Do you have holiday classroom traditions that your students just love every year? If so, you’ll want to add a few of these to your favorites! If not, read on to discover fun ways to start some! Here are 10 of my favorite classroom Christmas activities that will quickly become traditions in your classroom!
Classroom Christmas Activities
I’ve included loads of ideas and linked posts with lots of freebies so be sure to read to the end!
Journey Around the World
Take your class on a magical adventure to learn holiday customs in far away countries. Introduce your students unique traditions by teaching about holidays around the world. Consider team teaching so your students can travel to a new country in each classroom. Make it even more magical with the free flight script and holiday destination posters in this post. Then pack a suitcase, grab a passport, and take your students off to the airport!
Click here for Holidays Around the World unit & Power Point.
Hold a Holiday Book Exchange
Receiving a new book is always exciting! During the last days before your winter or Christmas break, hold a holiday book exchange. It’s a great way to keep kids reading over the upcoming break and a fun way to regift, recycle, and reuse unwanted books.
Use Scholastic bonus points if you have them to purchase a few $1 books to have as extras. Clean out your classroom library and ask parents to send in unwanted books from home. Grab this FREE Holiday Book Exchange Parent Letter to get you started.
Compare Favorite Versions of The Gingerbread Man
I adore any and all versions of The Gingerbread Man. One of the highlights each December in my classroom is a month long gingerbread theme. With so many variations available, comparing our favorite versions of The Gingerbread Man helps me turn my readers into thinkers! These familiar stories provide a multitude of opportunities to analyze characters, compare story elements and determine the central message in a lot of fun ways.
Click here to visit this post and download the FREE story elements charts so you can compare your own favorite versions.
Incorporate math by decorating cookies for data! Decorate gingerbread cookies or use paper versions to generate data to graph. Click here to see how we used the Chatter PIX app for students to animate their cookies and record themselves interpreting their glyphs before graphing their data.
Get students writing their own word problems by making gingerbread math pop-up cards. Pop-up cards are no prep at all and all you need is a single piece of paper. Find a gingerbread man pop-up card tutorial in this post.
Have a Holiday Movie Day
Once your testing, report cards, and conferences are done, let the fun begin! Have a holiday movie day and make it educational with the movie day math & ELA ideas in this post. Be sure to download the FREE movie day menus to use with any movie while you’re there.
Count Down the Last 5 Days Before Break
This next Christmas activity is my most treasured holiday tradition and one of the most fun things I’ve ever done with my class. Count down the last 5 Days Before Christmas or Winter Break with simple daily treats and matching activity pages. Delight your students with a gift each day. Students use the treats to do the tasks!
Here’s how it works… Each morning roll down the chart to reveal the daily treat. Students use the treats to do math and ELA tasks! It’s the perfect way to keep everybody engaged, still learning, AND having fun that last cRaZy week before break!
Click here to see the resource I use with my 2nd graders as well as versions for first grade, third grade, and fourth grade.
Challenge Your Students to Write One-Sentence Summaries
This one-sentence summary freebie is a fun one to add to your classroom Christmas activities. Use your favorite books, and challenge your students to write a one-sentence summary. These make an easy December door decoration too! Download it FREE from my shop!
It’s not as easy as it sounds and students have to choose their words carefully!
Make Easy Parent Gifts
I’m a big fan of keeping it simple, and inexpensive, when it comes to making parent gifts with my students. Candles in a jar from the dollar store can be easily turned into snowmen or decorated with tissue paper scraps and watered down school glue. (No need to buy expensive Mod Podge.) Find out how to make snowman candles, puzzle piece wreaths with student photos, and more easy parent Christmas gift ideas you can make with dollar store items.
Wrap your parent gifts in gingerbread house gift bags! These are super simple to make with a lunch sack and include an easy cut version for younger students.
One year we even used these to make a gingerbread village. Each student made a lunch sack gingerbread house then wrote a short summary of their favorite book on a large index card. We glued the cards on the back of the bags and displayed them on white felt to create a gingerbread village!
Do a Christmas Cookie Science Experiment
I often have parents ask if they can send in holiday cookies during the month so I decided to turn them into a science experiment! We used the sink or float science experiment in this post to test the buoyancy of our cookies.
Start Secret Santa of Kind Words
This is such a precious classroom tradition to start with your students. For students who don’t celebrate, change it to a secret snowman! This is a great activity to do for classmates, reading buddies, school staff, and volunteers. the smiles are priceless as students read the kind words from their Secret Santa.
Place all the names in a hat and have students each draw one. Students become a Secret Santa of Kind Words by making a card and writing kind things about their chosen friend.
Exchange Gingerbread Men
My final favorite holiday tradition to do in my classroom is to exchange gingerbread men. Each year we sign up for a gingerbread man exchange with other schools. One of my favorite springboard read alouds for this is The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School. We made an adorable class book filled with pictures of our class chasing our gingerbread men through the school. I put together templates and directions for the class book and gingerbread man craft in my shop if you would like to do this with your class! It’s written as an adorable poem in the same rhythmic pattern as the night before Christmas.
Click here to see our finished class book and all of the adventures our gingerbread men has as they ran through our school! (You will definitely want to see them inside our principal’s purse!)
I hope you’ve found classroom Christmas activities that you’ll add to your own holiday traditions! Be sure to pin this for later so you have it when you plan!
You might also enjoy these additional posts to help you through the holidays! Click on the pics to read the posts.
5 Simple Ways to Survive the Last Week Before Break Don’t miss all the freebies in this post!
Get everybody back on track after break! Be sure to grab the freebies while you’re there!
New Year’s Activities Perfect for the Classroom Get ahead on January planning! It’s a great time to write resolutions and set new learning goals with your students.