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Christmas Classroom Activities to Keep Students Engaged

The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and fun. But teachers know it can also be a time of pure chaos! If you’re looking for ways to keep your students engaged in this busy and exciting month, here is a round-up of my Christmas classroom resources and activities that are sure to spread the holiday cheer!

Now, although I’m sharing Christmas classroom activities in this post, I do think it’s important to be inclusive of other holidays as well. Find out ahead of time which holidays your students celebrate, if any, and research them before planning. Ask your students to share about their holidays and traditions, read books, and make virtual visits to learn about other celebrations!

And if you prefer not to have holiday-themed activities, two great theme options are snowmen or animals in winter.

Here are Christmas classroom activities that will keep your students engaged throughout the season:

the 12 Days of Christmas Read-Alouds

Who doesn’t love a countdown? Especially if it’s a countdown to winter break!

I love to do a 12 Days of Christmas with my read-alouds. Each day for the twelve days leading up to winter break, I choose a popular Christmas or holiday picture book to read with my class.

I make this extra fun by wrapping each of our picture books for those 12 days in festive holiday wrapping paper. The kids LOVE unwrapping to reveal the surprise book! Then, we do activities based on the books we read. I’ve created reading response activities to target reading comprehension and writing skills for each book. You can check out the Christmas Read-Alouds pack here.

And, check out these 12 Days of Christmas number practice pages, too!

Play games

There’s something about adding dice to any activity that makes it more fun, right?! This bundle of pocket dice games is perfect for whole-group play or centers.

My favorite is this Build-a-Sentence set!

I just adore these FREE Christmas-themed jokes, too!

Just add a little gingerbread

Gingerbread houses, gingerbread men, gingerbread lattes… can you just smell it? For me, gingerbread is to winter what pumpkin spice is to the fall (but much better)!

So, why not bring some gingerbread into your classroom activities?

Two picture books I love are The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth and The Gingerbread Man Loose in School by Laura Murray.

Here is a free gingerbread man story elements activity to go with your read-aloud!

For TONS of gingerbread man ideas, be sure to read this post: Gingerbread Man Activities.

Ideas and resources for a fun gingerbread man unit, including comparing and contrasting different versions, retelling, centers, mini-books, and more! #tejedastots #gingerbreadmanactivities

And, read this article for six more books I use with my gingerbread man unit!

Christmas Centers

Centers are such a big part of most kindergarten and first-grade classrooms, but no one wants to reinvent the wheel, especially during the busy holiday season… so I did it for you!

These Christmas Centers include activities for our work centers, writing centers, and math centers – all holiday-themed and full of fun!

Read about it

These Read and Build passages are a fun way for kids to demonstrate reading comprehension!

Write about it

Keep your students writing throughout the month with these engaging activities:

Build it and Write

Santa baby

Let’s face it, as Christmas approaches, Santa becomes a bit of a celebrity. In this PowerPoint activity, Santa takes selfies with all of his friends and students have to make inferences to find out who they are!

Try this What’s in Santa’s Sack activity or this Who’s in Santa’s Selfie activity to help reinforce making inferences. 

Or, maybe you’d rather hone those comparing and contrasting skills! Check out my Christmas reading passages and printables pack.

Christmas Gift Freebie

Finally, one of the best things about the holiday season is giving! Here is a favorite parent/ caregiver gift and you can grab this free snowglobe card right here.

P.S. I update it every other year so it will always have the current date. It also includes a version that says WINTER instead of CHRISTMAS.

As you can probably tell, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I hope some of these resources are helpful in keeping your students engaged this season!

If you have any questions or ideas for using these Christmas classroom activities in your classroom, please leave them below.

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