Want a fun way to motivate children to read during the month of December? Download this free printable coloring Advent calendar.
It’s a simple yet fun way to encourage reading while you build excitement for the Christmas holiday.
Reading Advent Calendar
Ask your kids to read every day for 15 minutes OR to read 1 book a day. When they do the reading, they can color in the day on the calendar.
Are your kids too young to read on their own?
Reading aloud to a child counts as your 15 minutes or 1 book, too!
Eleonora at Rabbit and Pencil created this design.
Isn’t it cute?
If you want, I’m also including a bonus sheet of engaging, interesting reading ideas to help with your December reading, too.
I hope this printable reading Advent calendar is a fun way to keep your children reading, reading, reading!
Want a few book ideas?
But first, here are some favorites from the winter book list…
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Memorable from my own childhood, this classic story still holds the same wonder and thrill of the first snow. Peter spends the day outside, crunching in the snow, making tracks, and playing. But can he save the snowball for later? Gorgeous artwork and a timeless story.
The Mitten by Jan Brett
We adore this story! A boy named Nicki convinces his grandmother to knit him white mittens and drops one in the snow. One by one, the forest animals find the mitten and crawl inside until it’s overflowing with animals — even a bear. Eventually, a surprising and funny turn of events will bring the stretched mitten back to Nikki. The detailed border designs give this story a rich flavor plus the illustrations lend to the folk tale’s sense of place.
The Deep and Snowy Wood by Elwyn Tate
“In the deep and snowy wood,” a mole digs, a deer runs, a squirrel hops. Where are the animals going? To greet Santa because it’s Christmas Day! It’s a delightful story for preschoolers with rhyming, repetition, and simplicity. I love it!
Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones
This beautifully illustrated and written picture book enchants readers with repeated text and soft forest scenes. “Winter is coming, what should I do?” the fox asks. As he asks the different forest creatures, one by one they tell him what they do in the winter like make a chrysalis, burrow in the mud, gather and hide acorns. But, it’s not until he sees another red fox that he learns what to do. “When a million snowflakes fill the air, twirling, tumbling, spinning, waltzing, you and I join them.” It’s absolutely a joyful celebration of winter.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (ages 8+)
Like The Penderwicks, you’ll fall in love with this quirky, wonderful family from the first page. The Vanderbeekers’ landlord wants them out by the end of December but the Vanderbeeker kids are determined to change his mind, even though he hates noise, kids, and their family. But it’s almost Christmas and their efforts are only making things worse. What will they do? Charming and heart-warming.
That will get you started with winter-themed books. But how about Christmas-themed books?
But first, here are some favorite Christmas books from the bigger list to include in your Advent reading…
Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever by Matt Tavares
Don’t miss this heartfelt, wonderful story about hope, family, and the origins of Santa’s reindeer team. Dasher, the youngest reindeer in her family, loves her mama’s stories of the North Star and roaming free. She dreams of freedom but she’s caged in a traveling circus. Until one day, she gets a chance to escape. Dasher bravely follows the North Star, unexpectedly meeting Santa who she helps with his sleigh. Then, Dasher and Santa return for Dasher’s whole family who also helps Santa pull his sleigh. I love everything about this story!
The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup
We LOVE this picture book story — where no Pirate cookies are harmed! Jim and his mother make gingerbread pirates and leave out the pirates for Santa. Jim keeps Captain Cookie on a plate next to his bed. Captain Cookie worries about his crew –where are they and will they be eaten by the cannibal Santa Claus? When Captain Cookie meets Santa, he learns the meaning of Christmas.
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson
We really love this story. Mortimer is a mouse who is looking for a home. He finds a barn with statues which he pushes out when he goes to sleep. However every day, the statues get put back. Then, he hears the story of baby Jesus and the statues. That’s when Mortimer lets the baby Jesus statue stay sleeping in the manger. It’s a sweet story of the Christian meaning of Christmas. Mortimer prays for a new house — and his prayer is answered with a gingerbread house!
The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig (ages 8+)