Looking for the best Christmas books for preschool? Check out our favorites!
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COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
Christmas is our very favorite time of year! The decorations, the holiday music, writing a letter to Santa…preschoolers just LOVE the excitement surrounding this holiday!
Check out some of our favorite preschool Christmas books that you can read in your classroom or at home with your own littles during this time of year.
CHRISTMAS BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL
The Elf on the Shelf: I know there are two camps when it comes to the elf on the shelf…some parents & teachers love it, and some don’t. In my family, we love our elf, Snowflake, and we look forward to her coming every year! My daughter treats her like a member of the family and makes her gifts, and we all miss her when she leaves. So we are definitely fans over here!
Olive, the Other Reindeer: This is the most creative book! The idea came from the song, “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer.” If you’ve ever heard that song, you probably know the part of it that says, “All of the other reindeer.” But if you say it really fast, it sounds like, “Olive, the other reindeer.” This book is all about Olive the dog, who thinks she’s the “other reindeer!” It’s so adorable!
Splat the Cat: Christmas Countdown: This is a fun “touch and feel” book that’s great for little ones to explore. The text is simple and the book is not too long, which is great for little ones with short attention spans.
The Elves’ Night Before Christmas: This is a fun twist on the story of the night before Christmas. Instead of it being told from a child’s point of view, it’s from the elves’ point of view…and the elves are trying to think of the perfect gift for Santa!
Here Comes Christmas! We are big fans of Caroline Jayne Church, and this is a great book for our collection. It’s the night before Christmas, and the little boy wonders what Santa will bring him. Will it be a dragon, a submarine, or a rocket ship to the moon?!
Today is Christmas! This is a fun rhyming story that tells about what families do to get ready for Christmas…including visiting Santa, putting up a Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols, and going to a midnight service. It ends with Christmas day finally arriving, and the kids getting to open their presents and play with their friends.
The Nutcracker: This beautiful book is based on the New York City’s Ballet production of George Blanchine’s The Nutcracker. I love going to the Nutcracker in December with my daughter, and this book always reminds us of the special memories we make there.
The Twelve Days of Christmas: This is a beautiful picture book that goes along with the classic Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. We like to listen to the song while following along in the book.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: We love Dr. Seuss’s story of the Grinch and how he stole Christmas from the Whos (but then ended up giving it back!), but it is pretty long. So keep that in mind if you’re reading to young toddlers or preschoolers!
The Littlest Reindeer: We love “The Littlest” book series by Brandi Dougherty, and this is one of our favorites! Dot is a reindeer who lives at the North Pole with her family, and she has a dream of being on Santa’s team to fly his sleigh. But since she’s the littlest, she’s not quite ready for the job. When a present falls out of Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, Dot is actually the one who saves the day!
Biscuit’s Pet and Play Christmas: Both of my kids love the Biscuit books, and this is a cute version for Christmas. This is a “touch and feel” book that includes different textures for readers to explore on each page.
The Polar Express: A Christmas book list wouldn’t be complete without The Polar Express! Chris Van Allsburg’s classic story has the most beautiful pictures. Our family loves this story (and we prefer reading the book instead of watching the movie). But this is quite a long book, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re reading to young toddlers or preschoolers.
The Night Before Christmas: This is a beautiful, hard-cover copy of the traditional Christmas Eve story. Preschoolers will love the large colorful pictures and the rhymings words of this classic Christmas tale.
Santa is Coming to Arizona: This is such a cool book series…there are versions for different states and countries! So no matter where you live, you can get a book that is personalized for your little one that they are sure to love!
A Very Merry Christmas: In this story, Mr. and Mrs. Mouse have invited all of their friends over to celebrate Christmas. Each friend brings something to the party, but some of the gifts are rather unusual…like a dinosaur cake and a Christmas cactus. Mr. Mouse is worried that Christmas is ruined since it’s not a traditional holiday, but Mrs. Mouse reminds him that everyone’s together and having a good time, and that’s all that matters!
Ten Christmas Lights: It’s Christmas, and all the animals are ready to celebrate! In this counting & rhyming story, preschoolers will count each animal’s decorations. And the best part is each decoration has a light, so the pages are bright and shiny and light up! On the last page, the animals put up ten Christmas lights on the Christmas tree.
The Ninjabread Man: This is a fun twist on the classic fairy tale, The Gingerbread Man. In this version, an old sensei made gingerbread for his ninjas, but when he came out of the oven, he was the Ninjabread Man! The Ninjabread Man defeated each of Sensei’s ninjas…until he came face to face with the Fox, who tricked him and ate him all up! This book includes a recipe for Ninjabread cookies that would be really fun to make.
The Ninjabread Man: Here is another version of the Ninjabread Man story. Only in this version, an old man bakes a Ninjabread Man, who defeats each animal that tries to eat him (including a pig, a cow, and chickens). When the fox is about to trick the Ninjabread Man, the old man comes and saves the day…because he’s actually a ninja himself & offers to train the Ninjabread Man! *If you love this book, check out these activities we’ve paired with it to bring it to life!*
Curious George: Curious About Christmas: Both of my kids love Curious George, and this is a cute version for Christmas. This is a “touch and feel” book that’s great for our young toddlers and preschoolers. Plus it rhymes!
How to Catch an Elf: We love the “How to Catch” book series, and this was actually the very first one we got from my daughter’s preschool when she was 3. Instead of trying to catch Santa, the kids in this story are trying to catch Santa’s elf! As Santa and his elf deliver presents, they have to avoid all the traps so they can make sure to finish all of their deliveries for Christmas.
Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas: If your preschoolers love the song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” then they will love Pete’s version! This book follows the same format of the book, but each day Pete gives a groovy gift to one of his friends. This is a great book to work on counting, memory, and singing! (And if you love Pete books, check out this post for ideas and activities to go along with this series.)
Little Blue Truck’s Christmas: Little Blue Truck is my son’s absolute favorite book series, so we knew we had to get the Christmas version for him! In this story, Little Blue truck is delivering five Christmas trees to his friends, so preschoolers can count down from 5 to 1 with him. When he only has one left, he says, “Beep! Beep! Beep! This one’s for me” and the Christmas tree lights up with twinkling lights! Such a fun book to share with our kiddos.
NATIVITY BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL
The Very First Christmas: This book tells the story of the very first Christmas, but it’s told from the perspective of a mom explaining it to her son, Christopher. So as his mom explains things, Christopher interjects with questions (the very same questions our own preschoolers probably have). It’s a very informative book with more information on the first Christmas than most books written for kids.
The Story of Christmas: This book tells the story of the first Christmas in a kid-friendly and simplified way. It’s a great introduction to the Nativity for our young toddlers and preschoolers.
Away in a Manger: This musical book goes along with the classic Christmas carol, “Away in a Manger.” There is a button to push that plays the song, which is my son’s favorite part!
One of our favorite things to do is to pair books with treats, and this Reindeer treat from Fun-A-Day is perfect to pair with any of these Christmas books!
You just need graham crackers, pretzels, m&ms, and peanut butter or frosting (we made one of each) to make the cutest & most delicious Christmas snack!
Need a fun Christmas freebie to use with your preschoolers? How about five?!
I’m so thankful for everyone who reads this blog that I created five Christmas freebies for you! Click on the link below to head to my Christmas activity blog post & download your freebies (plus see all the other Christmas fun we have planned!)
CHRISTMAS MATH & LITERACY PRINTABLES
I hope this book list helped you fill-in your Christmas lesson plans for your preschool classroom or homeschool. If you want an entire pack of printable math & literacy centers for this theme, check out my Christmas Preschool Activity Pack.
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