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I am planning to use my role play for a Santa's workshop running up to Christmas... I wondered what top tips you may have for things to include in there.


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And lots of cheap wrapping paper so they can wrap them!



Plus paper on clipboards or notepads so they can make lists of who each toy is for. An area for Santa to sit and for the elves to work is helpful. A couple of big sacks for the wrapped presents to be put in.


Hope this helps.

Nicky Sussex


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We had a photo line of how to wrap a present which the children loved. It certainly promoted lots of discussion and it was lovely watching the children copy the stages. One little boy even poked his tongue out whilst he was cutting the wrapping paper because that's what the child in the photo was doing.


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If you go to Members Articles you will find an article and ideas for Christmas including some drama work,and role play along the lines you are thinking of and CP ideas.




There is also a workshop plan in the resources section.

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Role-Play Area

Personal and Social






Tidying up

Class routines.


Santa’s workshop.

Communication Language and Literacy.

Social communication


Use vocabulary suitable to the context.

Begin to ask questions.

Write in context – lists, labels, letters, cards.

Understand reasons for writing.





• play together in co-operation.

• engage in role-play

• express empathy for others.

• talk about their feelings.

• design and make

• use tools and equipment

• write for a purpose

• enjoy a seasonal activity.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Demonstrate knowledge of cold lands, what to wear etc.

Experience ‘travelling’ and talk about appropriate methods of travel for different environments.

Begin to develop an idea of place and distance.

Take part in a cultural event. Resources.


Table, chairs, Santa’s house, decorations, bucket, sacks, stockings, lists, labels, tree, bed, bed cover, chair, telephone, Santa suit, reindeer heads.

Scissors, paper, note-pads, card, boxes, glue, glitter, felt pens, pencils, crayons, sellotape, ribbons, string, wrapping paper, labels, litter bin, post box. Christmas book basket. Mathematics.


Mathematical language of number, counting, sequencing, more/less, large/small, long/short, dark/light, full/empty, open/closed, size, pattern.

How many?



Creative Development.

Take on a role.

Suspend disbelief.

Develop Christmas theme related to Christmas Drama.

Make presents, cards, wrapping paper, stamps.

Sing Christmas songs.



Dressing up. Dressing skills and fastenings.

Use of tools and equipment.

Recognising objects by feel (stockings)







Christmas Drama as belief building.

Plan workshop ( mind-map)

Make lists and all make presents.

Santa to write daily.

Final visit where children explain what they have made, who for and why – circle time.

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Climbing Frame to be used as small grotto (decorated)


Tables x2 (1 for wrapping 1 as writing)

Containers e.g. trays, pots and tubs; blank labels; gift wrapping materials, sticky tape; safety scissors; glue; pens; pencils, hole punch, pens, pencils; Christmas cards, stamps, posters; Christmas decorations; toys for wrapping, tools. Post Box; Christmas Catalogues/brochures. Children’s Atlas to find countries to send toys. Say “Merry Christmas” posters in other languages

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Use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences




Ask parents to donate some inexpensive toys.



Containers e.g. trays, pots and tubs; blank labels; gift wrapping materials, sticky tape; safety scissors; glue; pens; pencils, hole punch, pens, pencils; Christmas cards, stamps, posters; Christmas decorations; toys for wrapping, tools. Post Box; Christmas Catalogues/brochures. Children’s Atlas to find countries to send toys. Say “Merry Christmas” posters in other languages.




Ask children to display unwrapped toys in an organised line and to keep an area clear for wrapped toys.

Label tables with words such as ‘Present wrapping’ and ‘Gift tag making’


Invite the children to imagine they are Santa’s helpers or busy elves, and encourage them to join in role play that involves making toys, wrapping gifts and making gift tags.




Encourage younger children to talk about what they are wrapping and to think of imaginary destinations for the toys. Invite older children to write pretend name and address labels for the toys.

Invite older children to write pretend name and address labels for the toys.

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What we did with the presents that the children wrapped in the role play santas workshop:


Dear Parents/Carers

We need your help! We are asking you all to donate an inexpensive, easy to wrap gift for a child between the ages of 0-16 years.

