I absolutely love winter holidays even if we don’t get snow in our part of the world! Coming from the Philippines where people start playing Christmas songs on the radio as early as September (right?!), I really get excited about Christmas!
But as the Christmas holidays approach, it it can be tricky to find time to do the “fun stuff” with my class along with everything else that needs to be done before the holiday break- and getting Christmas shopping done for my own family and friends!
That is why I decided to put all the projects, activities and resources that I use and do with my students so I would always remember them. These Christmas activities are easy to tie to whatever you are teaching so I’m hoping that you could use them in your class as well!
Holiday Card Exchange
Every year, I collaborate with other schools from other countries such as Italy, Pakistan, Taiwan, Canada, and USA among others to do the Holiday Card Exchange Project. The purpose of project is to have students create physical Christmas cards for their partner school students around the world. Teachers sign up here in my blog then we communicate via email and in our Facebook group.
Starting in the middle of November, I give my students extra time to make their holiday cards in class. We send the cards to our partner schools in the first week of December. Aside from creating and exchanging cards, students also talk about their culture and tradition in discussion forums and video sharing app such as FlipGrid.
Letter to Santa Contest
This is a really exciting activity that I hold in December where students write a letter to Santa as part of the holiday tradition. In their letter, students introduce themselves and tell Santa what they wish for this Christmas and why they deserve a present this year.
I made a simple template and PowerPoint with step-by-step writing guide for lower grade class which you can download for FREE! This is an in-class contest (you can also make it a school-wide event) so students need to decorate their letters and envelopes! I make a “Letter to Santa” box where students can drop their letters anytime they want till deadline. I announce the winners shortly after we come back from our winter break (because I need time to mark all the entries! huhu) and I give special prices to the winners and all those who participated.
Christmas Bingo Party Game
Bingo is a timeless game that never gets old and is always a sure way to make any party a whole lot of fun! So if you’re planning a classroom activity, a school party or just a family & friends get together this holiday season, you can add some excitement by playing holiday BINGO!
I’ve always wanted to play Christmas BINGO with my class of 30 students but I can only make so many unique BINGO cards! Even with the the random card generator, most cards still end up similar! And so I made my own Holiday BINGO Party Game which I designed so individual player could make their own unique set of cards!
I also made different winning bingo patterns to make the game more exciting. My students and I – and even my family – fell in love with this game!
Monito-Monita is a Filipino variation of Western world’s Secret Santa. In this gift/letter giving activity, student will write his/her name in a piece of paper and then mix all pieces in a bowl. They will take turns picking one name from the bowl and will keep that name secret until the big reveal which is during the Christmas Party.
The class should agree on the frequency of gift-giving including the price and theme. Each week (if you started early) or every day (if you started a few days before the party), students have to give a gift to their Monito/Monita. They will put their presents in the designated area (it can be in a box or under a Christmas tree) without being caught by their peers especially by their Monito/Monita to maintain the element of surprise during the activity.
Unlike office parties, Monito/Monita in the classroom doesn’t have to be lavish or expensive. Students can choose themes of the day/week that don’t require them to spend all their allowances. For example, you can have “something sweet” and students can simply buy candies for their Monito/Monita. You can also have them write letter of compliments, etc.
Other sample themes for Monito-Monita:
- Something short
- Something long
- Something funny
- Something round
- Something hard
- Something soft
- Something useful
- Something colorful
There is an Elf Yourself site that I love called Jib Jab which is a digital media company dedicated to making funny things worth sharing. You can upload you, your co-teacher’s, your students’, or famous people’s faces in for maximum reaction.
You can also let students create their own elf as the app is really user-friendly! It’s a great way to bring some holiday cheer and it always gets some serious ha-ha moments in my class.
Decorating and Gift-making Ideas
If you are tired of doing the same holiday art project year after year or maybe you are looking for a new project kids can make for holiday gift giving, Education World has just the project for you! Go to that website now to find amazing holiday craft and gift ideas that students can make!
I want to end this post by recommending these two websites that I absolutely love! Activity Village and The Teacher Corner offer free holiday-themed worksheets that you can use as time fillers or as a lesson itself.