The Christmas break is on the horizon, so rather than ignoring the hype why not inject some festivities into your lessons. To give you some inspiration we’ve put together 13 activities and games that involve Christmas in some way.
Some are educational, and some are just plain fun, but each one will get your class giddy for the festive period ahead.
Christmas activites and games for the classroom
- Word find
- Watch an (educational) Christmas movie
- Create a Christmas story
- Christmas Pictionary or Charades
- Explore Google’s Santa Tracker
- Learn some festive fractions
- Make some Christmas crafts
- Pin the nose on Rudolph
- Learn how Christmas is celebrated around the world
- Advent calendar of kindness
- Write a letter to Santa
- Read a Christmas story
- Make counting Christmassy
1. Word find
An easy word game to start, and one that can help your class improve their vocabulary and strengthen their understanding of the relationship between words.
Present your class with a Christmas-related words or phrases. Put a minute on the clock and ask them to write down as many words as they can that are made up from the letter in that Christmas word.
Here are some examples:
Christmas: car, art, hit, rich, this, cats, chats, trash
Santa Claus: act, tan, cut, tuna, cans, can’t, aunts, canal
Mistletoe: lot, elm, sit, soil, item, slim, miles, times
2. Watch an (educational) Christmas movie
Christmas movies are, frankly, the best. Thankfully, you can pop on a Christmas movie for your class and not feel guilty that they aren’t learning anything from the experience. Plenty of festive favourites can be spun with an educational angle.
Head here for five Christmas films that can both excite and educate your class.
3. Create a Christmas story
Being the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas is the ideal time to weave an engaged tale or exciting adventure. Put your pupil’s storytelling to the test and challenge them to come up with an original Christmas story – with help from our worksheet. Our activity sheets contain three tasks:
- Roll a dice three times to decipher the setting, characters and scenario
- Structure the story with some information about the setting, the characters and someone they meet
- Engage your creative juices and write your story
4. Christmas Pictionary or Charades
Chances are you’ll be playing one of those classic family games at home over the festive period. Get some practice in and have some fun with your class with a game of Christmas-centric Pictionary or Charades.
You could play this game as an extension of Word find (see activity 1), using the words you’ve just used as the basis of the game.
5. Explore Google’s Santa Tracker
Google’s Santa Tracker has grown in status over year. An interactive game, Santa Tracker follows Santa live on Christmas eve as he manically rides around the globe delivering presents. Over the years, the Santa Tracker has grown into a hub of fun and educational Christmas content, some of which teachers can benefit from.
Take a look at Google’s Santa Tracker, and you’ll find games like Code Lab and Code Boogie, where kids can reinforce some the coding knowledge they’ve learned this year. .
6. Learn some festive fractions
Time for some maths, but with a festive twist. With our Christmas tree fractions worksheet, you can improve the classes proficiency in a key area, and then finish it off with some colouring.
In our worksheet, pupils are tasked with working out the proportion of coloured baubles on the tree based on the fractions given, then colouring the baubles in the right colours. With three tiers of difficulty, your class has plenty of fraction problems to keep them occupied.
7. Make some Christmas crafts
Christmas is the perfect opportunity to break out the glue and glitter and make something crafty. There are a tonne of ways you can have some fun with your class and make something Christmassy – here are just a few:
- Design your own Christmas stocking
- Decorate a Christmas card for Mum and Dad
- Create a paper snowflake
- Decorate a Christmas bauble for their Christmas tree at home
- Make an easy paper plate Rudolph, Snowman or Santa
8. Pin the nose on Rudolph
An absolute classic for kids’ birthday parties for generations, with just a little twist pin the tail on the donkey becomes pin the red nose on Rudolph.
It’s super easy to get started too. Print off a couple of pictures of Rudolph the red (now nose-less) reindeer. Stick a roll of paper on the back of a red piece of card, and task your class with getting the rose in the right spot.
Rather than spinning round a dizzy member of your class, you could encourage teamwork and split everyone into two teams. Ask for a volunteer for each time and blindfold them. Then it’s up to the team to work together and offer instructions to get the nose to where it needs to be.
9. Learn how Christmas is celebrated around the world
Christmas is a fantastic opportunity to explore other cultures and see how they celebrate the 25th December. Here are just a few fun facts your class could look into:
- Parranda: the Puerto Rican events that take place of the Christmas period
- Why the Portuguese celebrate Christmas on December 24th
- How Christmas differs in summer season countries like Australia and South Africa
- Why the Finnish spend their Christmas in the sauna
- How the Philippines spend almost five months celebrating Christmas, including putting decorations up in September
- Why in Japan it’s customary for people to eat fried chicken from KFC as their Christmas Day meal (true story!)
10. Advent calendar of kindness
Rather than goring on chocolate with a typical advent calendar, why not make a class one that encourages a bit of kindness?
For each day of advent, ask one of the class to open the right door and read out the random act of kindness that’s hidden within. All you need to do create your own advent calendar and write a series of nice acts behind each door. Things like:
- Smile at as many people as you can in a day
- Tell a joke to someone who looks sad
- Offer to help someone who is struggling
- Make something nice for your parents
Don’t just task the individual who revealed the act either. Encourage the whole class to take on these acts of kindness and let’s make Christmas a happier place.
11. Write a letter to Santa
Pick up a pen and paper and hone those creative writing skills by crafting a letter to Santa himself. Don’t just turn this into them listing all the things they want coming down their chimney this Christmas. Craft a persuasive piece of prose, with your pupil introducing themselves to Santa and letting them know about all the ways they’ve helped people out this year.
As an added crafty bonus, pop the letters in envelopes and decorate them with Christmas stickers and festive glitter.
12. Read a Christmas story
Ask your library to stock up with plenty of Christmassy books and spend an afternoon letting your class explore a brand new story. You could either select one to read as an entire class, or encourage your class to take one home to read for pleasure. There are plenty of classics out there; here are some examples:
- The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
- The Empty Stocking by Richard Curtis
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
- Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
- Travelling Tales: Stick Man by Julia Donaldson
13. Make counting Christmassy
Develop each pupil’s numbers proficiency with a simple exercise that injects a hint of Christmas. Create a worksheet with lines of Christmas baubles or Christmas lights moving from left to right across the page. Within each bauble or light is a number that forms part of the sequence. Leave some of them blank and task each pupil with filling in the correct number to continue to sequence.
See these examples:
Add six – 6, 12, BLANK, 24, BLANK, 36, BLANK
Add four, subtract one – 7, 11, 10, BLANK, 13, BLANK, 16, 20
Double – 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256