Learning with our Dia De Los Reyes Lesson
Today, January 6th, we celebrated Three Kings Day by learning with our Dia De Los Reyes Lesson. The holiday is celebrated by Christians as the day when the three kings (also called wise men or magi) arrived at the stable, bringing gifts to honor the birth of Jesus. The gifts were symbolic and representative of Jesus’s royalty (gold), holiness (frankincense), and mortality (myrrh).
The holiday is celebrated largely in Spain and Latin America with traditions such as Rosca de Reyes (three kings bread), shoes left out for presents, and feasts (often al fresco).
But how do you celebrate a cultural, religious holiday with two toddlers? How do you connect it to your other lessons? How do you use Dia De Los Reyes to develop kids who care about other people and about the earth? If you’re asking these questions, read on to enjoy learning with Dia De Los Reyes lessons that we used at home today with our pre-school littles!
Three Wise Men By Holy Tales Bible
Now Showing for Dia De Los Reyes
While I certainly believe we need to limit screen time, I do let me toddlers watch television, movies, and video clips– especially when I find things that support a learning goal. For today, my learning goal is: “After watching the videos, my children will re-tell the story of the three kings with prompts from Mommy.”
We watched The Three Wise Men animated story on YouTube by The Holy Tales Bible. I liked this option because the animation held my children’s attention and it’s only five minutes long!
We also watched On Three Kings Day on YouTube By KidTimeStoryTime. I really liked that this was a read-aloud of a book in both English and Spanish. I loved that the book also set up comparisons to things that my girls might recognize (like gifts on Christmas) and shared what is done to celebrate Dia De Los Reyes in some Spanish and LatinX families. The whole video is less than 7 minutes, but we only watched about 5; the additional information was a little too much text for my 2 & 3.5 year olds.
On Three Kings Day By KidTimeStoryTime
Checking the Learning in our Dia De Los Reyes Lesson
After watching the two videos, I wanted to check their learning against my goal. So I helped them reconstruct the story; they’re only 2 and 3, after all. I used questions like:
- How many kings were there?
- Where were they going?
- How did they know which way to go?
- What did they bring for Baby Jesus?
Extending the Learning
The beauty of this holiday is that it allows us to talk difference and culture, as well! Today, additional learning goals were: After watching the videos, my children will recall three ways that people can be different from one another (holiday celebrations, language & ability). To reach this goal, we talked about how different people celebrate different holidays and celebrate the same holidays differently– so cool! To build on this idea of difference, we talked about language and practice a few words. We counted to three in Spanish and ASL. Then, we practiced the word star in Spanish and ASL. I am sure they don’t fully understand this idea as they are still learning English, but I want to expose them to the idea that people speak different languages early. I also wanted to introduce differences of abilities by explaining that some people use their hands to say words because they cannot hear with their ears.
Uno, Dos, Tres! Counting with the Three Kings
Working Up a Sweat in 3, 2, 1!
Movement is an important part of what we do each day. It’s important to have active kids for their health and wellness. Some days that means we run around outside. Some days we dance. Today, we did three repetitions of various movements:
- Donkey Kicks
- Candle Sticks
- Running in Place
- Butt Kicks
- High Knees
- Jumping Jacks
- Touching Toes
- Dinosaur Lunges
- Push Ups
- Sit Ups
- Standing Walk-Out Push Ups
Basically anything I can think of to keep them moving. I can’t brag about their form, but they put in the effort and did a great job of counting to three each time.
Snack Feast Worthy of three Kings
Okay, just kidding. There was nothing special about this snack. However, I served three foods and gave each child three pieces of each food. We talked about the food and counted… One…. Two… Three… foods, just like the three kings! Today they had 3 pieces of cheese, 3 apple slices, and 3 pistachios.
Crafting Los Reyes
Ongoing learning goals for my littles* include:
- After the lesson, my children will correctly identify ten colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Black, Brown, White & Gray
- After the lesson, my children will correctly identify shapes: Circle, Square, Triangle, Rectangle, Diamond, Pentagon, and Hexagon
- After the lesson, my children will demonstrate their ability to count to 10 or 20.
- After the lesson, my children will correctly identify numbers: 1-3 & 4-10.
*The pink text represents goals for Love Bug (age 2).
Cutness Everbean, 3.5 yo
Adding a crown to a king
Love Bug, 2 yo
Admiring her 3 kings
This activity alone will not allow us to reach our learning goals, but we do have the opportunity to practice colors, shapes, and numbers to a limited degree. And I will take every opportunity I can get!
We created 3 kings out of triangles, circles, and crowns cut from scraps of construction paper. Any paper will do! We talked about the shapes and the colors as we glued them together. Then we glued the kings to craft sticks to use them as puppets! Don’t have craft sticks? Try straws, pencils, utensils. The idea is to give your little something to hold onto.
We also colored additional craft sticks to create Stars of Bethlehem. We colored them with yellow crayons and glued them in a crossing pattern.
Note: When we’re all done with our puppets, I’ll peel the construction paper off of our craft sticks so we can use them again later!
Active Play Dia De Los Reyes Lesson
Once we had our 3 Kings Puppets and our Stars of Bethlehem, I wanted to find a way to use them. We’d already did a re-telling of the story together, so I wanted to do more than just a puppet show. I also really wanted to find a way to both extend the learning AND get in some more active play time!
For this activity, the girls each picked a puppet so that they could be one of the kings. Then Mommy was the star and led them around the house until we ended at the Jesus in the manager we have in our (Messy!) Kitchen. This reinforced the idea that the Kings were led to baby Jesus by the Star of Bethlehem. It ALSO got them moving and following the leader.
We repeated this activity a second time and added movements for them to follow, in addition to following the Star’s path. We used movements like spinning in a circle, jumping up and down, running in place, etc. You can use whatever movements your kids enjoy.
We repeated the activity two more times, giving each child the opportunity to be the Star of Bethlehem and the leader! This emphasized turn-taking and the opportunity to be both leader and follower.
We had a fun-filled afternoon with activities that fed our minds (and tummies!). Next year, I’d like to explore more about how others celebrate 3 Kings Day and create activities to represent those traditions. If you celebrate 3 Kings Day, please share with us what traditions you have in the comments! If you try any of our activities, we’d love to hear how they turn out for your littles!