Ahh Christmas spirit is well and truly in the air. Yes, it’s only early December, but to get ahead of the game, why not try planning some special Christmas activities and treats for your class? After all, you’ve all been working your little elf socks off this term…you deserve it!
- Decorate your class
Get creative! Make your classroom a Christmassy haven for you and your class to enjoy as we count down until the big day. Encourage your children to fully immerse themselves and get their creative hats on, hand the (reindeer) reigns over to them and get them to design their own Christmas classrooms.
Get everyone involved, if you teach younger kids, get them to draw a Christmas scene and showcase them on the wall. You can get them to make their own Paper snowflakes or decorated candy canes. Want to think even more outside the box? Maybe get them to make lists of things they haven been grateful for this year and you can have a ‘positive wall’ where you stick up all their work. If you teach older children, why not have them bring in Santa hats and decorate them in their own preferred way. If you’re allowed to then why not go all out and get a class Christmas tree! After all, what’s Christmas without a Christmas tree…?
2. Host a Secret Santa
Why not get everyone involved in a game of Secret Santa? Of course, it is important to be mindful of the financial situations of each child so maybe set a price limit of £2 or get them to make a present rather than buy something. Games like this can help to make everyone feel included and excited about Christmas, it can also encourage class integration and get everyone feeling like they are part of something special. It can also mix up the cliques or groups that often form in classes, getting your pupils to think about others who they may not know too well will help them to expand their social circles and maybe make some new friends as well as make an effort to be kind to other students.
3. Make your own Christmas cards
The more creative, the better. Get your class to make their own Christmas cards, make it into a fun completion with Christmas prizes for the funniest card, the most artistic, the most realistic, the cutest or the one with most glitter on it! You can put the cards up on the wall of your classroom or the children can take them home for their families. Nothing says Christmas like handmade Christmas cards. If you want to go a bit abstract, why not bring cookies in for everyone to decorate or get them to make their own Christmas decorations for the class tree or for their homes.
4. Create a Christmas quiz
This one is more for the last day. You know, the day where the students are just too excitable to sit still or focus so they usually get a treat of a Christmas film and an early leave. well, instead of watching the grinch stole Christmas again this year, why not involve them all in a Christmas quiz?
It can be related to anything of your choosing; Christmas music, Christmas films, traditions, religions or just the festive holiday in general. Get your class thinking and using their brains! Chances are they’ll enjoy themselves and learn more than if they watched that film they’ve all already seen five times.
5. Teach the meaning of Christmas
Teach about festive traditions in England and how they differ around the world in the weeks leading up to Christmas. If you have time and want to incorporate it into a certain lessons like RE, set homework or study time for your pupils to research different etiquette and themes in each country or religion, get them to compare the similarities or differences. If you’re teaching art then get them to portray this through paintings or drawings, English, get them to look at short Christmas stories and engage them in discussions about what they think the book says about the meaning of Christmas.
Teaching them about the real meaning of kindness and giving at Christmas will really emphasise that there is more to the holiday than getting presents and eating turkey.
6. Get them thinking of others
Some schools hold campaigns where the children bring in canned food, toys, toiletries and other bits and bobs for the homeless or people in need. Try setting one up at your own school, ask the children who wish to contribute to bring in scarves or gloves for the homeless or create a class hamper to go to a worthwhile homeless charity.
There is still the shoebox appeal, where you can fill a shoebox for children who are in need or less fortunate, but lots of charities hold these types of appeals, so if your school isn’t linked to one, then why not set one up yourself. It will really get your class feeling humble and get them to think about other people at this fun, festive time of year.
So here’s to what has been a fantastic 2019, Merry Christmas and here’s hoping 2020 will be even better!