Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world? 

Each December in Kindergarten, that dream comes true! The Kindergartners find their suitcases, grab their passports, get their train cars ready, and adventure around the world. This is no ordinary trip. The Kindergartners and Conductor Keenan travel around the world, discovering each culture’s Christmas traditions along the way.

The journey starts with each student reflecting on their own family traditions. Kindergartners are quick to mention baking Christmas cookies with grownups, adorning their house with decorations, and opening their Advent calendars. Once they have thought about their own traditions, the trip begins!

The Kindergartners get their tickets to board the Polar Express and their travel supplies, complete with Santa hats and a Cub Foods cardboard box that has magically morphed into a train car. The soft sounds of a train chugging along begin and the Kindergarten class is off! As the Kindergartners travel to each country, Conductor Keenan teaches them a lesson on their Christmas customs. The Kindergartners learn how to say hello and Merry Christmas in the language and discover each country’s holiday foods and traditions.

Once the Polar Express arrives at the station, the Kindergartners get off the train and are greeted by traditional Christmas carols from the country and a new stamp in their passports. Excited to explore the area, there are giggles and glee as the class settles in to listen to a story about the country. This ranges from Hannah’s Christmas, which teaches the Kindergartners about the Swedish folklore of tomtens and highlights St. Lucia Day, to Wombat Divine, a story about a nativity pageant put on by a group of Australian animals. Over the years, the Kindergartners have visited Mexico, England, Iceland, Australia, Italy, and even the North Pole!

This is a magical experience for the Kindergarten class, filled with holiday cheer, laughter, and excitement as their eyes are opened to the world around them. Combining learning, fun, and a whole lot of imagination, the Polar Express creates lasting memories for NDA’s Kindergarteners!

Notre Dame Academy