Christmas Break COuntdown
Christmas cheer starts on December first in our classroom! We spread joy throughout the entire month, right up until break! During morning meeting, our helper of each day adds a cotton ball to Santa's beard to add to the excitement! Students color a picture every day upon arrival. They are so pumped to get to use their skinny markers! (Sometimes it's just the little things, isn't it?!) The countdowns are on the lockers, so it's a perfect fine motor challenge to begin each day!
Elf Ideas for the Classroom
To kick off December, a special (and very cold) package arrived in our classroom!
The kiddos were in for a surprise delivery, and some elf on the shelf fun in our classroom!
Our classroom elf is different than the home elves. He moves all throughout the day so he can keep up with us as we move throughout the school. You just never know when he’s going to pop out! He brings us Christmas trinkets and candy!
Here's a collection of elf activities to keep the excitement going! The kids are so thrilled to create elves of their very own!
Calendar Anchor Chart
As soon as I flip the calendar to December, the kids go crazy, saying, “It’s Christmas!” 😄 If you’re looking for a simple anchor chart / poster / bulletin board display to discuss the difference between, days, months, seasons and holidays, this is it! We talk about each component listed on the chart, singing our routined calendar songs along the way. We talk about typical weather within seasons, but how the weather can sometimes be “wacky” within seasons, too. Then we discuss that Christmas is holiday, one day, celebrated in the month of December and the season of Winter. We refer back to this chart often throughout the year, especially on the holidays listed, holidays I find to be the most notable by my young students.
Symbols of christmas anchor chart
Once kiddos understand the concepts as noted on the anchor chart, we talk about the symbols of Christmas.
I combined these charts to create a digital anchor chart to share with you here!
Our coloring, NO prep, and writing packs are the perfect way to discuss and create a hands-on experience for the kiddos. New vocabulary is introduced; we pull these words into our writing lessons as well!
Holidays Around the World
From there, we tie in the concept of Winter holidays around the world! Have you read “Hooray for the Holidays”? In writing, we write about what family traditions are shared in the book.
Then we get our suitcases ready to take off ALL around the world for Christmas!
Christmas In Germany!
To celebrate holidays around the world, the kindergarten team chooses a country to teach each class. I teach the kindergarten class about Christmas in Germany throughout the week! Since my husband and I visit a local German-American Festival every summer, I have the perfect outfit to share with the kiddos. When students visit, we fly on a plane to Glandorf, Germany. I teach them how to count in German, say, "Hello!" and "Merry Christmas!" We also learn about German traditions, including hiding a pickle ornament on the Christmas tree!
Gingerbread houses originated in Germany, so my class paints candies to create our very own classroom gingerbread house! When students visit Germany, they go into the gingerbread house to get their gingerbread men cookies from the oven! I always tell them to be very careful because the cookies could be hot! Students create the gingerbread men to take home with them as "souvenirs" from Germany!
Another activity students complete on their trip to Germany includes making gingerbread houses with magnetic shapes and jingle bells. Not only is this great for creating, I also love this activity for exploring shapes and sorting the jingle bells by size, too!
Here is our ENTIRE collection of resources that keep the kiddos engaged with all of the holiday fun for Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Saint Lucia's Day, and more!
Five Senses of Christmas Anchor Chart
To make a science connection throughout Christmastime, we discuss the 5 Senses with Santa as our leader! We explore taste as we create frosted Christmas trees with sugar cones. Smelling peppermint candy canes is the perfect way to wake up our noses! We listen to jingle bells as we explore volume and the sense of hearing. We use our eyes to see the lights twinkling on our classroom Christmas tree. We use our hands to touch the texture of a gingerbread man cookie as is and again as it dissolves in water. Check our more details of what this looks like in our classroom below!
Grab this Santa FREEBIE! He'd love to join you in your 5 senses of christmas exploration!
As we read our favorite Christmas titles and explore the symbols of Christmas, we discuss the senses and create Santa craft packs!
Gingerbread Man Activities for Kindergarten
Here's how we explore our senses, gingerbread style! Read your favorite gingerbread titles, and ask your students, "What's your favorite cookie?" with our gingerbread craft! We LOVE the following books: The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Girl, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, The Gingerbread Girl Goes Animal Crackers, The Ninjabread Man, Gingerbread Friends, and Gingerbread Baby. These books are perfect for making connections between stories!
During math, students practice number order by making these life-size gingerbread men! We put numbers in order.
