Families will be spending more time indoors this holiday season, as lockdown restrictions extend across the country. With the closure of indoor businesses, fun outlets that families normally enjoy are not available this year. That means the safest place to be is home, celebrating with the family members you live with.
Wondering how to keep your family entertained over the holidays? Here are some fun stories for kids that you can read together. These books are more than just holiday tales – they have great messages for everyone. Through these stories, kids and adults alike will learn lessons about generosity, diversity and even climate change. So snuggle up, grab some hot cocoa and a warm blanket, and enjoy!
1. Santa’s Christmas With a Mask: A Fun Christmas Book for Children
By Divya Mohan
In 2020, Santa must wear a mask! The lockdown at the North Pole is making Santa nervous.
Like everyone else, Santa has to figure out how to do things a bit differently because of the pandemic. This book will give your kids hope that Christmas will still come, despite the challenges.
2. A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day
By Andrea Davis Pinkney
You may be familiar with the classic winter book, A Snowy Day. This book is a tribute to the author, Ezra Jack Keats.
Keats’ father worries about his son’s dream of becoming an artist, fearing that it is an unrealistic one. But Keats is determined and continues to pursue art throughout school and into adulthood. He later went on to publish A Snowy Day, a beloved story that features an African American child named Peter. A Poem For Peter is lyrical and beautifully illustrated as it tells the tale of a boy who followed his dream — and, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers.
3. The Lump of Coal
By Lemony Snicket
If you are looking for funny stories for kids to read, this book hits that mark. This is a charming story about a lump of coal that can think, talk and move around – all while wearing a tuxedo. The “something is better than nothing” despondent attitude of the lump of coal eventually meets up with some holiday cheer.
4. The Crayons’ Christmas
By Drew Daywalt
A festive addition to the Crayons books, The Crayons’ Christmas features letters, games, ornaments, a poster, and a pop-up Christmas Tree. You’ll have fun reading about the adventures and misadventures of the Crayons during the holidays.
5. The Legend of the Poinsettia
By Tomie dePaola
Tomie de Paola offers unique illustrations in this book that talks about the legend of the poinsettia. The brilliant pictures capture the vividness of Mexico as the story follows a little girl’s unselfish gift at Christmas.
DePaola has many other holiday books your family might enjoy, including The Friendly Beasts: An Old English Christmas Carol and The Legend of Old Bafana: An Italian Christmas Story.
6. When Santa Turned Green
By Victoria Perla
The North Pole is melting because of something called global warming! Santa becomes determined to turn things around – for the sake of Christmas and the planet. The book helps even the youngest children understand what it means to solve the climate crisis.
For families that want to focus on actionable items, this book also offers tips on things you can do at home to protect the planet. Your family can gather together to make a list of things that you can do that will have an impact, even while home for the holidays.
7. The Atlas of Christmas: The Merriest, Tastiest, Quirkiest Holiday Traditions from Around the World
By Alex Palmer
Explore the world without leaving your home. Learn about how Christmas is celebrated in other countries, from Guatemala to Sweden to Japan. Many global traditions are featured in this delightful book.
Your family can turn this into a fun project by looking up images online or finding countries on a map together.
Reading Stories for Kids Together and More Resources
We know that you may be anxious about the upcoming holidays. Being away from loved ones is hard, and juggling kids at home can be stressful. But on days that seem especially long, take a deep breath and read some of these great stories for kids with your family. It will help to build your relationship as a family and build your kids’ literacy skills at home. For more information about the importance of reading together, visit childrensliteracy.ca.