Activity: A magical sleigh ride

We recently made an impromptu visit to Santa. We were doing some birthday shopping at Westfield-Doncaster when my daughter spotted Santa. There was no avoiding him.

The set-up at Doncaster is truly extraordinary. This is where Santa parks his sleigh while he visits all the children in Melbourne.

Source: Creative Tools

We didn’t purchase photos so Cam’s chat with Santa was quite brief.

As we were walking away Cam seemed disappointed and quietly said, “Santa didn’t take me for a ride on his sleigh.”

“Santa doesn’t have time to take all the children on a sleigh ride” was my reply, at the same time wondering where that idea came from.

“But he took Lily on a ride.”

“Who’s Lily?” I asked.

“You know, from Lily’s Wish!”

This is what Cam was talking about:

Review of Lily's Wish

Lily’s Wish (by Barbara Pyett and Serena Geddes) is sweet little Christmas book. Lily writes a letter to Santa with an unusual request.  Her one wish is to fly like the birds.

At first Santa writes back and suggests he bring her a pair of fairy wings. The idea of fairy wings does not satisfy Lily. They will not help her reach the other side of the ocean, where her grandmother lives.

Santa finds a way to make her wish come true. He stops by her house to pick her up on Christmas Eve, and takes Lily on whirlwind trip around the world (and we get to see beautiful icons illustrated by Serena Geddes). Lily manages to leave a little gift for her grandmother too.

The story ends with Santa opening a thank you letter from Lily. I love Barbara Pyett’s view towards gifts in this story.  Sometimes kids ask for things that can’t really be packaged neatly. And maybe it would be nice for us, as parents, to encourage our children to ask for non-material objects or make wishes for others.

The problem with this story however, is that Cam was desperate to fly too. I had no idea how I was going to make that happen.

Eventually, with a little imagination her wish came true too. Most mornings now I am woken up by her chanting “Go Dasher! Go Dancer!”:

We found some sacks and filled them with toys:

Christmas Imaginative Play_My Little Bookcase

Her toddler bed became the sleigh, hobby horses became reindeer and ribbon became reigns:

Christmas Imaginative Play_My Little Bookcase

“Go Dasher, Go Dancer”

Christmas Imaginative Play_My Little Bookcase

Christmas Imaginative Play_My Little Bookcase

What do your children like to role-play during the Christmas season?

Activity: A magical sleigh ride


  1. How fun! Going to share this fabulous idea on Facebook now :)

    • Oh, thanks for sharing. Really is lots of fun, especially feeding the reindeer magic food so they can get us off the ground. :)

  2. That is just so very gorgeous, we’ve got the exact same unicorn and horsey, we may just be going on a sleigh ride, thanks!

  3. Hi Jackie,

    This is gorgeous! :) I love the photos of Cam in her very own sleigh! This has just made my day. Thank you for sharing it :)

    Serena Geddes.

  4. Yee Haaar !

  5. What a beautiful idea! I really must find the time to be a little more creative with my tribe. They’d love something like this. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. I totally love this idea of turning the bed into a sleigh. Brilliant. I love your blog and everything you are doing here. N x

  7. How wonderful to make her wish come true! Very magical indeed :-)

  8. I love her sleigh-bed! I admit I’ve never taken my kids to see Santa. My parents never took me other. I guess the fear of crowded department stores is genetic.

  9. I love how books inspire children’s play! This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing it.

  10. I love how you turned it into a pretend play. Looks like Cam was really into it!

  11. OH my goodness, Jackie! What a truly magical play experience this would be for any child!

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