December Holidays with The Autism Helper

Categories: Resources | Winter

We said, “Goodbye November hellllllooooo December” in what felt like a blink of an eye!  My plans have been filled with Gingerbread men and houses, holiday trees and presents. While all of these activities are insanely cute and themed, they hold so much educational value.  With December being such a busy month, I wanted to make sure each lesson was packed with multiple skills! 

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

I look forward to this book series at least once a month!  You can find the amazing book companions by Sarah.  These books target so many skills: receptive and expressive language and expansion, identical matching skills, multiple wh- questioning, sequencing and so much more.  I also love that this can be differentiated for all levels of learning.  Some of my small groups will be able to sit through the entire book, waiting to take turns to match, answer verbal questions and complete and activity.  Others will work on turning the pages and matching the pictures with hand over hand prompting. After we read this book, we worked on our holiday trees.  I love this activity because we talk about size, they can request sizes and colors of foam stickers and make it as unique as they are!  We also practiced sorting holiday pictures by size!


Let’s Build a Gingerbread House

We worked with the gingerbread theme for at least two weeks.  We started in circle time with read aloud books like Gingerbread Baby and The Gingerbread Man.   In small group we used the amazing adapted book, Let’s Build a Gingerbread House.  

My kids love the colorful pieces and again, this book targets so many amazing skills.  Colors, following directions, exposure to print, labeling, counting and so much more! Next, we worked on the leveled cookie building activity all in preparation for the much-anticipated gingerbread house decorating!  

Gingerbread House Decorating 

My kiddos could not wait to decorate gingerbread houses.  They each got their own mini house which my husband so kindly constructed the night before (all 12 of them, thanks Chris!).  I read in a lifestyle blog to actually hot glue the sides together.  Genius for tiny hands.  We took it a step farther and hot glued the actual house to the cardboard.  This worked SO WELL.  No house fell and broke on the floor and everything was incredibly sturdy.  I made a core and fringe board with, “I want” and pictures of the candy choices so my kiddos could request.  Even my most active friends were incredibly focused, calm and we got so much language that day!  At the time our school was having a holiday door challenged so naturally we turned ours into a gingerbread house! It is magical! 

Simple Holiday Gifts

To go along with our gingerbread theme, each of my kiddos decorated a foam gingerbread piece with their picture as the head.  Again, we were able to work on expressive and receptive language.  I found the foam pieces at the Dollar Tree ($1 for a 12 pack!) and printed the pictures off at school.  They used a pipe cleaner as the hanger, again requesting their color choice!  We counted the pieces they decorated with and it made a great gift for their family!

Happy Holidays!

Gina Russell, B.S , M.Ed
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  1. Do you have a printable of the “I want” for your gingerbread house activity?

  2. Hi Linell!

    I do not have this printable anymore however it would be super easy to duplicate and customize based on the sweet treats you will be using! I created this one in boardmakeronline however you can use any symbol program or google images work just as well! Or pair a core board with google images of the candies. Ps, I had my husband hot glue my houses the evening before so they were sturdy (and told parents 😉 ). Hope you have fun with this activity! Thank you for reading!

    Gina 🙂


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