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For the last couple of years we have had a book advent calendar and I love it. One of my favourite things is reading with the kids and the best thing about having a book advent calendar is the excitement of a new book to unwrap each day.
My two boys are very visual and really benefit from preparation for events like Christmas. Having a different book about Christmas for the month helps us with that preparation.
How to make a book advent calendar
You will need 24 story books or 25 if you want one for Christmas day. You can use any books but we use Christmas books to help build understanding of Christmas as we lead up to the big day.
Each book gets wrapped up. If you want them to be opened in a particular order I suggest sticking numbers onto them.
Enjoying your book advent calendar
I love using books to support understanding, my eldest son is non-verbal so using visual books is really important for us. In the past we have kept the books piled up in a space on the Kitchen counter and opened a book each day at breakfast. However this year I will keep them upstairs and open the new book at bedtime for our bedtime story. This is because mornings are more rushed with getting ready for school now
Our favourite Christmas books
What books you choose to use will depend on the age and ability of your children. My boys are now 4 & 6, here are some of our favourite Christmas books:
Ten Little Elves by Mike Brownlow & Simon Rickerty: We are huge fans of the Ten Little books, brilliant counting books. This is a must for most under 5s, the pictures are fantastic and full of things to talk about.
Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr: Also big Mog fans so we have to include Mog’s Christmas. We also have Mog’s Christmas Calamity which was the book to accompany Sainsbury’s Christmas advert in 2015.
Father Christmas Needs a Wee by Nicholas Allan: Both my boys really enjoy this one. It’s full of rhymes and another great counting book.
The Night before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore: I remember the Night before Christmas poem from school as a child and this book brings the classic poem to to life.
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs and Snowman by Raymond Briggs: Two classic Christmas books. We always watch Father Christmas and the Snowman over the Christmas holiday. The illustrations in the books really are magical. Perfect for my non-verbal son.
Little Duck’s First Christmas by Dawn Richards: A cute story about a Duck’s first Christmas and hoping she has been good enough for Christmas Bear to visit.
The Sheep that Saved Christmas by Jason Page: This is a really fun story about a little Sheep who loves Christmas so goes to help Santa.
The Nativity The Story of Baby Jesus by May Eliot: This book tells the traditional story of the nativity. Great for helping prepare for School Nativity plays.
Pip and Posy and the Christmas Tree by Axel Scheffler: This is a lovely book from the illustrator of the Gruffalo books. Pip and Posy the Snowy Day by Axel Scheffler: Another lovely book all about a day in the snow.
Bella Gets Her Skates On by Ian Whybrow: I had to include this one as my nieces love it. It’s also about the day Bella goes ice skating, great if that is one of your Christmas activities.:
Stick Man by Julia Donaldson: Stick Man is a big Christmas favourite for us along with the rest of the classic Julia Donaldson tales that have been turned into TV films.
For 2019 you may want to include Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson as this will be the new Christmas TV film.
Christmas books for younger readers:
Baby’s very first noisy book Christmas: My youngest still loves books with buttons to make noise, this one is great for babies and toddlers. Also not too annoying for the adults either.
That’s not my Santa: Great sensory touch book for little ones. There are several Christmas books in this series like That’s not my Elf.
Peppa’s Christmas Wish: Have to include a Peppa book as the boys are big fans.
Dear Santa by Rod Campbell: Huge fan of Dear Zoo and Rod Campbell’s Christmas book is just as brilliant. I would also recommend this for commenting with PECS.
Christmas book sets
Mr Men Christmas Set (10 books): Some great Christmas themed book with the classic Mr Men characters.
A good way to start your advent calendar is to buy a set of Christmas books. Here is a set of 10 Christmas books.
Do you have any favourite Christmas books? Have you tried a book advent calendar? Let us knowin the comments below.
If you are looking for present ideas check out our favourite Christmas gifts for 2020 here.
Excellent idea and book suggestions, we are being sent some children’s classics for D and I’m aiming to make a book advent calendar for her ?
That’s great Jeannette. I hope you enjoy it, I’m really looking forward to ours.
I always wanted to do this but sadly our autistic girl is definitely not a book fan and doesn’t class them as a good present. Where did I go wrong?! I do always buy them at least one Christmas book each though 🙂
I know we lucked out a bit that my son loves them. Although he is clearly into the pictures more than the text and his brother the other way round!
What an amazing list this is! The reading club that I’m part if has given a reading Prompt based on Christmas. I can definitely pick some books from this list. Yay!
That’s great to hear. I really do recommend the books on my list so hopefully you find some great Christmas reads xxx
I’ve been thinking of doing this for my 3 little ones. One is diagnosed ASD. Love your book recommendations I shall be using a few of those ??? x
Great Lynne. I really recommend it. My ASD boy particularly enjoys the really visual books.
I am such a traditionalist. I like “The Night Before Christmas” and “Frosty The Snow Man”. I also like the Christmas books you mentioned. I haven’t heard about some of them but I will be checking them out.
It is lovely to have some traditional ones I hadn’t thought of Frosty the Snowman.