Holiday Activities, Resources, and Picture Books

The holidays are such a fun time of year in the classroom, but we all know it can be pretty hectic. Especially as you try to choose the perfect activities for your kiddos! Let me save you a few hours of Pinterest-scrolling with some of my favorite holiday resources, plus some awesome suggestions from our community.

These tried-and-true suggestions are sure to stir up holiday cheer for you and your students!

Holiday Activities From Markers and Minions

Holiday Crossword Puzzle and Task Cards

More than your basic crossword puzzle, this activity is designed for interaction. Students work with task cards to solve riddles and complete the holiday puzzle. Note: most of the words are Christmas themed.

Kindness Stocking Freebie

Spread kindness and holiday cheer with this fun, free, and simple holiday activity. Students will decorate a stocking and glue it to a paper bag. After that, they will write little notes of encouragement and kindness to place in their classmates’ bags. I love seeing their faces light up as they read their notes!

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Holiday Brown Sugar Scrubs

Every parent loves a homemade gift from their child! I know I do 🙂 I have a simple brown sugar scrub recipe that works great as a holiday gift activity. The process is easy and fun, and the end result is sure to be a hit. You can even incorporate a little bit of math if you have the students do the measuring of the ingredients. Or not! Just have some fun with it! Head here for step-by-step instructions: Brown Sugar Scrubs – a Gift for Parents.

Chocolate Making!

This is super fun. Every year, I have a Polar Express pajama party, and while the kids cozy up watching the movie, I melt Hershey’s chocolate bars in my Crock Pot. When it’s all melted, I call students back to my table in groups of 3-4 to make chocolate. Here’s how to do it! Have students bring in a cookie cutter (or buy this pack of 101 cookie cutters for cheap on Amazon), and place on parchment paper sheets. Pour melted chocolate into their cookie cutter. Then, have the kids decorate their chocolate with a variety of sprinkles. Let it cool and harden for a few hours – or even overnight – and then have the kids take it home. I don’t even mess around with trying to get the chocolate out of the cookie cutter… I just give them their parchment paper with the cookie cutter and chocolate on top and send them on their merry way!

Holiday Craft Ideas by J'Adore Kinder

Laura at J’adore Kinder shared these adorable, hands-on holiday activities! I love how she repurposes materials for her projects, which keeps the cost down. Here are a few of my favorites that she has shared!

Cork Board Gingerbread Man

All you need for this craft is a roll of thin cork board (you can find this at Hobby Lobby, or if you’re lucky, the dollar store!), glue, and bits and pieces of leftover arts and crafts items. She used felt scraps, beads, googly eyes, jewels, foam snowflakes, and other items from old projects. Check out her Instagram post here.

Christmas Tree Pegboard

Give your classroom pegboard a holiday makeover with a little green painter’s tape and decorations. Gather up all the tinsel, pompoms, golf tees, and colorful rubber bands you can find, and let the kids get creative! Check out the full Instagram post here.

Winter Wonderland Neighborhood Scene

This is a fun activity that encourages kids to get creative with their small world play items. Magnatiles and battery-operated tea lights become festive cottages. Felt sheets become the roads and snow. Strands of beads become festive decor, and small play items like trees, lampposts, animals, and other figurines make the scene come alive. Kids will love making up imaginary stories about the people who live in this winter wonderland! See Laura’s post about this activity here.

Picture Books from Ramona Recommends

There’s nothing better than holiday picture books! Courtney from Ramona Recommends has an amazingly comprehensive list of the best books to share with your students this time of year. Note: Most of the titles are Christmas-centered.

Here are a few of my top picks: 

Memoirs of an Elf – Follow Spark’s journey with Santa as he travels the globe, delivering presents to children everywhere. This book is awesome for teaching voice and character development. 

A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas – This is a fun take on the classic The Night Before Christmas. Read both and ask students to compare and contrast the two versions! 

A World of Cookies for Santa – You could easily fit this picture book into a social studies lesson about holiday traditions around the world. Each page gives us a glimpse into other countries and their celebrations. Students could even do additional research and create a presentation to the class. 

Be sure to grab Courtney’s full list: Picture books classrooms need for Christmas.

Also, click here to read the Age of Montessori’s blog post about Multicultural Picture Books. The titles focus on Eid, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and other holiday celebrations from various cultures.

What holiday activities will you be planning for your students? If you have any favorites, or if you try one of these ideas, let me know in the comments or in the Markers and Minions Teacher Community group!

Happy Holidays! Winter break is almost here – you got this! 💪

Hi! I’m Toluca from Markers and Minions, where I help teachers feel more effective and confident with high-quality resources and an awesome teacher community!

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