Whether you are a homeschooling parent or just want to add a little enrichment to your child's holidays The Polar Express is a fun and unique story to focus on. The story is appropriate for a wide variety of ages; from toddler to elementary students and can be adjusted to include the whole family. You can spend a whole day doing fun and enrichment activities or an entire week.. Pick and chose from the activities in The Polar Express Unit Study and create a fun Christmas environment to enjoy and slow down with your kids in the rush of the season.
Kids will enjoy Bear Stays Up for Christmas Unit Study too.
The Polar Express Book Unit Study
Math and Language Arts Activities
Begin by reading the story, asking questions, encourage your child to guess what will happen next (even if they know the story) use open ended questions like “What do you think you would see at the North Pole?” or “What would you ask Santa for?” to go deeper into the story.
Use real mini marshmallows as counters for a little simple math. Count objects, place them in 2 piles of varying amounts and ask your child to determine which one has more or less. Use them to do some addition and subtraction problems.
Help your child write a letter to Santa. Encourage them to not only list their Christmas wants but also what they can do to make Christmas more special for others.
Make hot chocolate finger paint- Combine 1 packet of hot chocolate mix with water to desired consistency. Leave mixture a bit thicker if your child wants to paint with a paintbrush like regular paint, left thin it works like a water color. This is a great sensory experience as children get to use their sense of sight, smell, feel, and even taste.
Hot Chocolate Playdough- I use a basic recipe and add some cocoa and vanilla to make it terrific smelling seasonal treat. You’ll need 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 cup baking cocoa, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 T. coconut oil, and 1 T. cream of Tartar. You can find the full recipe here Hot Chocolate Playdough
Provide your child with cookie cutters, rolling pin, a small unbreakable mug, and cotton balls or white pompoms for marshmallows.
Cut rectangles of paper for train cars and small squares for windows, set them out with glue, markers, and other art supplies and allow your child to create their own train. Hang it up like a banner on display.
Sketch the outline of a train out on piece of paper, cut strips of brown construction paper into trees in the forest. Give your child a container of white paint, and an un-sharpened pencil- use the eraser end for dotting snowflakes on the paper, and recreate a snowy winter scene like in the book.
Have hot chocolate with candy cane stir sticks, and of course marshmallows.
Sprinkle a spoon hot cocoa over morning oatmeal.
Nutella and marshmallow fluff would make a yummy “hot cocoa”sandwich, a fun treat alternative to PB&J.
Kids love llama llama. Check out the llama llama holiday drama Unit Study
Additional ways to make the Polar Express Unit Study more fun-
Make a day of it, put on (or stay in ) your pajamas. Have hot cocoa for breakfast, and watch the movie. Play games, do art projects, and read the book together. Make this the day you visit your favorite mall Santa Claus.
Use a Christmas bell to play a game like hot potato but toss the bell from person to person until the music stops, you can call it Jingle Bells.
Hide the bell, have your child search for it let them know if they are hot or cold. Then let your child hid it from you and you search for the Christmas bell.
Slow down and take some time to be in the moment with your child, make it a time of intentional play and learning.
Do you have activities to add to The Polar Express Unit Study? Let me know in the comments.