Top 5 Holiday Activities for the Classroom

With the holidays upon us, teachers are often searching for activities to do with the class that both provide learning about holiday traditions and reinforce skills in math and ELA.

ThinkFives asked a number of teachers to share their favorite classroom activities and here is what they have recommended.

Classroom Holiday Activity Lists

Classroom Holiday Activity Lists

Teachers can create holiday lists to give students ideas that make this holiday season a memorable one. Each day on the list can include a craft or activity for students to do in the classroom, with friends, or at home. You can even challenge students to complete the most items on the list for a prize.

Here are some examples

  • Start an advent calendar to get things going and build anticipation for the kids.
  • Listen to Christmas music to get in the holiday spirit!
  • Watch Christmas movies.
  • Introduce Elf on the Shelf to check if kids are naughty or nice.
  • Bake cookies (or yummy holiday treats).
  • Decorate your Christmas tree.
  • Make DIY ornaments and keepsakes like this fingerprint Christmas tree
  • Write a letter to Santa
  • Send Christmas cards.
  • Use popcorn or holiday-themed paper to make a garland.

Get a free printable of these Christmas traditions here.

Color by Code Activity

This activity is very well-liked among students and serves as a fun challenge at all grade levels. Teachers can create their own color code activities or use those created by other teachers.  These word and number activities help students with color recognition and sight words, but they also provide art therapy for students who enjoy individual, creative assignments.

Color by Code Activity

Students can color by sight words, vocabulary words, color words, and numbers.  

See examples here: A Teachable Teacher

Holiday Vocabulary Lesson

December is the perfect time to teach your students some keywords associated with the holidays. This link has a list of over 100 words for you to pick and choose the ones suitable for your students. Design a word wall they can reference daily, make your own word search, or ask students to use 5 words and write a short poem or story.

Create your own holiday word list or access one here

Create Holiday Cards

Time for a little guessing game. With this activity, your students can play in teams and work on their descriptive and association skills. Split your classroom into two teams and write your own cards with holiday-themed characters, concepts, foods, and decorations for students to act out or provide verbal clues for. 

Check out an activity suggestion here.

For younger students, you could try creating Handprint Cards.  These cute cards are great gifts for students to give to their family and friends as holiday gifts. Students can trace their hands, decorate the cutout or even add it to larger drawings.  These cards are so simple to put together and will get your learners excited to decorate and write inside once completed.

Holiday Food Characters

 Holiday Food Characters

Students love watching holiday movies and students also love eating. How about combining both? Almost any Christmas character can be created using simple fruits and vegetables. Students have fun creating them and of course, the big reward is they have a class party for lunch and eat the characters!

Here are a few suggestions

 Strawberry Grinches

Throw How the Grinch Stole Christmas on for a pre-winter break movie day, and hand out these fun (and healthy) Grinches. made from fruit and marshmallows.

You will need:

  • strawberries
  • grapes
  • white marshmallows
  • short bamboo skewers

Banana Santas

These Santas are similar to the grinches above, with a few small twists. They’re still super easy and a fun idea for Christmas food that kids will love.

You will need:

  • bananas (cut in half)
  • strawberries
  • marshmallows
  • chocolate chips (white and dark)
  • Raisins

Do you have a favorite holiday activity to share?

Learn More

For more good Holiday resources, check out these sites


  1. I’ve got a couple “escape rooms” for next week that reinforce skills we’ve already worked on. I think the kids will be so excited and not even realize they are learning!

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