The countdown to the holiday break is just as important to teachers and staff as it is to the students. The last few weeks of the calendar year can be challenging for everyone. While it is an exciting time, it can also become hectic as the holidays approach. It is important to not only create engaging activities for students, but also for teachers and staff. The holiday season is the perfect time to bring colleagues together in a meaningful way.
1. Holiday Team Building
Teachers and school staff spend a lot of time together. However, besides quickly passing in the hallway and scarfing down lunch before the next period begins, there isn't much time to connect in a meaningful way. Team building is necessary to build trusting relationships among the faculty and improve morale.
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2. Gift Exchange Games
I have received some of my favorite gifts while playing gift exchange games. These games are so much fun because people can really get into them by stealing gifts from one another. You can incorporate wrapped presents or gift cards to coffee shops, bookstores, or restaurants.
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3. DIY Wreath Workshop
Most teachers and school staff enjoy opportunities to be creative. If you have someone on your team who is particularly crafty, they may be interested in leading a DIY wreath-making workshop. The finished products can be used to decorate classroom doors or common areas throughout the school.
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4. Community Service Project
The Christmas season is the perfect time to bring the school faculty together to do a service project to benefit the local community. Whether it's sewing blankets for the homeless or organizing a winter jacket drive for children in need, service projects are very rewarding and appreciated.
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5. Christmas Countdown Calendar
Creating a countdown calendar is a great way to build an interactive resource for the school community. This can be printed or posted on the digital classroom or school website. The staff as well as students will enjoy counting down the days to the new year.
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6. Christmas Bingo
There is no one who loves yelling "Bingo!" more than a teacher before Christmas break. This is a fun game to play during a staff Christmas party. I recommend having inexpensive prizes prepared for the winners such as a nice hand lotion or candle.
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7. Gingerbread House Contest
Who do you think can build the best gingerbread house for the school staff? Find out by hosting a gingerbread house contest. You can invite the student body to be the judges, and everyone can enjoy eating the gingerbread at the end! This is a fun activity everyone will love.
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8. Christmas Trivia Game
Put your school staff's knowledge to the test with Christmas trivia. This is an engaging activity that can be played in grade-level teams or departments. I would recommend providing a modest gift to the winning team, such as gift baskets or gift certificates for coffee.
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9. Gift Card Raffle
It is no secret that teachers and staff spend money out of pocket on school supplies and items for their classrooms. Putting together a fun gift card raffle is a great way to show appreciation to teachers and staff, especially during the holiday season.
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10. Handwritten Notes
Although technology is very important, there is something special about a personalized, handwritten note. The holidays are a good time to express gratitude and share with others how you feel about them. Exchanging heartfelt notes among colleagues can be a thoughtful gift that will be appreciated.
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11. Ultimate Christmas Puzzles
If you are looking for fun games for staff, you may be interested in this book of Christmas puzzles. These booklets can be included with other cute gifts for teachers, hopefully, they will find time to do a few puzzles over the winter break.
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12. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Ugly Christmas sweater parties are an awesome way to bring people together to have some classic Christmas fun. You can even allow students to participate and join in the fun. The last day of school before leaving for winter break would be the perfect time for this event.
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13. Holiday Adult Coloring Books
Coloring is not just for kids! There are Christmas-themed adult coloring books that are so much fun to color. I find adult coloring books to be very relaxing as it is helpful to zone out and focus on the task of creating something beautiful.
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14. Christmas Cookie Swap
Do you have a special cookie recipe that everyone loves? Now is your chance to share your amazing cookies and receive some in return! Everyone will bake a batch of their homemade cookies along with a recipe card to share. You may just find a new favorite recipe!
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15. Holiday Casserole Brunch
Hosting a potluck-style holiday brunch is a great idea for school staff. I love the idea of everyone bringing a casserole to easily be shared. Enjoying a nice holiday meal on a special day around the holidays will be a welcomed break for all.
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16. Christmas Friendly Feud Game
Christmas Friendly Feud is similar to the game "Family Feud". This printable game is a lot of fun to play with a group of people. It is guaranteed to cause a few laughs among the school staff.
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17. Christmas Movie Trivia
Are there movie experts among your school staff? You will find out by playing Christmas movie trivia! This is a really fun activity that will get everyone excited to watch Christmas movies over the winter break. This game includes all of the classic Christmas movies.
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18. Gift Wrap Races
Do you consider yourself to be a fast gift wrapper? You will be able to put your gift-wrapping skills to the test with gift wrap races against your colleagues. Ideas for the winner could be a gift card to a stationary or craft store.
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19. Ornament Guessing Game
If you have a Christmas tree in your school, you can play a "how many ornaments" guessing game with the school staff. Everyone will guess the number of ornaments that are on the tree. Whoever guests the closest to the actual number, will receive a special school spirit keepsake ornament.
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20. Christmas Emoji Game
If you are able to translate emojis into words, you may enjoy this Christmas emoji game. I would recommend setting up a game where students take on the staff in a friendly competition. It would be entertaining to learn who knows more about emojis, the students or teachers!
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