This week we had a pajama school day. I know, I know- you're asking, isn't everyday pajama day in homeschooling? Well, it's closer to a 50/50 ratio, but I digress. This week we had a pajama day with a purpose. The Polar Express was our theme!
Everyone wore Christmas jammies. I even took the time to sew the middle boy a robe since his older brother had recently been gifted one. Of course, neither child chose to wear their robe that day. Insert eye roll here.
To start off the day, the kids cuddled up with their grandmother and she read The Polar Express book to them. Somehow this book hasn't made it into our Christmas repertoire until this year and so it was really exciting for them. They loved the story and were excited that they were in their pj's like the characters of the book.
After the story, the kids got to make their own conductor hats which they chose to color in a candy cane pattern. They wore these as they decorated some cardboard boxes with tinsel, garland, ornaments, and stickers. Add some garish decor, a little imagination, and poof! Our very own polar express! The candy cane conductors rounded up stuffed animals and dolls for passengers and loaded up the train. The oldest boy walked around stooped for the duration of the pretend play. I finally asked him why. Apparently, he was trying to contort himself into the shape of a candy cane so he could literally be a candy cane conductor.
To include an activity that exercised their lumbrical muscles, my mother-in-law brought a train printable. She even had tickets for our train. We cut out the tickets and let the conductors punch these. A normal hole punch would work, but I happened to have a Christmas tree punch. My husband rolls his eyes at my craft supply hoarding, but it obviously serves a purpose!
Another activity we did was letting the kids decorate their own trains. It's such a simple activity, but my kids really enjoyed it. They let their imagination run wild. Often as they worked, they narrated their design choices. Trains with rainbow colors were often deployed because it includes the favorite colors of all the family members. Stickers are strategically added in ways that enable the train to be a robot that transforms into a hero. In fact, most things they color end up being transforming robots, even the pilgrims from last month.
To top off the day, hot chocolate with a generous amount of marshmallows was served in grownup mugs. Yes- grown up mugs. A lot of times, I opt for coffee cups with lids to serve them, so using ceramic cups (like they use on trains) added a special touch.
My mom had supplied large, silver jingle bells which provided a ringing chorus to the rest of the day, well, week. According to the book, only those who believe in the magic of Christmas can hear the ringing of a jingle bell.
The train itself was still being intermittently loaded with passengers the rest of the week. Tickets are still being punched and the oldest boy is still hunched over, pretending to be a candy cane conductor. That reminds me, I need to call the chiropractor...