Christmas Wombat Learning Time for Libraries and Playgroups

Resource type: 
Learning Time


Christmas Wombat 

by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley 

From this award winning duo comes another rollicking adventure just in time for Christmas. Join Mothball the wombat as she eats, sleeps, battles and scratches her way towards Christmas Eve. Told through simple text and wonderfully humorous illustrations that will have everyone in fits of giggles and guarantee a truly happy Christmas. 

Key Message for Parents 

The brain develops through use 

During the early years a child’s brain develops at an amazing rate, processing the world around them and forming neural connections. Babies and toddlers experience our world through their senses, through sight, taste, sound and touch. It is important that their worlds are rich in sensory experiences that will allow for optimal brain development. Share ideas with parents and carers of some sensory rich experiences such as: 

  • Sound experiences include-singing, rhymes, percussive fun with pots and pans, animal sounds, environmental sounds around us (birds, cars, planes etc.) 
  • Sight experiences include pointing out and naming things we see, creative activities such as painting and drawing, picture books, and matching games, sorting activities 
  • Touch experiences include could include sand play, sensory trays, playdoh, walking bare foot on different surfaces, water play 
  • Taste and smell experiences include mealtimes that are varied, healthy and enjoyed together. Make a salad together, visit a market or go on a discovery “smell hike” in the garden 

Learning Outcomes 

Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners 

We help toddlers become confident learners by: 

  • Creating conditions in which children are inspired to participate and learn. A beautiful environment, with sensory-based resources, toys and of course, books. 
  • Providing play activities which develop manipulative skills, cognitive skills and social skills 
  • Posing questions that challenge and extend thinking, ie “What do you think is making those clouds move?” “How could we dress this doll so she feels warmer?” 

Before Reading 

Have a red sock filled with different items. Tell children ‘Something is hiding in my sock. I wonder what they might be?’ Children love the mystery of this game and its great way to get their attention. You might want to wear a Christmas hat or antlers like on the cover of Christmas Wombat. You could sing: 

Something is hiding in my sock 

Something is hiding in my sock 

What could it be, what could it be? 

Something is hiding inside my sock! 

You could give the children some clues as to what is hiding…it is orange, it is long, it grows in the ground and you can eat it. Yes, it’s a carrot. In today’s story we meet a wombat called Mothball who loves carrots. 

Look at the cover together and ask the children to tell you what they can see. 

During Reading 

Christmas Wombat is written from the wombat’s perspective - it is almost like a dialogue that recounts the day’s events. When reading, be mindful of the wombat’s character and how you might give meaning to her words through your expression and delivery of them. Bruce Whatley’s illustrations add another layer of humour and meaning as well. They tell the story from another viewpoint and it is worth spending some time enjoying their humour and wit. 

After Reading 

Mothball certainly loved her carrots. What sort of foods do you like to eat? Discuss and list favourite vegetables. 

Next, make a circle and play Doggy doggy, who’s got your bone? But change the words to “Wombat, wombat who’s got your carrot?” Choose a child to be the wombat and pretend to sleep in the middle of the circle. Place a large carrot next to them. While the wombat is asleep choose another child to steal the carrot, then return to their spot and place it behind their back. All children place hands behind their back while chanting “Wombat wombat, who’s got your carrot, someone stole it from you burrow, wake up wombat, wake up now!” The child who is the wombat has to work out who stole the carrot, by asking three children “Did you take my carrot?” 

A fun and simple group game to encourage communication skills and develop social skills as well. 

If time you might like to sing - Dig, Dig , Dig Like A Wombat by Don Spencer


 For full Activity Time please download the attached PDF

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