Easy-to-teach, easy-to-learn educational resources for young children.

Christmas Topics – Toys

Santa's sleigh filled with toys

What do you want for Christmas?

We know that this time of year isn’t just about giving and receiving presents, but the holidays do provide a great opportunity to talk about gifts and toys. Many children get quite excited at the idea of Santa coming for his annual visit and want to discuss the possibilities.

“What do you want for Christmas?” is a question that many children will be asked during the upcoming holiday season. So, we decided to make a very simple, active song to help kids talk about their Christmas wishes.

There are two versions of “What Do You Want For Christmas?”, the original on Super Simple Songs 1, which features train, rocket, robot and teddy bear, and “Santa’s On His Way” from Super Simple Songs – Christmas with ball, yo-yo, bike and jump rope. The Christmas CD also features a sing-along version so that you can sing about other toys as well.

In addition to talking about different types of toys, this song is a great way to introduce “I want…” You can easily extend the conversation with “I don’t want…”, “I have….” and “I don’t have….”

These are also nice, easy songs for young children to sing and act out at Christmas pageants and parent presentations.

Language Activity

Using realia, or real objects, in the classroom is a great way to keep students’ interest. Flashcards or picture cards also work well, but there’s nothing quite like being able to touch and pass around a physical object. This is the perfect opportunity to bring in actual toys for the kids to talk about.

When introducing new vocabulary or doing a review, we like to build excitement and interest by being very mysterious. Rather than just showing students the objects or flashcards, we slowly reveal them, perhaps putting them in an envelope, bag, or hiding them around the room.

Mystery Box

One of our favorite ways of introducing new items is with the Mystery Box. It’s easy to make a Mystery Box and it may quickly become one of your favorite teaching tools. Once students recognize the song and The Box, they will be very excited when they see it, there’s always something good inside!

You can make a Mystery Box out of any box.  Just wrap it or decorate it with question marks, letters of the alphabet, seasonal pictures, or whatever you like. Just looking at the box itself can be a whole activity.

Play the “Mystery Box” song from Super Simple Songs 2 and point to the box. Ask students what they think is inside. You can give hints and have them guess. Look inside and act very surprised, intrigued, and excited to build the tension. Slowly pull out one item, in this case, a toy, and have students identify it.

Look it over together, demonstrate how to use it and make up a gesture for it. Pass it around so everyone can take a closer look. Then move on to the next item.

After you have taken all the items out of the Mystery Box, you can use the objects to play games or use with a song.

Here’s a video from MILK English in South Korea. You can see just how fun a Mystery Box can be!

Do you have more tips for using a Mystery Box in the classroom? Please share them below!

  • http://levelupenglish.org Carl

    I read about this idea in an Elementary school’s teacher guidebook, put little bombs in the box and have children reach into the box to grab an item. If they get a flashcard or item go over the word and give stars on the board for loud voices etc… if they grab a bomb draw an explosion on the board and erase some stars. Make sure to give extra stars for the next few items that way they don’t feel like they lost anything, they will get excited every time there is a bomb if you act out the explosion and say Bomb! BOOM! waving your arms or making some other kind of gesture.

  • http://batman-news.com Nyd Lopez

    Hello, I`m glad to see all your activities I think all them are awesome, and it help me to teach in my English clasroom. have a nice day from Mexico.

    • http://www.supersimplelearning.com/ Super Simple Learning

      Thank you, Nyd!! We’re glad that enjoy the activities and resources. Sending you and your students a big, “Hello!” from Seattle, USA. 🙂

  • moni

    Hello! I love your activities and videos, they are so complete than with a song and all the complementary material we can make very useful lessons. I would like to ask for the video “What do you want for Christmas?”, but the one without children, because the sound is much better. Thank you so much!

  • goszka

    Hello:)
    I simply love Super Simple Songs, so do children from the kindergarten where I teach 🙂
    I have to make a Mystery Box, nice idea!:) but I have no idea how I would stop those 25 little monsters from looking into the box at once 😀
    greetings form Poland and thank you for your great work!:)

    • http://www.supersimplelearning.com/ Super Simple Learning

      Hello Goszka!!
      Nice to meet you. 🙂
      The Mystery Box is a great classroom tool. On the day that you want to use it, try “hiding” the box somewhere in the room. Maybe on top of a bookshelf, or under a table, or even under a piece of fabric. Have students sit in a circle and practice clapping and singing the words together. Then point out the box, acting very excited about it. Remind students to sit down if they start to get up to look inside the box. Put on the music and clap and sing together as you look at the outside of the box. You can pause the music and give students clues about what is inside and have them guess. If you have a teaching assistant or a parent in the classroom, you can give them take a little peek inside and then act very excited about what they see.
      You can call students one-by-one to come up and take something out of the box, or you can do it. As you take out each item, be sure to talk about and pass it around the circle so everyone has a chance to take a look.
      Kids love to find out what is inside! Their curiosity helps keep them engaged and makes it a very fun activity.
      Try it out and let us know how it goes.