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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is a classic Christmas children’s book. The story is full of mystery and magic and the illustrations have a soft quality that feels dreamy. Read this popular book and then do the Polar Express activities with your kids.
In this story, a young boy wakes up one cold Christmas Eve night to find a magical train outside his bedroom window. He boards the train and joins other children on their journey to the North Pole. Once there they meet Santa. The little boy gets the chance to sit on Santa’s lap in Santa’s sleigh and request the first gift of Christmas – a silver bell.
These Polar Express activities are sweet and simple. Sometimes that is exactly what we need in December. The holiday season can be so busy with holiday prep that it can be exhausting.
Sweet Polar Express Activities
Graham Cracker Train
The Polar Express features a train that magically transports children to the North Pole to visit Santa. Creating your own Polar Express graham cracker train is one of my favorite Polar Express activities. It is an edible Polar Express craft. Who can resist a sweet snack?
- Graham cracker
- Two round cookies (I used Oreos)
- Hershey’s miniature chocolate bar
- Mini marshmallows
- Gel icing
- Christmas sprinkles (optional)
- Spread frosting on a full graham cracker. Set it on a plate horizontally. This makes up the body of the train.
- Place the two cookies under the graham cracker. The cookies are the train wheels.
- Use the gel icing to draw windows on the train.
- Place the miniature chocolate bar above the graham cracker. This is the train smokestack.
- Add a few mini marshmallows next to the chocolate bar. These represent the smoke from the train.
- Sprinkle on the sprinkles, if you choose to use them. They can be a cute way to personalize the graham cracker train.
Hot Chocolate Bar
The children aboard the Polar Express drank “hot cocoa as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars”. Recreate that scene by putting together a hot chocolate bar.
Every year one of our family Advent activities is to put together a hot chocolate bar. It would be an excellent Polar Express activity!
The ingredients needed are highly personalized. You can include whatever your family enjoys, but I usually include:
- Hot chocolate (a crock pot keeps it nice and warm)
- Whipped cream (regular and/or peppermint)
- Marshmallows (multiple sizes)
- Candy canes in Christmas colors
- Cinnamon sticks
- Christmas sprinkles
No directions are really needed. Everyone gets a mug of hot chocolate and adds whatever they like. If your kids are like mine, they will add a little of everything.
The Polar Express is not only a book. It is also a movie. It would be really cute to make Polar Express tickets on construction paper before watching the movie.
Plan a festive Polar Express day as one of your Polar Express Activities. Pretend to be one of the children from the book and wear cozy pajamas, drink hot chocolate, eat candies, and sing your favorite Christmas carols.
The main character in the story receives a silver bell from Santa, so this is also a great opportunity to decorate and eat bell-shaped sugar cookies.
Add a little writing practice to your lesson plans with a free writing prompt printable from WriteShop. In this writing activity, kids will write a story from the perspective of a silver bell. This creative writing project is an excellent tie-in with The Polar Express!
Reading a book and then watching the movie is a fun way to practice comparing. This free Polar Express pack on Teachers Pay Teachers includes a Venn diagram for kids to fill out. Graphic organizers are a great way for kids to learn to organize information.
I hope these fun ideas help you have a wonderful time of year. Maybe you will even find a new holiday tradition!
This post is part of the 12 Days of Sweet Christmas Activities series. Make sure to check out the series landing page to check out the other posts for sweet book and snack pairings!
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