The kiddos had a ball running around the school, hunting for that silly gingerbread man! He just kept getting away! In the end, he left us a bag of his cookie friends and engaging foam crafts for some fine motor fun! I love these little cookies, found at Walmart and Dollar General each year. We use our sense of TASTE to describe the flavor of the cookies!
Gingerbread House Alternative for Kindergarten
Instead of making gingerbread house (hello houses falling apart and crying kids), we decorate wafer cones and make a gingerbread forest! This is where we bring in our sense of SMELL! That mixture of frosting, gingerbread, and ice cream cones is just SO festive! Provide a plate, plastic knife, cone, cookie, and fun-size bag of M&M's for each student. Then squeeze green icing onto the top of the cones. Students spread it around and pop M&M's on for lights! Lean the gingerbread man on the cone for a sweet little display!
AND! We love to read "The Gingerbread Girl Goes Animal Crackers" and then create a fun setting for her with ice cream cones, licorice, M&M's, icing and animal crackers!
gingerbread Man Science
Make gingerbread crayons! Practice fine motor skills as students rip paper off of broken crayons. Then melt them into candy molds! So fun!!!!
I love this experiment for vocabulary, too! We discuss solids, liquids, melting, cooling, and hardening. The kids are so fascinated! This is a fun way to bring in our sense of SIGHT, as we describe all of the observations we can SEE.
We read about the gingerbread girl and the animal crackers getting onto the fox's back to cross the river, but why do they have to do that? This experiment helps us to see just why! Our vocabulary words for this lesson include dissolving and crumbling, while incorporating positional words, including over, in, beside, around, and under. The kids build bridges to keep the cookie out of the water! We also use our sense of HEARING to listen to the cookies crack when they are not in water. Then we listen to see if we can hear them dissolve. We let one cookie dissolve in the water to see what happens; the kids love to touch it to see just how it feels, too!
Here's our ENTIRE collection of gingerbread creations! We love this theme so much!
Christmas Books for Kindergarten
We love Christmas books! As we read our favorite holiday titles, we create crafts to go along with them. As we read, we continue to discuss our senses. Here is a list of our favorite Christmas books for kindergarten: A Letter to Santa, Who'll Pull Santa's Sleigh Tonight?, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, and The Night Before Christmas. Have you hung stockings in your classroom yet?! Our students love to hang them up! Then the elf attaches goodies to them on the last day of school before Winter Break!
Kids love these sweet little elf puppets! They have the option of making a puppet or stuffing the bag to make their very own elf buddy!
We LOVE these Christmas Tree Name Crafts, and it's a teacher favorite! This is the perfect follow-up to The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever. An updated version, which includes multiple printing options, is found below!
Christmas crafting just ins't complete without Rudolph! We create theses little guys after reading Who'll Pull Santa's Sleigh Tonight?
We also make reindeer food! Add oats and glitter to little cups for each kiddo. Grab this sweet little poem, and tuck it all in a plastic bag! Pick up a fun reindeer hat while you’re at it!
It’s time to get those letters to Santa! After reading A Letter to Santa, we know just what to do!
You know it’s Christmastime in the classroom when the cotton balls and glitter are in full force. (Are you team glitter? Our kindergarten team is split.) After reading Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, we save Christmas for our neighbors who are in the nursing home! Students add their faces to elf crafts, and we drop them off next door. Nurses hang the elves all around the home to spread Christmas joy!
Christmas Morning Work and Center Activities for Kindergarten
Throughout December, we bust out the markers and change up our morning work with some Christmas coloring pages! These coloring pages, along with our no- prep crafts create the perfect topics for discussing symbols of Christmas in America, too!
Remember those magnetic shapes and jingle bells from our German gingerbread houses? We use them again during centers as kiddos pop little bows on the shapes to make wreaths!
These Oriental Trading ornaments are the perfect fine motor center activity to celebrate Christmas in the classroom! The kiddos are thrilled to have a hand in decorating the room. The bonus is that the ornaments serve as a part of the parent gift, too!
Target's mini erasers get me every time! They can be used for EVERYTHING! Below you see students building numbers, practicing fine motor skills, and playing a dice game!
During math, we read “The Doorbell Rang”, and students wrote the numbers that are mentioned in the book…perfect for number writing review! They take turns ringing the “doorbell” and sharing the “Christmas cookies” among friends each time the bell rang. The friends are represented by their erasers. 😂 Next year, little plastic people will be accompanying us for this story.
