these Christmas worksheets and Hanukkah worksheets. In addition to providing practice with pre-reading skills, these worksheets also present the opportunity to discuss traditions and symbols of both Christmas and Hanukkah. Your child has likely been exposed to both of these holidays at school and may have fun explaining some of the pictures to you!
The skills and styles of each set of holiday worksheets is identical. Just the words and illustrations have been changed to reflect each holiday. As your child approaches the tracing words sheets, ask her if she can guess or read each word. The picture clue may be all that is needed to correctly identify the word. Draw attention to the first letter of each word as your child looks at the picture clue to help her make a more accurate guess. Some words may already be part of your child’s sight word vocabulary such as “winter” or “snow.” Ask your child to read each word after it is traced. Next, cut apart the sight words and ask your child to find the words that match those on the tracing pages. Then ask her to pick out the words she can read. Finally, read the unfamiliar sight words to your child and ask her to select two that she would like to learn. After repeated exposure to the new words, your child will commit those words to memory. Continue to add one or two new words to the practice pile.
The identical pictures worksheets will help hone visual discrimination skills. Ask your child if she recognizes any similarities between the Christmas and Hanukkah worksheets!
The directional words sheets help children practice auditory processing. I suggest cutting the pictures at the bottom of the page into squares for your child if her cutting skills are still developing, since this page is not designed to provide scissors practice. Review the name of each illustration with your child before giving the verbal directions.
The last two sets of worksheets focus on phonemic awareness skills. Name the pictures for your child on the beginning sounds worksheets, as this will help her identify the sound that is presented on the sheet. For instance, the gift box should be identified as a “present” rather than a “gift,”, since a P is on both worksheets and the G sound on the Hanukkah sheet matches the picture of the “gelt.” Your child may name the pictures on the syllable identification pages, since any label works. For instance, the sled can be called a “sled” and would have one syllable, or it can be called a “toboggan” and have three syllables. Direct your child to name each picture aloud and then say the name again slowly, clapping on each syllable. Then she can circle the number of claps she made as she said the word.
I hope you and your child enjoy these pre-reading and reading skills worksheets with fun holiday pictures. Check back next week for Christmas and Hanukkah worksheets highlighting math skills.