One long time teacher struggle has always been how to keep kids engaged and on task while having fun during the holidays. Student absences and high levels of excitement are real during those final days before winter break. Not to mention all those loose ends at the end of a semester teachers are trying to tie up. I put together a list with some of my favorite Christmas classroom ideas for before holiday break to keep your classroom running and the fun going during December!
Make a Family Gift
I love having something special to send home with my students (of all ages) for their families around the holidays. As a mom myself, these little keepsakes mean the world to me. My favorite ornament ideas include those with a handprint, picture or even handwritten note on it. I have made SO many over the years! Some ideas are painted popsicle stick snowflakes with the kid’s pictures in the center, beaded candy canes with a festive ribbon tied on and handprint reindeer complete with googly eyes, and then laminated with a ribbon. If you do a quick online search of handmade ornaments, you will get a ton of great ideas to pick from! Below are some that my 3rd grader made last Christmas.
Holidays Around the World
This topic is always SO popular and elementary is the perfect age to get your students interested in learning about different cultures and celebrations. I still remember learning about it as a child! You can choose one culture to learn about for a day or pick a few different countries and their holiday celebrations to study for a week.
STEM is always my go to for fun and engaging activities! One of my favorite STEM projects for December is designing and constructing an Elf trap. You can have students use anything you have in your classroom such as legos, cardboard, paper, string, paper clips, rubber bands etc. They get so creative with what they have and it is always an engaging experience. Leave the traps out over break to see if you catch any elves in your classroom.
Is there anything better for a child than a whole day of fun? No way! Is there anything better for a teacher than a whole day of already planned activities that will keep your kids engaged and having fun? Nope! My theme day resources are perfect for everyone. I have a two fun holiday theme day units ready to go including Elf Day and Gingerbread Day. Both include over 50 pages of math, science and ELA activities already planned out and ready for you to use! Activities can be spread out over the course of a week or use altogether in one epic theme day!
You can read more about these theme day resources in these blog posts!
Print and Go Worksheets
When you just need something skill related and independent for your kids to work on while you wrap up that end of the semester testing, no prep, print and go worksheets are the answer! I have a full December unit full of festive and educational print and go worksheets that include activities on Hannukah, Pearl Harbor and other December events. If you are looking for Christmas specific worksheets, I also have a Christmas print and go unit with all the merry, Christmas fun in one spot!
Whether you need lots of ideas or just a few, I hope you found some here. If you have any other activities you love to do that last week of school before break, share them in the comments! I’d love to hear them. Happy teaching!