Six fun ways to incorporate Christmas into your teaching this December

As the month of December approaches, the spirit of the holidays will probably start to make an influence on your students. Perhaps they will become livelier, more talkative, and more eager to get creative.

That's where teachers creativity comes into the picture, to help bring out the potential that this new energy carries. Preparing and adapting fun and engaging Christmas-related activities is the crucial part of creating a great holiday atmosphere in your classroom.

If you are a new teacher, before making any plans, remember to consult your older colleagues about your school's policies and rules about celebrating holidays that are rooted in religious traditions. Ask them what their strategy to teach about holidays is. Many schools have opted for strictly secular curriculum, which doesn't allow religious imagery or anything related to worship to be included in holiday activities and lesson plans.

Here are some creative and inclusive activities you can try in your class.

Making pine cone Christmas trees

Making miniature Christmas trees out of pine cones is so rewarding because these miniature fakes can look very attractive. Also, it is so easy. You just have to find the cones (black pine cones look the best) and paint them green. Light touches of white can be added to create a snow effect. In the end, add decorations made out of play-doh, beads, or other materials.

Besides providing students with a rewarding craft activity, these Christmas tree miniatures may also be a good solution for classrooms which don't practice having a big Christmas tree.

Christmas cards

Christmas cards are one of the holiday craft classics, and children just love making them. Options about what to put on a card are endless. For a touch of personalization, make hand-printed cards - always a favorite with adults to whom the card is intended to since child’s handprints make such precious memories. And even more conveniently, a green print of a hand can serve as a Christmas tree canopy!

STEM Christmas activities

Incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math assignments and challenges into Christmas crafts are becoming quite popular. It may not be obvious at first, but objects that are the result of STEM activities can be really attractive and Christmas-y. For example, look at these sparkly, glittery math and chemistry inspired shapes and objects.

Learning about other Christmas season holidays

Depending on their home and school environment, younger students may not even be aware of the existence of other holidays that come around at the same time as Christmas, such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Also, maybe they don’t know that Christmas is celebrated in various ways all around the world. Try to find a light and fun way to talk about Christmas-time diversity. Including a lot of visual resources will help you achieve the goal.

If you are looking for easier options for celebrating Christmas Around The World then check out my Christmas Around The World Booklet, Christmas Around The World Scavenger Hunt, or Christmas Around The World Research Project. 

Create a unique Christmas school newspaper

You can create a special holiday edition of a school magazine – even if there is no official magazine in your school, your class can have its own this holiday season. Depending on what skills you’d like to boost, you can have them create it with the help of the computer and then print it out, or it can be hand-written and hand-painted. Things that can be included inside are illustrations, favorite holiday songs, and interviews with students on how they celebrate Christmas and other holidays. This is another great way to celebrate cultural diversity. 

Remember kindness 

Children will be very focused on presents around Christmas time. Sometimes they get so obsessed that they can’t seem to think about anything else. To curb this a bit, together you can list ten kind things that we can do for other people.

The Christmas special episode of the Bear in the Big Blue House show could be a good addition – in this episode, the tenants of the Big Blue House provide a home for a homeless dog, and all while studying various holiday customs and of course mindfully exchanging gifts.

Hopefully, you will manage to remind your students that, regardless of variations in customs and material things involved, the essence of all holidays is to bring more love and kindness into our world.

Have a lovely Christmas season!

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