Poor Santa has so many presents to wrap; Croft Pre School has offered to help. During December our little elves will be working hard in Santa’s Workshop (Role Play Area), helping to wrap gifts for local children who without our help may not get a present this year. A representative from The Salvation Army will be coming in to collect your kind donations.

Pass the Parcel is a fantastic way to make a difference in a child’s life at Christmas. We’re thrilled to be working with The Salvation Army, “Many families linked with local partner agencies such as single-parent support networks and family centres have come to rely on the toys donated through Pass the Parcel, so it is important that the bulk of items donated are gifts for children aged 0-16,” says Major Bill Cochrane from The Salvation Army.

Thank You!

Croft Pre-School

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Christmas around the World

Great Britain

At midnight on Christmas Eve, bells ring out all over Great Britian in a joyous chorus to announce the birth of Jesus. In Wales, communal singing and caroling is an especially important part of the holiday, while in Scotland, the most elaborate celebrations are saved for New Year's, or Hogmanay.



Santa Claus doesn't put presents under a Christmas tree in France. He puts them into children's shoes! Manger scenes called crèches are popular. The lighting of the Yule log -- a huge log that burns all day on Christmas -- is followed by a traditional treat called a buche de Noel, which is a chocolate cake made to look like a log!



Polish families celebrate the Christmas holiday with a twelve-course meal. An extra place is always open at the table, in case an unexpected guest should arrive. In many homes, sheaves of wheat or straw are placed in the four corners of a room in memory of Christ's birthplace in a stable.



In the dark of the Swedish winter, Christmas is celebrated with lights. The Christmas celebrations start with St. Lucia's Day on December 13. A young girl wearing white and a crown of candles awakens sleeping families at dawn to share a breakfast of wheat cakes and coffee. Swedish families also reenact the journey of the Wisemen to Bethlehem. Christmas feasts include roast pig and plenty of Christmas cake.

Germany and Austria

Most of the American and British Christmas traditions have their roots in Austro-German traditions. The Christmas tree originated in the Black Forest of Germany. Some traditional Christmas treats, such as marzipan, also came from this area. Advent calendars and Advent wreaths with candles mark off the time left until the holiday. Santa Claus, or St. Nicholas as he is called in Germany, brings gifts for good children.


Middle East

In the Middle East, Christian and Muslim traditions mix; but in the town of Bethlehem, donkeys still carry packs for people, and women wear robes like those Mary might have worn so long ago. In the surrounding fields, shepherds still watch their flocks by night -- as their ancestors on the first Christmas might have done.



In Italy, a woman, the Lady Befana, distributes gifts to children on Epiphany, twelve days after Christmas. She even comes down the chimney like Santa Claus. During Advent, brightly clothed pifferai, or pipers, march through the towns playing sweet music before shrines and manger scenes. They also play before carpenter shops in honor of Joseph's profession.



In Spain, Christmas celebrations begin December 8 with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Traditional manger scenes, called Nacimientos, are put up in churches and homes, and families gather around them to sing carols. Food and clothing are given to the poor to bring luck for the year ahead. On January 6, children receive presents. Instead of being brought by Santa Claus, however, Spanish gifts come from the three Magi who are on their way to Bethlehem

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(not mine, can't remember where I got this from)


Children write letters to Santa asking him for what they would like for Christmas

Children receive a letter from Santa saying that he is ill and has no one to help him.

Children decide to visit Santa and we discuss where he lives, what it looks like there and as we talk we draw it.

Decide how to get there.

Follow children’s suggestion for communicating. Write or phone Santa to say they are coming.

Children dress for trip.

Travel to Santa’s house.


Resources: cut-out transport

shapes, grotto prepared

in corner of space. Santa suit, beard, or pyjamas and Santa hat.

Arrive at the house and go in to visit Santa who is poorly in bed.

Children take time to talk to him as they wish.

Talk to him about how we can help him and write a list.

Resources: Easel, paper and


Return home and plan what we are going to do and what we will need to do it.

Children will work a workshop in the role-play area and develop the theme through their own play.

Continuous provision will be enhanced to support the theme.

Letter from Santa thanking them for their help, telling them he is better and that he will visit them to see what they have done.

Visit from Santa to collect their presents

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  • 3 weeks later...

hello , i love that idea for the photo line 'how to wrap a present' . Where did you get the pictures from? I did a google search to no avail!


Gillian x

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