I just love making and playing with chatterboxes. I always have. And, I’m always looking for a reason to make one. At Christmas time we use the trusty chatterbox as a decision-maker to help us choose which Christmas books to read each day….because we have so many books but so little time to read them.
Read ahead to find out how to make and use a Christmas Chatterbox, and for MORE Christmas reading, play and craft ideas.
MAKING YOUR CHRISTMAS CHATTERBOX
a) Starting with a square piece of paper, fold the paper in half diagonally- in both directions, so that when you unfold the paper the creases create a cross.
b) With the paper unfolded, fold each corner to the centre point. Don’t unfold.
c) Turn the square over and, again, fold each corner to the centre point. Don’t unfold.
d) Fold the square in half horizontally.
Label and decorate your chatterbox
e) After following steps a-d, you should now be able to slip your fingers under the flaps to control your chatter box, but first you need to label and decorate it.
f) Choose eight Christmas book titles to include on your chatterbox. Unfold the chatterbox and write the book titles on the 8 spaces available on the inner-side of the chatterbox.
g) Fold these flaps back into the centre and write the numbers 1-8 on each of the small triangles.
h) Turn the chatterbox over and write four Christmas-themed words on the corners of the outer-side of the chatterbox (we also include symbols or pictures to provide Cammy with a visual reading prompt/cue).
Your child might enjoy decorating the chatterbox with stickers, stamps and Christmas colours.
USING THE CHATTERBOX
Model the use of the chatterbox for your children until they are ready to try themselves.
- Ask your child to choose one Christmas word displayed on the chatterbox (Having pictures and symbols can help a pre-reader).
- Spell the word, opening and closing the chatterbox each time you say a letter aloud.
- When you stop moving the chatterbox, ask your child to choose a number from the ones displayed.
- Count aloud until you reach this number; again opening and closing the chatterbox each time you say a number aloud.
- When the chatterbox has stopped moving, ask your child to choose another number from the ones displayed.
- Lift the chosen flap to reveal a book title, which will be the one you read together.
Use the chatterbox each day of Christmas (You might like to make three different chatterboxes if you would like to read a different book each day of Christmas without repeating any).
Chatterboxes are so much fun, but they also provide many opportunities for learning and skill development:
- As children practise manipulating their chatterbox (which takes a while to master), they are using and developing their fine motor skills
- Having words and numbers on the chatterbox gives your child the chance to practise to reading, spelling and counting in a fun, festive way.
MORE CHRISTMAS IDEAS AT MY LITTLE BOOKCASE
BOOKS AND BOOK LISTS:
BOOK AND READING FUN:
CRAFTS AND HOMEMADE GIFTS:
FOOD AND PARTIES:
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