Christmas Games for the Classroom December 04 2009

This is understandably a time of great distraction. With all of the interruptions to routines and schedules both at school and at home, it's no surprise that kids are not able to process a whole lot of new skills or information.

Use the last couple of weeks before break to review important skills with some fun Christmas-themed games and activities. I've included by Top 4 Ways to use these Christmas games and activities in your classroom!

Group Building Games

Games are a great way to build cooperation in your small groups as well as your whole class. Kids learn how to work together, how to be good sports whether they win or lose, and they spend some restless energy while they do it!

*Snowball Race

For the snowballs, kids can use styrofoam or yarn balls, or simply crumple scrap paper into ball shapes the best that you can - each student needs their own snowball. Split your students into teams and line them up on one side of the room. On the opposite side of the room, place a container opposite each team, which is where they will deposit their snowballs. But how do they get their snowballs down to the container? Have them use spoons or wear mittens, and each student runs his/her snowball down to the container, drops it in, and races back to give the spoon or mittens to the next person. The team to deposit all of their snowballs first wins!

*Unscramble!

There are two variations to this game. The first one is to choose a Christmas word, the longer the better (Christmas tree, reindeer, candy cane, etc.). Write each letter of this word on a separate index card, making two sets. Put the two sets of cards into two containers, such as a plastic or paper bag. Give a set to each team, and the first to figure out the word (and spell it correctly) wins!

The other way to play is to make sets of cards, but instead of one letter on an index card, write scrambled versions of Christmas-themed words. Give each team a set of scrambled cards, which they must figure out and write down correctly (spelling included) - number each card to make their list easier to check. The first team to figure out the words wins!

*Word Hunt

This game also uses Christmas-themed words. Each team gets a Christmas word or phrase, such as candy cane, and they must find small words using those letters in a specific time period (such as two minutes). The team with the most (actual) words wins!

Computer Games and Activities

If you have time with your kids in the school computer lab, there are some fun resources to use and help them practice reading and math skills.

Primary Games has a variety of holiday-themed computer games for kids. Take a look at them beforehand and pick a couple out for your kids to try!

Here is a mad-lib built on the classic Christmas story,  Twas the Night Before Christmas. This would be a good whole-group activity to facilitate, projecting it if you can on a screen or whiteboard and involving your students in supplying words.

Center Time and Printable Games

Set up centers for kids to rotate through a complete a variety of activities, including:

For Fun!

Pass the Parcel
This is a traditional game from England. It might be easier to do if there are many layers of paper. If each student has a chance to unwrap a little bit, everyone will get a turn.

  1. Fill a small box with Christmas treats (Candy canes, chocolate kisses, erasers) for all of the participants and wrap it.
  2. Then place the wrapped parcel into a bigger box - wrap that also. Keep wrapping it with different kinds of paper until there are several layers of wrapping.
  3. To play the game everyone sits in circle. Play Christmas music while passing the "parcel" around from player to player.
  4. When the music stops, the player holding the parcel unwraps one layer.
  5. Then, play the music and begin passing again.
  6. Continue to play until the last layer is unwrapped, and celebrate with the treats!

Holiday Bingo

Use this generic Bingo Board and have students write in Christmas-themed words from a posted list. Place these words in a container, and they mark off the words they have as you pull them. The first one with five in a row wins!

Mad-Libs!

Classroom Jr. has three printable Christmas mad-libs! Use these with your whole-group, or have small groups or partners play them, and then make their own!

Hopefully this variety of Christmas games and activities will give you plenty of fun and skill review with your students during this hectic time!