For more counting and number writing practice, we play Christmas scoot. I load up the “Christmas cookies” with a variety of 2-9 erasers and place them at each student’s area. Kiddos grab their dry erase boards and markers, and stand behind their chairs. Each theme the bell rings, they scoot to the next spot to count and write until they make it all the way around the room and back to their own seats! This is a fun way to assess number writing! Also, did you notice that I like to use the same materials for different activities?! Why prep more materials when the kids love the manipulatives for multiple lessons?!
The kids love this simple math game for practicing counting!
Our friends, Mrs. V. and her kindergarten class, had an egg nog day when their elf brought them some to taste test! She tied the egg nog in with the og word family when they did a write the room center activity and craft with our product! Thank you for the request of such an engaging lesson, and thank you for sharing your fun with us, Mrs. V.!!
Christmas Eggnog Craft, og Word Family Write the Room Cards, Recording Sheet
This Christmas season, create an eggnog craft as you teach the og word family during your kindergarten phonics lesson! Students write the room with the 5 provided cards. They also write 4 og nonsense words of their own on the word family recording sheet. Differentiated options for the words cards and recording sheets are included to best meet the needs of your students.
Page 1: Cover
Page 2: Product Details
Page 3: color and cut option
Page 4: color, cut, and glue option
Page 5: og picture cards: dog, hog, fog, log
Page 6: og picture card: jog
Page 7, 8: og pictures cards with pictures and word endings
Page 9: write the room sheet with blank lines
Page 10: write the room sheet with og word endings
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-provide engaging, hands-on fine-motor practice
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Needs and Wants Lesson for Kindergarten
As we discuss what the kids want for Christmas, we explore the differences between needs and wants with this anchor chart.
Here's another chart that I've digitalized for you!
Here are two options for hands-on activities to go along with your needs and wants concepts.
After we talk about needs and wants, to make a connection to gifts! A parent gift that makes my heart go flippity-flop is below! The kids were SNOW excited to take them home!
My husband cuts the wood for me. Other supplies needed include the following materials: one Christmas sock, orange glitter foam, ribbon, 3 felt pads, and black paint. I use a pencil to draw the faces on the snowmen, and the kiddos dip their fingers in it to complete the craft.
The Day Before Christmas Break
Here's how we wrap it all up! Our little elf leaves a note, and "he" attaches some goodies to the students' classroom stockings!
On the day before break, I send the reindeer food home for the kiddos to use on Christmas Eve. I also prep a little bag of Christmas goodies for each student, along with a wrapped Christmas book. We play a "Pass the Present" game. The kids sit in a circle. The rule is that everyone must have a book in his/her lap and books may not touch the ground. When the Christmas music starts, they start passing. When it stops, I pull a name to see who gets to open the book s/he is holding. The kids go crazy for this activity! I just love it!
Magic Reindeer Poem and Reindeer Hat Craft
Celebrate the holiday season this December with a reindeer day celebration that is sure to spread Christmas joy! Invite students to wear red, along with the included hats. In our classroom, we make reindeer food with ingredients that are delivered by our classroom elf. Students attach the included reindeer poem to their bags of food to take home to spread on the lawn on Christmas Eve!
Refer to cover as a visual for putting the hat together. Color, cut, and glue all of the pieces to the largest rectangle piece. Then glue the large rectangle to a strip of paper. Wrap the strip of paper around each student’s head for sizing, and staple the ends of the strip together.
Our classroom elf delivers magic oats, green glitter, red sequins, and Ziplock bags. He also delivers the included reindeer poems. We mix up the ingredients in a large bowl. Students take turns scooping the magic mix into their personal Ziplock bags. Then they color and cut out poems. We staple the poems to the bags to take home!
Page 1: Cover
Page 2: Product Details
Page 3: two ears, nose strip, head strip
Page 4: two antlers
Page 5: nose (4)
Page 6: poem (2)
Book companions to go along with this reindeer craft include, but certainly are not limited to, the following:
The Littlest Reindeer
The Wild Christmas Reindeer
Who'll Pull Santa' Sleigh Tonight?
I just love this magical little cart our staff pushes around from room to room to deliver Christmas cheer! This is THE perfect way to wrap up December!
On cocoa day, the kids complete this craft, showing me just how they like their cocoa...with a straw? With marshmallows? With whip cream? YUM!
FREE Cocoa Craft for Subscribers
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Decemeber Craft Activities for Kindergarten
If it's not clear yet, I LOVE Christmas!!! So. If you can dream it, there's a craft for that! Explore our entire December collection of Christmas activities for Science, Writing, and Math!
Gather more lesson ideas for upcoming themes, too!
Let's Stay Connected!
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