Mermaid Barbie. Hello Kitty. Monster trucks. Angry Birds Star Wars.
Jolly Old Saint Nick better make some room in his sleigh because those toys and more are on the Christmas wish lists of some south Etobicoke kindergarteners at Lanor Junior Middle School.
On Tuesday morning, two handfuls of four- and five-year-olds sat at a table with their full-day kindergarten teacher Heather Jennings to pen, or rather pencil, their letters to Santa, some complete with crayon drawings.
“My letter says, ‘Dear Santa, I want a Hello Kitty. I want a dog for my sister, Emily. She likes Chihuahuas. I’d like an iPad for my Mom and Dad,’” said Victoria, 5.
Victoria’s friend, Gabriella, who turned five on Wednesday, wants Santa to bring her a mermaid Barbie this Christmas: “I like her because she swims.”
“Are you going to draw a picture of mermaid Barbie?” Jennings gently asked her. “Make it bright and colourful.”
Ronin is drawing Santa a picture of his Angry Birds. “It’s red,” he said as he grabbed the red crayon.
“Is this ready to go to the North Pole?” Jennings asked him. “Are you going to colour it? You want to make it the best you can.”
Canada Post delivers all letters to Santa to his address at the North Pole HOH OHO Canada.
Mathais, 4, just draws and draws and draws. He can’t even tell the reporter about what he’s asking Santa for because he’s not finished drawing it yet.
“It’s a monster house and monster truck because it has wheels. It’s this big,” he said, as he gestures spreading his arms far apart. “It’s white. I have a Transformers truck, but it’s broken.”
Mathais is fairly confident Santa is going to come through.
“Every day, I was good. I was good for 500 days,” he said on a break from making a fuschia-coloured Play Doh pizza.
This month, Jennings’ students will write their letters to Santa, create Christmas tree decorations and share customs of their cultures with one another by bringing items in to class to share on a discovery table.
The seasonal activities are an annual tradition for Jennings, a kindergarten teacher at Lanor for more than 12 years.
“Decorations are the children’s favourite,” Jennings said. “We do an edible Christmas tree. I do it every year. Even the older kids (in the school) remember doing it.
“It’s an inverted ice cream cone. We dye the frosting green then paint it on. Add gumdrops; two in the mouth, one on the tree. Then we wrap it in cellophane.”
Before the school year’s out, Jennings’ charges will have learned to both read and write, she said.
“I love the kids. When you’re teaching them to read and that light goes on, there’s nothing more rewarding.”