Are you looking for a way to spread holiday spirit with your littles without directly celebrating any specific holiday? Hosting a holiday book exchange is a great solution for you. It is very little prep, and brings lots of joy into the classroom.
To host a holiday book exchange, simply send home a letter to parents requesting that they send in a wrapped book to exchange with another student. Students usually bring in books all of December, and we find a gathering place in our classroom. We love to make predictions about what the books might be, and this causes excitement to build all throughout the month.
On the last day of break before the holidays, we always have our book exchange. What I usually do is read one of the “T’was the Night Before…” books aloud. My students sit in a circle and listen to me read. To start, they each hold their own book. Every time I say a certain word, they pass the books one person to the right. Every time I read another word, they pass them left. The students end up with a random book at the end of the story, and then at the same time, we all open our books. Students LOVE the suspense of passing the books around, and always love the books they receive.
After we exchange, we spend time reading and exploring our new books. We also find out who gave us our book, and write thank you notes to that person. It is a great way to teach students how to give a gift, but also how to receive a gift. It is also a great way to build home libraries.
If parents are looking for cheap books, I always encourage them to order on scholastic. This is an easy way for me to gain points while also ensuring parents will purchase quality books. The Dollar Tree and the Target dollar spot also have great options for cheap books. I am also sure to always ask for a few extras or purchase a few extras on my own, in case students are unable or forget to bring in their own books. I would hate for them to miss out on the fun.
Snag a free letter to send home for your book exchange by following this link! Please let me know if you have any questions or positive experiences with a book exchange. I’d love to answer any questions or read stories in the comments below. Happy holidays!