Christmas Stocking Relay

This is just like an egg and spoon race, but Christmas themed.

Before class, prepare one bowl, one spoon and one Christmas stocking per team, as well as at least one candy per student and a few extras just in case.

To play the game, students must use the spoon to pick up a candy from the bowl, carry it across the classroom, and put it in their team’s Christmas stocking. The first team to have every student successfully put the candy in the stocking is the winner.

For fun, you can also have the students use chopsticks instead of spoons to pick up the candy.

As a variation, you can have one team sing or recite a lesson while the other team is filling the stocking. Then both teams switch, and whichever team puts more candy in their stocking is the winner. I’d award both teams their own stocking, plus the winner gets the leftovers in the bowl.


Human Christmas Banner

A fun Christmas spelling game!

Before class, cut out construction-paper letters to spell out a Christmas phrase or message (Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, Happy New Year, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, etc.).

To play, give each student a letter (or two), then have them line up to spell out their Christmas message. Take a picture of the finished product to send to their parents!

Variation A: Make two sets of letters, and have two teams race to spell out their message.

Variation B: Make two sets of different letters, assign two students a phrase each, and have them figure out who can help them spell it.

Variation C: Hide the letters around the classroom, and have students look for them before spelling the phrase.

Variation D: Hand each student a piece of paper, and assign each student a letter to write and illustrate beautifully. When they’re finished, have them make the sentence and pose for a picture.


Decorate the Tree

This is my game of the week in all my classes – a silly game to get them started on the Christmas spirit so we can plan our Christmas party for next week.

To prepare for the game, I took two dozen Christmas ornaments and glued or taped magnets to them. At the beginning of class, I drew two equal-sized Christmas trees on the white board, and prepared two sticky balls (with flashing lights inside, because I like sparkling lights).

To play the game, two students rock-paper-scissors (paper-scissors-stone) – loser asks the winner a review question. Then each student throws the sticky ball at the tree. Wherever on the tree the sticky ball hits, the teacher places an ornament. Once everyone has had a turn, or once one team runs out of ornaments, the game is over and the team with the best-decorated Christmas tree is the winner.

I’ve also got half a dozen variations on the game – if you have a classroom of your own, rather than ten different classrooms like I do, you could use felt trees, a velcro sticky ball, and felt or velcro decorations to make a longer-term display, playing by the same rules. Kids can wander up and move decorations around at will, which might make for chaos or break-time entertainment.

For a review game, teams can take turns throwing balls at the tree while the other team is reading or reciting material. The team with the most ornaments on the tree is the winner, and the losing team sings a Christmas carol as punishment.

For a Christmas party game, one team can sing a Christmas carol while the other team throws sticky balls at the tree. Then the teams switch.

For a ridiculously crazy party game, play hot potato by passing two or three sticky balls while singing along to Christmas carols. Whenever you stop the music, whoever’s holding a ball has to throw it at their team’s tree as fast as possible.

If you don’t want to go to the bother of preparing ornaments, you can draw them on the tree before the game, and have students race to undecorate the tree by erasing every ornament they hit with the sticky ball.

If you have more students than decorations, you can have the students throw left-handed (non-dominant-handed) or roll a dice to determine what silly way to throw (blindfolded, on one leg, over one shoulder, etc.) so as to limit the number of balls that actually hit the tree.

I didn’t do this, but it might be fun to decorate the tree with garlands as well as ornaments – each kid throws twice, and the garland’s two ends go wherever the sticky balls hit.

You can also do this game pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey-style, with kids taking turns being blindfolded, trying to place ornaments on the tree.


Last Card

This game is good for reviewing old material, or for a quick warm-up at the beginning of class.

Distribute a whole deck of cards among the students so that each student has at least two cards. On the board, draw a target (I prefer it dartboard-shaped) with the card values on it. Students take turns throwing a sticky ball at the target. When they hit a card value (king, for example) any student holding one of those cards has to stand up and answer a review question. They then return that card to the teacher. If the student throwing the ball hits a card value that’s already been returned, the student throwing the ball answers the question instead. The game ends when there’s only one card value left – the four students holding that card are the winners.


Monster Mini Golf

Make a cardboard cutout of a monster (or other Halloween-appropriate shape) with the open mouth on the floor. You’ll also need ping-pong balls and a squeaky hammer (or rubber chicken, if you swing that way!).

Divide the class into teams. After each student answers a skill-testing question, let them use the squeaky hammer or rubber chicken to try to hit the ping pong ball into the monster’s mouth. Keep a tally of team points – one point per hit – and the team with the lowest score at the end of class is the winner.


Witch Hat Ring Toss

Stuff a witch’s hat with newspaper to keep it standing tall. You’ll also need some rings – dollar stores and bookstores sell large rings that would work, or check out toy stores as well.

Have each student answer a skill-testing question before throwing three to five rings at the witch’s hat. Award candy or stickers for each successful throw!


Trick AND Treat

This is a fun way to liven up a class Halloween party!

Before class, write down silly actions on slips of paper, and put them in a plastic Halloween Jack-O-Lantern. (If you trust your students to choose appropriate tricks, you can let them make the slips themselves.) Make sure you have lots of candy on hand, too!

Students come to the front of the classroom, say “Trick or Treat!”, and draw a slip of paper from the pumpkin. This gives them instructions on what trick they have to perform to earn their treat! Good tricks might include:

  • Sing a song (with actions).
  • Walk like a chicken, making chicken noises.
  • Pretend to die, violently.
  • Hop on one foot across the classroom.
  • Lead the class in singing “head, shoulders, knees and toes”.
  • Pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time.
  • Make the ugliest face you can!
  • Pretend to be a monkey eating a banana.
  • Walk like a zombie.
  • Try to make the teacher laugh.
  • Stand on one foot while you recite the alphabet.
  • Spin around five times, then walk in a straight line.
  • Go to the class next door and ask to borrow the teacher’s lunch.
  • Say something nice about every classmate.
  • Open the next class’s door and shout boo!