How to make North pole ninja elves that will get your kids thinking about the reason for the holiday season. At the end of the post, I share more great NEW Christmas books to read with your children that were published in 2016. All of these books are perfect for a picture book advent calendar!
We were sent several new Christmas books to review this year, and North Pole Ninjas was a real favorite with my kids. This book – with the accompanying lead ninja elf and kindness challenge cards – inserts action and adventure into acts of kindness. And I noticed that my children have, actually, been more helpful than usual this holiday season (so far).
The kids decided to make some ninja elves of their very own. I suspect these guys will mainly be climbing all over our Christmas tree, but it was a fun creative craft. We also used the crafting time to discuss possible kindness challenges.
How to Make DIY Ninja Elves
These DIY ninja eleves were easy and fun to make! You only need a few simple craft supplies to make them:
These ninja elves are so easy to make that my ten-year-old, eight-year-old, and seven-year-old had no trouble making them completely on their own after a single demonstration. Here is eight-year-old Johnny adding a face to one of his ninja elves:
This DIY Ninja Elf printable breaks the process into steps:
Here are a couple of ninja elves made by my eight-year-old:
Ten-year-old Emma made this Ninja elf. She used a Sharpie pen to color in the red hat.
The Best New Christmas Books for Kids Published in 2016
I mentioned that we were sent some great new Christmas books to review this year! Here are the rest of the books my children enjoyed (besides North Pole Ninjas, which we – of course – also recommend).
The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present is an adorable story about a little girl who is teeny tiny. She tries to get Santa a message so that he can understand just how small she is. Will he understand?
I LOVE the collection of Christmas stories and songs in A Treasury of Christmas Stories and Songs. The illustrations are lovely, and it includes a range of classic stories and songs.
- The First Christmas
- The Fir Tree
- The Nutcracker
- The Night Before Christmas
- A Letter to Santa
Songs (words with illustrations; no musical notation):
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!
- O Christmas Tree
- Jingle Bells
- Deck the Halls
- Away in a Manger
- The First Noel
- The Twelve Days of Christmas
- Good King Wenceslas
- Silent Night
- O Come, All Ye Faithful
- We Three Kings
- O Little Town of Bethlehem
In The Great Spruce, children follow a huge Christmas tree’s voyage from the countryside to a city center. The book teaches children that fresh Christmas trees can be replanted if they are dug up rather than chopped down. The book is based on a true story – for a few years, New York City’s Rockefeller Center used living trees for their Christmas celebrations. The trees were replanted after the holidays were over.
If you love the Santa story, you and your child are bound to enjoy Christmas Reindeer Food. There’s even a recipe to make your own reindeer food! We enjoyed Honey’s curiosity and creative problem-solving in this story!
There are so many different versions of The Nutcracker! My four-year-old and seven-year-old adore this version. Clara often looks quite old in picture books, and I think that my girls really identify with the clearly young Clara in this version of the story.
Any of these books would work beautifully in a picture book advent calendar. Do you have any favorites we should add?
10 Days of Kid Made Ornaments
Today’s post is part of the 10 Days of Kid Made Ornaments Challenge. Check out these posts from my co-hosts:
- Quick and easy clothespin doll ornaments from Freshly Planted
- Folded paper Christmas tree ornaments from Cutting Tiny Bites
- Dream Snow Christmas ornament from Sunny Day Family
Here are some more ornaments kids can make from my blog:
- Polymer clay snowman ornaments. These pair beautifully with the picture book Snowmen at Christmas.
- Model Magic Christmas ornaments. These work well with Christmas Is Here and Room for a Little One.
- Ornaments for kids to color and sew. Read The Polar Express as you make these with your children.
- Salt dough ornaments. Make these after reading Mortimer’s Christmas Manger.
- Simple tree ornaments. This frugal craft is a wonderful follow-up activity for Silver Packages.
If you’d like to join in on the fun by creating a KID-MADE (made by your kiddos, or with some mama help, just not totally mama-made) ornament INSPIRED BY A CHILDREN’S BOOK, that you’ve created with your kiddos– use the hashtag #KidMadeChristmas on social media so I can see all the fun you are up to!!