I don’t need to tell you how absolutely wild the weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break can be. Every teacher knows that energy levels are through the roof and the opportunities to be out of routine are abundant. My mindset during these turbulent times is, if you can’t beat their energy, you may as well join them! Which is why I’m sharing Christmas classroom activities that will keep students engaged and provide them with an outlet for their pre-break jitters.
#1 Create Board Games
Turning independent practice into board games is always a hit. I can even pull small groups while my students use the board games (because I hardly have interruptions)!
These blank board game templates make putting together a board game activity super simple. There are five different templates to choose from, each with different patterns and paths (to keep things interesting)! For a super easy activity, write in numbers and have students pull task cards or solve problems on a worksheet!
#2 Make Pancakes
Who doesn’t love a midday snack? (And I’m not just talking about reaching inside your candy drawer for a pick-me-up). This is the perfect Christmas classroom activity for the classroom because it utilizes real-world skills, and it’s very hands-on.
While preparing for pancake making, students will be reviewing writing, reading, math, and science skills, such as heat energy, measuring, and sequencing. Making the actual pancakes will show them that these skills are useful in real life!
#3 Science Ready-to-Go Board Games
Don’t have the time or energy to create your own game boards? No worries! That’s what ready-made games are for.
These no-prep Science Board Games are perfect for fifth-grade science review. With these board games, students will review previously taught material, such as states of matter, chemical changes, the solar system, and more. They make the perfect Christmas classroom activity because they require zero planning! The games are filled with opportunities for students to solve, collaborate, and compare answers.
#4 Math Ready-to-Go Board Games
If you loved the science board games, then you’ll want to get your hands on the math board games, too.
These no-prep Math Board Games are great for reviewing 5th-grade math skills, like order of operations, algebraic expressions, and more. With the 45 sets of board games available in this resource, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to use these after the holidays, as well.
#5 Santa’s Toothpaste Activity
This is always a hit for a Christmas classroom activity! This is the Christmas version of Elephant’s Toothpaste, which results in a foamy cylinder that kind of looks like toothpaste!
In this Santa’s Toothpaste Activity, students will make a hypothesis, implement the experiment, and record their observations. Depending on your resources, you can do this as a whole class, or in small groups. Either way, I bet students will ask to do it again!
#6 Design your Own Christmas Tree
Want a Christmas classroom activity that really brings in the holiday spirit and gets students working on math? I know, it’s a win-win!
In the Design Your Own Christmas Tree activity, students practice adding and subtracting decimals. Students will be engaged as they utilize a budget to design their own Christmas tree. You can even turn it into a Christmas tree contest and have students vote on their favorite tree.
Looking for a free Christmas classroom activity? This Build a Snowman Resource gets students reviewing math skills, while also soaking up some winter fun.
# 7 Holiday Book Reviews
I’m always looking for opportunities to encourage independent reading. Having students write book reviews can make independent reading time more meaningful, and get other students interested in reading.
These Holiday Book Review Templates are a fun and educational way to add some holiday decor to your bulletin boards. When students finish reading a book, they’ll write a book review on the festive template and add it to the bulletin board. Then, when other students are looking for books to read during independent reading, they’ll have the reviews to refer back to and help them choose.
#8 Design a Gingerbread House
Making gingerbread houses is a holiday rite of passage. It’s also a huge mess! Luckily, your Christmas classroom activity doesn’t have to be.
Bring the magic of designing a gingerbread house into your classroom – without the mess! In the Design a Gingerbread House activity, students will practice adding and subtracting whole numbers, all while designing a gingerbread house with tons of fun and whimsical options.
#9 Read Engaging Articles
With everything going on during the holiday season, it may be easy for your students to be more interested in what’s going on outside of your classroom rather than in it. A great way to combat this while still practicing critical reading skills is to read high-interest articles.
Think of the laughs that will fill your classroom when you pull out an article titled, “Why do we Poop?” or “What are Boogers?” Students are bound to enjoy reading these nonfiction texts, and you’ll accomplish your task of keeping them engaged during a notoriously difficult time in the year. Win-win!
#10 Design a Christmas Ornament
Tapping into students’ creative sides is a great way to keep them engaged, especially when food is involved!
Kids love designing their own edible ornament, and they may not even notice they’re practicing Science while doing it. Science experiments are the perfect way to show students the real-life application of the skills they’re learning in class.
I hope this list has given you some ideas for how to incorporate fun Christmas classroom activities this holiday! If you’re looking for more, check out my posts about Christmas math activities and Christmas science activities.