As the year comes to an end, teachers and students around the globe are gearing up for the holidays. The last week of school before winter break is an exciting time but can also be challenging. Students are eager for the upcoming break and may lose focus on academics. It is a great time of year to incorporate festive activities to engage students in learning, while still celebrating the holiday season and the new year around the corner.
1. Jingle Bell Hunt
Planning a jingle bell hunt for students is so fun! It is similar to the idea of an egg hunt, only with jingle bells instead. This is best suited for older toddlers, pre-school, and primary grades. You can involve older children and teens by allowing them to hide the bells.
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2. Christmas Crafting
I love these paper bag Christmas craft ideas. This is a great hands-on activity to make snowmen out of paper bags. Students can decorate them with googly eyes, construction paper noses, and little pom-poms for ear- muffs. How adorable!
Learn more: Inspired by Family Mag
3. Magnetic Sensory Bottles
Did you know you can make festive science activities? The week before leaving for Christmas break is the perfect time to make magnetic sensory bottles. Your students will love filling these bottles with many different holiday-themed items. This is a fun crafts activity for all grade levels.
Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards
4. Random Acts of Kindness
The holidays bring out the kindness in everyone. Completing random acts of kindness is a great way to do something special for someone this holiday season, while having lots of fun in the process. These fantastic activities are a great way to spread holiday kindness and Christmas cheer.
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5. Time Capsule Christmas Tree Ornaments
Making Christmas tree ornaments is a wonderful holiday tradition. Your children will love including their favorite things, pictures, and memories into this project. I love the idea of a time capsule because children make significant growth each and every year. These ornaments are a unique and special keepsake.
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6. Lego Advent Calendar
This DIY Lego Advent Calendar is a fun way for students to count down to Christmas. You can incorporate many different Lego-themed ideas in these daily activities. This is another activity that can become a beloved classroom holiday tradition.
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands
7. Winter Word Problem Virtual Escape Room
Virtual escape rooms are always a popular activity among students of all ages. This particular escape room is a digital activity that is winter-themed and perfect for the week before winter break. It is a fun escape activity that will require students to think critically to solve a problem.
Learn more: Mama Teaches
8. Christmas Song Scramble
Put your children's knowledge of Christmas songs to the test! This Christmas Song Scramble activity will have your family singing all of the classic holiday tunes. This activity is also great for language development and spelling practice.
Learn more: Lyana Printable
9. Christmas Word Find
Word find activities are among my go-to classroom activities. You can find a word find activity for every holiday and content theme throughout the school year. Many activity booklets include word find activities also. You can even add an element of competition by using a timer and awarding prizes.
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10. Gingerbread Man Scavenger Hunt
The gingerbread man scavenger hunt is an awesome activity if you have multiple students that can participate. This activity comes with a free printable, so you won't have too much to prep. Scavenger hunts are a great way for students to use their detective skills to celebrate the holidays.
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11. Color by Number: Christmas Train
If you are planning to show students The Polar Express movie, this would be a great companion activity sheet. This would also fit well into train or Christmas themed center activities. Color by number is an activity that children and adults of all ages can enjoy.
Learn more: Gift of Curiosity
12. No-Bake Christmas Tree Cookies
Holiday baking is a special way to embrace the Christmas season. If you don't have easy access to an oven or baking supplies, you might be interested in this no-bake Christmas tree cookie recipe. All students can be involved with this tasty holiday project.
Learn more: The Recipe Bell
13. DIY Christmas Cards
Handmade Christmas cards make meaningful gifts for the special people in our lives. Making Christmas cards can be an excellent holiday tradition in your home or classroom. You can personalize cards by incorporating a holiday poem or holiday emojis. Effective holiday cards make great teacher or parent gifts as well.
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14. Dear Santa Claus
Christmas books make great holiday resources for the classroom. One of the many entertaining holiday books available is "Dear Santa Claus". An activity to accompany this read aloud is writing letters to Santa. You can further encourage creative writing by assigning daily writing prompts leading up to winter break.
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15. Holiday-Themed Math Skill Practice
These Math activity sheets incorporate a variety of math skills that challenge students in a fun and engaging way. These worksheets are appropriate for primary grades through high school. You will find something for everyone using these awesome math resources.
Learn more: Super Teacher Worksheets
16. Christmas Bingo
With Christmas around the corner, students are ready to have a fun time! You can embrace this excitement by introducing your students to Christmas Bingo. This free printable sheet and some bingo markers are all you need to play.
Learn more: Friday We're Inlove
17. Pin the Nose on Rudolph
Pin the Nose on Rudolph provides a fun challenge for students. This is a perfect game for the last day before break when the holiday parties are happening. Students will cover their eyes with the blindfold, spin around, and try their very best to pin the nose on Rudolph.
Learn more: Teach Starter
18. Don't Eat Pete Game
The game, "Don't Eat Pete" is another classroom Christmas party idea. You will need the free printable game board, and small candy or snacks to use as game markers. This game is a fun challenge for school aged children.
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19. Christmas Charades
Who doesn't love a fun game of Charades? This Christmas-themed game is sure to have the whole room laughing. You will use these cards to act out various holiday scenarios and the class will guess what you are doing.
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20. Christmas Scattergories
Christmas Scattergories is a fantastic game that requires critical thinking and creativity. It is a great way to challenge students while having holiday fun. I love that this resource comes with free printable sheets. This activity is educational, fun, and entertaining all at the same time.
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21. Holiday Dice Game
This holiday dice game can be played at school with classmates or home with family and friends. The instructions are simple! Just roll the dice and answer the questions as they come up. This is a great ice breaker or "getting to know you" activity.
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22. Classic Jigsaw Puzzles
Christmas jigsaw puzzles are a great way for students to practice teamwork. When working together to achieve a common goal, children learn and experience joint success. In addition, completing puzzles are so much fun and allow students to channel their focus and energy on a productive activity.
Learn more: Bits and Pieces