MaiStoryBook Library: When Santa Was a Baby + Santa Baby Rattle Craft

Introducing this *Friday Eve Before Christmas* special Santa read aloud featured  in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“When Santa Was a Baby” by Linda Bailey and Genevieve Godbout

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *When Santa Was a Baby* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

Who is that special someone who rides a sleigh ~ and comes on Christmas Eve?? It’s Santa Claus, of course! So you may know who Santa is~ but – how did Santa become Santa?? What was Santa like when he was *a baby*??? Well,  in this beloved Christmas holiday children’s book, we get a glimpse into Santa’s past, and how Santa came to be the Santa he is today! It may be hard to believe, but a long time ago, Santa was *small just like you *! Growing up, Santa was always a bit different than the other babies and kids – he had different interests *like a intense curiosity for chimneys*, he played with his pets differently *like harnessing his hamsters to matchbox sleds filled with trinkets*, and he even laughed differently *there were no “ha ha ha’s” for Santa, but instead…can you guess it??*  But being different made Santa special, and for that, his parents were forever proud.

The perfect read for Christmas Eve, this book will prep your little ones for Santa’s *special visit* on Christmas Eve night. Throughout Santa’s childhood, lookout for the allusions to all things *Santa* that we know about, and ask your little ones if they can connect Santa’s childhood to their current knowledge about Santa now. Overall, this festive story about one of the most important Christmas characters will charm children with its rosy illustrations and clever revelations about Santa Claus.

Vocabulary List

  • Thrilled (p. 4) super excited
  • Dandy (p. 5) excellent
  • Sack (p. 7) a large bag made out of cloth
  • Harnessed (p. 12) attach an animal to something
  • Inherited (p. 19) receive something from someone

Themes/Main ideas

  • Growing Up and Childhood: Everyone has a childhood that influences who they grow up to be.
  • The Joy of Giving: Similar to last week’s theme~ giving gifts is just as fun, if not even more fun, than receiving. It makes you feel good to make someone else happy!

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “When Santa Was a Baby” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos!

Santa’s Baby Rattle Craft

*Santa Claus* My Christmas Eve nights involved many of the classic traditions. I can recall hanging the stockings with care, using the brown masking tape to tape it to the fireplace mantle, putting extra layers on mine to ensure it would not fall off. Christmas Eve morning we’d rummage through the kitchen cupboards, searching for Santa’s cookie plate with the hand-painted trees and holly. The afternoon would consist of cookie baking, (im)patiently waiting fro them to cool, and then slathering them with frosting, sprinkles, candies, chocolate chips, and anything sweet we could get our tiny hands on. We’d pile high a stack of color blasted sugar cookies, leaving a trail of rainbow sugar crystals behind as we balanced the plate in our hands over to the fireplace for Santa. It was the one night of the year we were scrambling to get to bed early, dressed in our favorite pajamas and squeezing  our eyes shut, hoping to fall asleep as quickly so that it could be Christmas morning as soon as possible. And sure enough, every Christmas morning~ Santa never failed to deliver. Now, with all of the toys that Santa must craft and deliver, what would have been his favorite when he was younger? Well, for this week’s craft, we have the chance to create a *special* toy for Santa Clause~ his very own *Santa Baby Rattle* complete with glittering frost and silver jingle bells ~ the perfect sights and sounds to comfort a baby Santa.


  • 1 pinecone
  • 1 sturdy stick
  • 1 red ribbon
  • 2 jingle bells
  • White paint
  • 1 medium paintbrush
  • Mini paper plate
  • White/gold/silver sequins
  • Hot glue gun


  • Pour some white paint onto the mini plate and paint the pinecone white using the paintbrush.
    • If using acrylic paint, wash the brush right away to repent brush damage
  • While the paint is still wet, hold the pine coat over the paper plate and sprinkle on the white/gold/silver sequins – they should stick to the paint.
  • Allow the pinecone to dry.

  • Once dry, use the hot glue gun to attach the ribbon, pinecone, and stick.
    • The ribbon will attach to the bottom of the pinecone and the stick.
      • Place glue on the bottom of the pinecone.
      • Find the middle of the ribbon, and stick one edge of the section to the glue on the pinecone.
      • Place the stick to attach to the bottom of the pinecone. Add more glue to the stick and the pinecone. Use the ribbon to wrap around the stick and the bottom of the pinecone so that it sticks to both. Make sure it is glued securely so that it stays.
  • After glued, tie the red ribbon into a bow.

  • Then, glue the two jingle bells where the stick meets the pinecone to add further stabilization, and to produce the jingle Santa Sleigh bell sound.
  • Let it dry, and then shake your new Santa Baby Rattle!

Enjoy Your Santa Baby Rattle!

  • Use the rattle as a reading buddy guide, and rattle it whenever sleigh bells are mentioned, or *like in the read aloud video* whenever you read *Ho Ho Ho!* in the story.
  • Use the craft material prep as a chance to go on a Winter Nature Walk with your little ones ~ keep an eye out for pinecones and sturdy sticks!
  • Use the jingle bell rattle to bring holiday cheer and festivity  around the home!
  • Sing a lively rendition of *Jingle Bells* with the family!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Santa Baby Rattle*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this festive, musical craft! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Santa Baby Rattle Crafts*  and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *