It’s Christmas time, and that means Christmas-themed centers! Christmas is all students can talk about. Use their excitement about Christmas and make Christmas-themed activities to keep them engaged and learning all month long. I made a few FREEBIES for you, too (Candy Cane Patterns and Christmas Wish List)!
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Christmas Sensory Activities
Christmas Play Dough Tray! Christmas means Christmas cookies! The Christmas cookie dough tray is a perfect addition to your preschool classroom. Add big and small cookie cutters, scissors, and rolling pins. If you have a ton of mini erasers like me, add them to the tray. Students can pretend the mini erasers are sprinkles. Playdough trays are fabulous for strengthening those little fine motor muscles and their upper arms and shoulders.
Tree Cutting Collage Craft! Students can get creative while decorating a tree with fun Christmas paper! Little learners will be strengthening their fine motor muscles and cutting skills while they make a beautiful Christmas collage. Cut up some holiday or green scrapbook paper into half-inch strips and let students cut like crazy!
Christmas Wish List! Grab some toy magazines and old book orders if you have some. Target and Walmart usually have stacks right when you walk in. Students can cut out things they want or want to buy for their families. Your kids will be excited to cut and strengthen their scissors skills. If a student is struggling, draw a circle around the object. They can cut on the line you drew for them.
>>Grab the FREEBIE by entering your email in the box at the bottom of this blog post!<<
Bow Art! Paint with bows! I took the sticker on the back of the bow and folded it together so the students had something to grasp. By grabbing the sticker with their fingers, they will be strengthening their pincer grasp too! It’s a beautiful open-ended art project. Stick a bow to their paintings once it is dry.
Wrapping Paper Cutting Sensory Tub! Cut up some holiday wrapping paper and ribbon and put it in the sensory tub with scissors. Students can cut up the wrapping paper and ribbon into tiny pieces! All those tiny pieces will end up in the sensory tub making cleanup a breeze.
Christmas Bracelets! Straw bracelets (or ornaments) are a different way to practice lacing. Lacing straws on pipe cleaners will strengthen their hand-eye coordination. They also have something they can take home and wear or put on their tree. I found these straws in the party section at Walmart.
Christmas Slime! Christmas SLIME! Let kids get messy (and glittery); it is totally worth it. Plus, it is a great sensory experience. Students can pull, squeeze, press, poke, and sculpt the slime. Science, sensory, and fine motor all-in-one activity.
To make the slime, just mix equal parts liquid starch and white glue (and glitter). If it’s sticking to your fingers, add a bit more liquid starch. If you see excess liquid starch that won’t mix in, just add a bit more glue. Store the slime in a plastic container. I turned it green with liquid watercolor and grabbed this shaped glitter from the Target dollar spot.
Christmas Sensory! Dye some chickpeas with red and green acrylic paint to make this festive Christmas sensory bin. Click here to learn how to dye chickpeas with acrylic paint. I added in some mini erasers, scoops, silicone cupcake liners, small bells, and bows for students.
Holiday Sensory! Grab some fresh cranberries and add them to some water for a fun holiday water sensory option. You can add in fresh or fake pine needles too. I added in funnels, cups, and droppers so students can practice liquid measurement and capacity.
Christmas Literacy Activities
Christmas Writing Tray! Little learners learn by doing. Writing trays are the perfect activity to help students learn to write letters. Put sprinkles in a tray. Students can practice writing letters on the tray using the candy cane or the pom poms. Gently shake the tray to erase. The Christmas light letters are in my Christmas Center pack.
Christmas Light Sight Words! You can’t have Christmas without Christmas lights! Building sight words with Christmas lights will brighten their day. Students build the sight word with Christmas light letters, clip the letters to the ribbon, and write the word on the recording page.
Elf Letter Dot It! Elf Letter Dot It (with Christmas mini erasers I found in the Target dollar spot) is a game students can play to practice identifying letters. Students pick a magnet letter or card, identify the letter, and cover it on their board.
Wreath Letter Match! Create a fun letter-matching game with some butcher paper! I drew some wreaths and write letters inside. Then students drew a magnet letter out of a bin and laid them on their match.
Christmas Writing Table! A Christmas theme means a Christmas-themed writing desk/table. It is filled with Christmas paper, stickers, vocabulary word cards, envelopes, and various writing tools. You can grab the Family word cards HERE for FREE.
Letters to Santa! Use your students’ excitement about Santa to get them writing letters! I printed fun paper in bright colors and set out lots of writing utensils. I also like to add stickers, envelopes, fake stamps, and washi tape to get their creativity flowing.
Christmas Tree Word Families! Trim the tree! Students can decorate the word family trees with ornaments that rhyme.
Christmas Book List! The bookshelf is filled with Christmas books for students to read. There are so many classroom favorites on this list! Check out my Christmas book list in THIS post.
Candy Cane Patterns FREEBIE! Students can paint or color an AB or ABC pattern on their candy canes. Plus, the candy canes are perfect for hanging up around the classroom too.
>Grab the FREEBIE by entering your email in the box at the bottom of this blog post!<<
Present Match & Measure! Measuring presents using ornament rulers is an activity my students always LOVE. Students measure how tall or long each present is and record the measurement on the recording page. Then they have to find a gift box the same size as the present! Students are measuring using non-standard measurement, comparing, counting, and using a ton of math vocabulary!
Christmas Math Activities
Shape Cookies Match! Practice shape identification with preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten students with this fun activity. Place the mat on a cookie sheet and give students a turner to pick the matching shape card. Students can place a pom pom on the matching shape cookie.
Christmas Tree Patterns! Make this simple pattern activity with some butcher paper, markers, paint daubers, and pom poms. I drew some trees and used a paint dauber to make a pattern on the side of the tree. Then students completed the pattern with pom poms. Add in tweezers for even more fine motor!
Train Count! Students can match the ten frames with the train number. Then I set out mini erasers and linking chains for the students to count and match to the number trains too.
Christmas Tree Count or Add! Decorating Christmas trees is a must during the holidays! Bring it to the classroom by making it a math activity! Students roll a number cube and count out the corresponding number of ornaments (aka pom poms). Too easy for your students? NO worries! Use two number cubes, add, and count out the total!
Jingle Bell STEM! Use magnet tiles and jingle bells for a Christmas STEM activity. You can use any small Christmas stuffed animals or beanie babies. You could also use plush ornaments with the loop cut off. Students can create a house for their stuffed animals.
Christmas Blocks Center! Take the Christmas theme into the blocks center using bells, bows, cotton balls, pom poms, mini erasers, poinsettias, candy canes, and Winter STEM I Can Build Cards. Challenge your students to build something new using building supplies and Christmas props! I found a soft Santa, elves, and gingerbread ornaments at Target. I just cut off the string so students can use them as building props.
Christmas Social Activities & Dramatic Play Area
Helping and Giving Anchor Chart! Teach your students that Christmas is a time to help and give to others! It is so important for students to learn how they can help others and develop empathy for others. Create a Helping anchor chart so students can visually see all the ways they can help at school, help at home, help others, and help our world. This activity is in my Helping and Giving pack.
Helping Jar! Make a helping jar in your classroom! Every time a student helps at school, others or the world put a pom pom in the bucket and share how they helped with the class. Once the bucket is full, have a helping celebration! Students can vote on what celebration they want to have from the chart. Trust me; when students see others helping, they will help to create a stronger classroom community!
Christmas Bakery! Create a bakery dramatic play area in your classroom. Check out my post here to see how I set it all up. I added Christmas cookie cutters, mini erasers, and other small manipulatives to give it a more festive vibe. Grab the bakery dramatic play printables here.
Christmas Science Activities
Spend the holidays with your family and grab these Christmas packs from my store! I have done everything for you. Just print, prep, and add to your lesson plans. Just click on the image you would like to check out!
Need more ideas for your classroom? Click on the photo to check out these posts!
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Need to make parent Christmas gifts? Check out my all-time favorite parent gift using frames from the Dollar Tree. Click the image for more details.