As the holidays inch closer many teachers are starting to plan their holiday activities and classroom Christmas parties. I wanted to share some of my favorite ideas for a Holidays Around the World classroom party that are both fun AND educational!
A Christmas around the world themed party is a great way to go if you don’t have time to teach a whole unit but still want your students to experience some of the traditions and celebrations in far away countries. From holiday treats, simple crafts, amazing videos, and even math games, read on to find fun classroom party ideas your students will love.
Taste treats from around the world
Set up stations around the room for students to taste treats from different countries. Many common snacks can represent traditional treats to give students an idea of holiday foods around the world. Little Debbie Swiss Rolls look like traditional French Buche de Noel cakes, and gingerbread cookies to represent Germany are easily found in December.
Chocolate coins for Israel, donut holes for Diwali, and fruit for Kwanzaa are also easy to find snacks for students to taste at each station.
Make simple crafts in each country
Make these souvenir post card crafts at each table that give students an opportunity to practice functional writing and to “write home” about customs or traditions they have learned.
Team Teach so students can “travel”
Buddy up with teammates or teacher friends to each take a country so students can “travel” from room to room. Choose a country to be the theme for each room and show a quick video or do a read aloud before making a craft and having a snack in each country. Have students make holidays around the world suitcase folders to carry their crafts as they travel.
Decorate each destination
Decorate your door with crepe paper streamers or tissue paper flowers in the colors of the country. Add these FREE Holidays Around the World Destination Posters to really make your decorations pop!
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Include math and technology
Project holidays themed math center games or task cards on your whiteboard and add it as a station for students to practice math skills.
Group students to play the dreidel game with beans, counting cubes or paperclips as game pieces. See how to play the dreidel game in this video.
Make a math game out of it by turning your dreidels into dice. Put dot stickers with numbers written on them on each side of the dreidel. Students spin the dreidel two or three times to make 2 or 3-digit numbers then add or subtract them just like they would do with dice.
See holiday traditions up close
I’ve compiled a list of amazing Holidays Around the World videos for teachers that feature holiday traditions from 15 different countries. Students get an up-close look at Christmas celebrations, unique customs and traditions, holiday gift-givers, and special foods served around the world. The post also includes read alouds and nonfiction books for each country.
Make a holiday movie day out of these high engagement videos and grab these FREE Movie Day Menus to use with them.
Visit Germany and decorate gingerbread
Set up a cookie decorating station at your classroom party. Ask a volunteer or two to monitor the station. Use small paper cups with 2 spoonfuls of frosting and provide a few candies for students to use to decorate their cookies.
Every December I do a gingerbread theme and we compare favorite versions of The Gingerbread Man. I tie this to our holidays around the world activities when we learn about Germany. To add a math element we decorate for data! What is that you ask?
We decorate gingerbread men (or paper ones if I can’t find cookies that year) as glyphs. Students then use the data on their glyphs to answer questions. We compile the class data to make picture graphs, bar graphs, and line plots. Hence, decorating for data!
I’ve written a post with all of our gingerbread math activities that you definitely want to see. Find out how we used the Chatter Pix app to animate our cookies and have students record themselves interpreting their glyphs!
Visit France and take your shoes off
Delight your students with a St. Nicholas celebration like they do in France! Have students take their shoes off at the door then line all the shoes up in the hallway. Ask a volunteer or teacher friend to fill students’ shoes with a few small items like fruit, candy, holiday pencils or dollar store party favors.
There are so many fun things to do in December and many of these can be adapted for students who don’t celebrate Christmas or holidays.
I hope you’ve found some ideas you can use to plan your classroom christmas party with a holidays around the world theme that is both fun AND educational!
Be sure to save this on Pinterest so you have it when you plan!
For more December teaching ideas and holiday activities be sure to check out these posts!
Learn how to make holidays around the world MAGICAL for your students!
See what went down in my classroom 5 days before Christmas break.