Blog Archive

This post contains links to products on Amazon. If you purchase items through these links, I receive a small percentage of every sale.

Nutcracker Unit 2 w/ Free Printables

The Christmas season is in full swing at our house, which means the story of the nutcracker has filled our home, hearts, and minds once again.  

Music from the ballet can be heard on a daily basis.  

Excitement is in the air as we get closer and closer to attending The Nutcracker Ballet.  

As we prepare for the performance Sunshine is enjoying our Nutcracker Unit 2 with free printables.

Nutcracker Acivities

This Christmas is the first year that Sunshine is developmentally old enough to become excited about the holiday season and understand all that's going on.  

Though she won't be attending the ballet with us, she is joining us for our annual reading of the story by E. T. A. Hoffman.  She will also have her very own Nutcracker Unit, which she is madly in love with and quite territorial about already.

We hope you enjoy the activities as much as we do!

Nutcracker Unit 2 with Free Printables

Pre-Writing Sand Tray Activity

Christmas pre-writing activity

Sunshine will begin to work on her pre-writing skills using the sand tray.  I have selected curves for our shelves this week.  Bright red sand is being used for this activity.

Source:  The free cards for this activity can be found at Walking by the Way.

N is for Nutcracker

N is for Nutcracker

I'm super excited to introduce a new letter of the alphabet to Sunshine using homemade play dough, a rolling pin from our Melissa & Doug Shape, Model and Mold kit, the letter N from our Letter Cookie Cutters, and a nutcracker stamp.  

I show a tiny nutcracker stamp in the image above, but we also have the Nutcracker Inkadinkado Wood Stamp, that I may add to the activity.

Nutcracker Patterns

Nutcracker patterns

This may just be one of my favorite activities on our shelves this week.  Each pattern is created on a 1.5 inch thick rectangle piece of of Styrofoam.  Sunshine can remove each pattern from the tray easily to complete the activity.

Patterns are created using cupcake toppers from my Nutcracker Cupcake Toppers.  

Nutcracker Themed Size Sorting Activity

Nutcracker size sorting activity

Sunshine will sort the objects in the baskets placing them under the labels small, medium or large.  As a control, I have included three of every object, each of varying size to compare.

Nutcracker size sorting

I used objects relating to the story of the nutcracker that we had on hand at home.  As I continue to shop this holiday season I may just look for some ballerina ornaments etc., to add to our activity.

Source: I created the printable for this activity. The Nutcracker Printable Pack 2 is a free printable. For your copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Sorting Nuts

Sorting tree nuts

There are very few that can understand my excitement over this nut sorting activity.  

This is the first year EVER in the history of our family that we haven't had someone allergic to tree nuts.  

Bulldozer outgrew his allergy this year, which we can't be thankful for enough.

All of the kiddos have been dying to get their hands on this activity, because it's so new to all of them. 

Sunshine is the first to tell everyone else not to touch it because it is HER activity.  Lol.  Sunshine will sort the nuts provided, placing them under the sorting cards.

Source:  The free cards used in this activity can be found at Counting Coconuts.

Mouse Match Up

Mouse Match Up

It only seemed fitting to learn about mice as part of our Nutcracker Unit.  Sunshine will sort and match the mouse cards provided.  

Since Sunshine is just beginning to understand letters, I did not include the names of the mice on each card.  Instead we'll focus on colors and characteristics.

I created the printable for this activity. The Nutcracker Printable Pack 2 is a free printable. For your copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Decorating a Christmas Tree

Decorating a Christmas tree 
The Nutcracker starts out at a Christmas party with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree.   

In this activity Sunshine will be able to decorate her own Christmas tree using the small ornaments provided.

 The Story of the Nutcracker

Book:  Nutcracker Twinkle Toes

There are several books written about the story of the nutcracker.  This week we've decided to include Nutcracker Twinkle Toes by Karen Katz on our shelves.  

As the week goes on, if I feel that Sunshine is ready for another book, I'll add it.  

Fantastic Fun & Learning has a fabulous list of Nutcracker themed books, if you need some ideas for your shelves. 

Introduction to the Tambourine in the Russian Dance from The Nutcracker Suite

Tambourine and Nutcracker Suite

Sunshine LOVES music.  I'm so excited to start introducing her to instruments, the orchestra, and so much more.  

In this activity she'll be introduced to the tambourine. 

First, she'll be able to play it to hear what it sounds like.  

Second, she'll watch the Berlin Philharmonic play the Russian Dance from The Nutcracker Suite on the iPad.

As she watches the orchestra play, she'll be able to listen and hear the tambourine.  Then she will be able to watch it being played, all the while playing along and listening to one of our favorite pieces from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.

Ballet in Art Puzzles

Ballet in art puzzles for tots

When choosing this activity, Sunshine will put two piece puzzles together to create famous ballet scenes in art.  

I have only selected four puzzles to start with, so as not to overwhelm her. If she does well with this activity, I may add more.

Source:  The puzzles for this activity were created by Anastasia at Montessori Nature and can be purchased for a small fee.

Nutcracker Cutting Practice

Nutcracker cutting activity

During this unit, we'll be introducing Sunshine to scissors for the first time.  It is my hope that all goes well.  Sunshine will cut along the gray lines, placing the nutcracker pictures in the bowl provided.

Source: The free printable for this activity can be found at 3 Dinosaurs as part the Nutcracker Tot Pack.

Ribbon Matching

Christmas ribbon matching

For this activity, Sunshine will be blindfolded with the red napkin provided. She will then use her sense of touch to match pieces of ribbon provided.  

I used ribbon we had on hand at home, but one could use lace, or any number of options to enhance the activity. 

I am so excited for Sunshine this year, as she is introduced to the magic of the Nutcracker for the first time through the story, learning activities, music and ballet.

For those who would like more Montessori holiday activity ideas and printables, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter by clicking the link below.

Don't forget your free printables!

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy the resources below.

Christmas Week 1: Nutcracker Unit  A Nutcracker Themed Christmas Party Nutcracker Themed Gifts for Kids Nutcracker Multiplication and Division Activities with Free Printables Preparing Children For Their First Fine Arts Experience Montessori-inspired Gingerbread Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Nutcracker Printable Pack FREE Ballet Themed Cutting Strips The Best Ballet Books for Kids Ballet Printable Pack Ballet Math Printable Pack Ballet Language Printable Pack


  1. What wonderful ideas! I really like the sand tray to help with pre-writing skills. Thanks for sharing on Toddler Fun Friday

  2. This is so wonderful! My son will love these ideas. Thanks

  3. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing at the Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop! :)

  4. So many creative FUN ideas! Sorting nuts and nutcracker patterns is great!!!