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.



Paper Chain Sentence Making

This is a fun way to make your Christmas activities educational!

Before class, prepare strips of paper for making paper chains. On each strip, write a word. Bring several spare strips of paper to replace any that get ripped or damaged. Also, bring glue sticks or staplers to class.

Divide the students into groups of two or three, although you could have bigger groups if you don’t want to prepare so many strips of paper. Each group receives about 20 strips of paper, and has to put the words on them into grammatically correct sentences. When they’ve made a sentence, they glue or staple the strips of paper into rings and string them together in order, to make a paper chain. You can give prizes for the longest chains, the most sentences, the most creative sentences, and the prettiest chains. Use the paper chains to decorate the classroom when you’re done!

Some sentence ideas:

  • The reindeer is on the roof.
  • My stocking is in front of the fireplace.
  • I want a big, expensive present from my parents for Christmas.
  • Every year I eat lots of delicious chocolate Christmas cookies.

Pass the Present

This is a fun Christmas party activity.

Before class, prepare a small present – something from the dollar store – and wrap it in a whole bunch of layers of paper. Between each layer, place one (wrapped) candy. Make sure there are enough layers so that every student gets to unwrap the present.

During class, have the first student answer a question, then give him or her the present and have the student unwrap the first layer. Then the student asks a second student a question and pass the present. Students continue asking questions and unwrapping layers of paper until the last student gets the real prize in the middle!


Christmas Trivia Quiz

How much do your older students actually know about Christmas? Sure, they’ve been through half a dozen Christmas parties and they might even remember all the words to Jingle Bells, but do they have the faintest clue what the holiday is about? Let’s find out, shall we?

To play this game, divide the class into teams of three to five students. You can play pub-trivia style, in which teams write down their answers and check at the end, but that takes longer. For shorter game play, students can write the answers quickly, then take turns calling out their answers after a few seconds to think. The shortest way to play is to have students answer instantly, with only the first team to answer getting points. Many of the questions have more than one correct answer – depending on the level of the class, you can give points for any correct answer, or ask for a certain number of answers (name five, 1 point each, for example.)

My questions, in no particular order:

  • How do people celebrate Christmas? – exchange gifts, decorate the house, decorate a tree, go to church, write cards, open advent calendars, go caroling, …
  • What do people do on Christmas day? – open presents, go to church, eat a big meal, play games
  • What’s a traditional Christmas dinner in America/England?  – Turkey/goose/ham, stuffing, gravy, roasted/mashed potatoes, whatever else is traditional for you.
  • What might people serve for dessert at Christmas dinner?  – Christmas pudding / Christmas cake / pie / cookies?
  • What is the day before Christmas called? – Christmas Eve
  • What is the day after Christmas called (in England/Canada – not so much in the USA)? – Boxing Day
  • If someone invites you to a potluck Christmas party, what are you expected to bring with you? – A dish of food to share
  • The night before Christmas, children usually leave some food and drink for Santa. What food and drink do they leave him?  – Milk and cookies
  • What are some common Christmas decorations? – Christmas trees, stars, snowflakes, wreaths, angels, nativity sets, snowmen, Santa, reindeer, stockings…
  • What does Santa say? (What’s his catch-phrase?) – Ho ho ho!
  • What does Santa drive? – A sleigh, driven by reindeer.
  • How many reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh? – nine, but eight is also possibly correct.
  • What are the names of Santa’s reindeer? – Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner/Donder, Blitzen
  • How does Santa get into your house? – through the chimney
  • What does Santa fill with presents? – stockings (or shoes, in some countries)
  • Where does Santa live? – at the North Pole
  • Who is Santa married to? – Mrs. Claus
  • What are Santa’s helpers called? – Elves
  • Why do we celebrate Christmas? – birth of Jesus, winter solstice, eat good food, spend time with family, spirit of giving
  • Where was Jesus born? – Bethlehem, in a manger – I would accept barn as well
  • Who visited Jesus as a baby? – three wise men, angels
  • What gifts did they bring? – Frankincense, Myrrh, Gold
  • How did they find Jesus? – they followed a star (in the East)
  • Who were Jesus’s parents? – Mary and Joseph

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.