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5 Holiday Children’s Books to Inspire Family Creativity

by Anna Harpe
October 17, 2022

Anna of KidLitCrafts shares her favorite holiday children’s books with arts & crafts activities to pair together.

It’s no secret that I love finding ways to bring more beautiful picture books and fun creativity into our family life. 

Last month on The Artful Parent, I shared some steps to help you get started building your own seasonal library at home

Now we’re officially in the “Holiday Season,” and that means we have a whole new group of books on our shelves, old favorites that make me feel nostalgic for every past snowfall and chaotic Christmas morning.  

children's holiday books pin

This month, I’d like to share with you 5 of our favorite holiday books for kids and some ways you can use them to connect creatively with your family.   

My Favorite Holiday Children’s Books

The Shortest Day book with chalk drawings
Photo by Anna Harpe

1. The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

Based on Susan Cooper’s poem of the same name, this beautiful story will take you from ancient traditions to modern celebrations in the course of just a few pages.  It’s a wonderful alternative to traditional holiday books while still feeling celebratory and special.  

hanging diy Lanters
Photo by Rachel Jepson Wolf

Pair it With These Projects

Since this book is an exploration of darkness and light, I love to pair it with any project that plays on that theme. 

My children enjoyed experimenting with black construction paper and chalk to create their own whimsical suns.

The Snowy Day book with stamp prints
Photo by Anna Harpe

2. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Giant Paper Snowflakes by Anna Harpe
Photo by Anna Harpe

This winter story remains a classic for a reason: the simple text and stunning illustrations make it a perfect read-aloud for the season! (And have you seen the Amazon Prime movie adaptation?  So sweet! )

Pair it With These Projects

Inspired by the gorgeous end pages of the book, we made some sweet snowflake stamps by carving into foam sheets. You can try making your own stamps or choose one of these three fun snowy activities.

Holiday books for kids–Tea Party in the Woods book with ornaments
Photo by Anna Harpe

3. The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

How to Make Swedish Snowballs
Photo by Gina Vide

This quiet picture book is one of my all-time favorite winter reads.  With pristine white woods, talking animals, and the most delicious looking pies, what’s not to love??  

Pair it With These Projects

Inspired by the snowy woods, we brought the outside in by filling clear plastic ornaments with pine trimmings and other beautiful odds and ends.

But what about some outdoor creative fun as well? Bundle up and try one of these chilly activities!

Pick a Pine Tree book with cookie cutter prints – holiday books for kids.
Photo by Anna Harpe

4. Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

This joyful and vibrant book perfectly captures the magic of the Christmas tree tradition.  

puffy paint gingerbread house
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

Of course, it might just inspire you to craft up your own tiny forest. We stamped some homemade wrapping paper with cut sponges and cookie cutters.

Pair it With These Projects

These fun Christmas tree ideas also pair perfectly with this sweet story!

12 Days of Christmas book with paper chain
Photo by Anna Harpe

5. The Twelve Days of Christmas

I love this illustrated version of the classic Christmas carol.  Britta Teckentrup’s playful illustrations and the peek-through cutouts are so fun for little ones!

Painting paper ornaments
Photo by Rachel Withers

Pair it With This Project

After reading this book together, try crafting up your own holiday countdown. I love that this version is full of fun activities to do together!

Or create your own beautiful homemade ornaments!

Holiday Books for Kids & Ornament Making Party
Photo by Anna Harpe

I know that the holidays aren’t all sugarplums and spice.  For some of us, high expectations and stress can easily take over.  So please remember: family creativity looks different for everyone!  

Maybe you set out some books that the kids barely glance at.  Maybe you snuggle together for 30 seconds before someone throws a pillow.  Or maybe you start making ornaments and end with a sculpture of a robot:  that’s okay! 

The holidays are really about spending time together, and I hope that The Artful Parent gives you a little inspiration to do just that–whether you end up with a tree full of homemade ornaments or just a weird robot.   

More Picture Books For Kids

Want even more creative ideas?

Check out our Holiday Creativity pack!

Let’s celebrate the holidays with all things crafty! Here are 53 pages full of our favorite drawing prompts, creative play ideas, art activities, and more!

Pin It For Later

children's holiday books pin

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