7 standards-based Christmas activities students will enjoy

I counted the squares on the calendar…15 days ’til Christmas break.  How was I going to actually get my crazy excited students to learn something (all.those.standards), without feeling like pulling my hair out?  Take this as a great opportunity to connect learning to this magical time of year. 

7 standards-based Christmas activities students will enjoy

I love to plan fun activities and projects surrounding holidays and new seasons throughout the year. This helps students stay engaged, learn and have so much fun at the same time. Celebrating Christmas is an extra special time for children. Make learning memorable by incorporating all the fun and magic of Christmas into the classroom. Planning for Christmas learning in the classroom doesn’t have to be overwhelming, expensive, or an all-day meeting time sucker. These are some of my favorite activities for the holiday season.  Literally, smack a reindeer or Santa onto anything and the students are excited to work!  

Get the Class into the Christmas Spirit

The very first thing I do is create Elf Names for all my students!  This kicks off the joy of the season in such a fun way.  Elf names are generated by their own name and birth date.  Then we add new name tags to our desk with our Elf name and students are able to color and personalize them!  If you only do one thing, grab my  Elf Name freebie because it is always a crowd-pleaser.   I remember one of my students saying, “I’m going to have my family call me this all month!” (I’m sure they enjoyed that 😉 
Students will love coming up with their unique elf name to use around the holiday time!  Use your first and last name to find your Elf name and create a name tag!


Fun Christmas Activities

Color by Codes

There is no shortage of ideas when it comes to hands-on, engaging Christmas activities for your classroom. I like to incorporate worksheets and STEM activities into my lessons during the holiday season. The students absolutely love learning with fun holiday themes! These color-by-code worksheets are a great way to practice math skills with the magic of Christmas mixed in. Students will solve the math problems and fill in each corresponding area with its proper color. They will end up with a cool Christmas-themed picture like an elf, Santa, or Christmas tree! You can use it to practice differentiated addition, subtraction, or place value! There are multiple sheets so you won’t run out of ideas throughout the season! My students always enjoy these and YES, make them show their work on the picture or another piece of paper. 
Students will LOVE practicing their three digit addition facts with these color by code worksheets.  Simple and effective practice. This resource is also differentiated.
Students will LOVE practicing their place value with these color by code worksheets.  Simple and effective practice. This resource is also differentiated.
A customer said: “These are always so much fun for all of the students to work on and get us into the holiday spirit!”

STEM Projects

If you are not incorporating STEM activities in the classroom, you are truly missing out.  I l-o-v-e to hear my students work together and problem solve.  Their minds just kick into high gear!  I often ask myself “Where is this child usually?”  So yes, STEM projects are another way to add excitement and energy into the classroom. These Christmas STEM activities combine holiday fun with hands-on STEM challenges that don’t require a ton of prep. Design Santa’s chimney with straws and popsicle sticks, create a Christmas tree with toothpicks and playdoh or construct a bridge for the elves! Each activity comes with helpful guides, printouts, and worksheets to go along with it. Students will love these awesome STEM activities to get them in the holiday spirit and learn at the same time! 
Students don't even know they are learning with these fun holiday themed STEM activities! This is slumbering Santa where students are asked to create a bed for Santa!

One person stated: This was a great resource to use during the Christmastime period. It kept my students engaged and learning even with Christmastime lingering on their minds.

Students are asked to create an elf bridge in this Christmas STEM activity.

Christmas Crafts

Remember when we were little and THESE were the days we were most excited about at school?  This is something students STILL love and can easily double as a Christmas gift to take home to mom and dad (we all have those homemade ornaments on our trees don’t we?). Christmas crafts bring the spirit of the holidays into the classroom while letting students’ creativity shine! I love using supplies I can gather easily or having children bring in things like toilet rolls and popsicle sticks leftover from home. That makes crafting so much easier during the holidays! This adorable reindeer craft features students’ handprints! Then you can hang it in your room for fun holiday decor! 
This reindeer craft makes a beautiful display for the holiday season in your classroom or for the hallway.
Other favorites are snowmen toilet paper rolls. They are so simple to create and each student ends up with a unique snowman. Just use toilet paper rolls, white paint, and snowmen accessories to glue on the roll. A Santa Plate with cotton balls will give you a cute Santa with a beard full of cotton. Or you can simply make a Christmas tree ornament using popsicle sticks, green paint, and glitter! The possibilities are endless when it comes to crafting in the classroom throughout the holidays!
Use this santa craft for all types of writing activities - how-to, descriptive or use as a character in a narrative writing.
The best part??? You can EASILY incorporate your writing standards into these crafts.  Simply have them write a how-to post about their crafts or descriptive writing about what they look like.  These crafts can also become a character in one of their writings!  This will surely get students’ creative writing juices flowing. 

Christmas Games

Who Done It? Cases

Bring the fun into the classroom during Christmastime with games.  There are so many fun and engaging games you can play during downtime or even as a lesson to get students’ brains going. The Case of the Captured Elf is one of our classroom favorites! It combines fun and logic to solve the case of the missing head elf, Elvis. There are clues left around the scene that students will have to follow to figure out which elf captured Elvis! Then cross out the suspects as they complete the clues. Students will use skills like math, shapes, counting money, and more to solve this puzzle..all while having a blast!  Extend this the entire week by assigning them individually or complete in a few days in partners.  This activity is easy to incorporate into your lessons and students will show up each day with their eyes wide, on their knees, literally begging, “Can we do our mystery today?”, “Please can we finish our math mystery?” and as a teacher you will smile and think, “I’ve got them!”
This math mystery will have students trying to figure out who took head elf, Elvis?  They will proceed through math sheets to find who the culprit could NOT be.  Eventually leaving only one individual.  See who it is!
A person said: “Thank you for this activity. My students enjoyed it and were fully engaged the entire time. It was a great educational filler for the end of the year.  I can’t wait to purchase more.”

Classic Games

You can also take classic games and give them a holiday twist! Try pin the nose on the snowman, candy cane hunt, Christmas musical chairs, or jingle bell tossing! There are endless fun and games around the holidays so make sure you bring them into your classroom! 

Christmas Books

When it is time for reading, there are a ton of incredible Christmas books to choose from. Reading Christmas books aloud in class is a fun activity for everyone. Afterward, you can ask students questions about the book and also let them share their favorite parts of the holiday season. You can also create a Christmas reading space with an assortment of holiday-themed books to choose from. That way when it is time for individual quiet time or reading, students have awesome Christmas choices! You can stick with some classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or The Night Before Christmas, add in some fun, new books like Llama Llama, Jingle Bells and Pete the Cat Saves Christmas..or mix it up and do both! We also love Polar Express which goes along with the movie and can be paired with hot chocolate and pajamas for a great holiday classroom treat before break starts!
Kids reading

Happy Classroom Holidays!

As you can see, there are so many holiday possibilities to bring magic to your classroom during the Christmas season. These activities will easily become Christmas traditions in your classroom and fill your students with joy each year to come. The best part is, they are super simple and won’t overwhelm you during an already chaotic time of year! If you are looking for EVEN more activities to do over the Holidays, you’ll want to check out this post HERE.

Save These Christmas Activities for Later!

Save these fun, engaging Christmas activities and ideas to your favorite classroom board on Pinterest so you can quickly and easily find them later!
  Use these 7 standards-based Christmas activities in the classroom for students to enjoy and practice their skills before the holiday break!


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