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14 December Activities for Upper Elementary

Welcome to the winter season, teachers! December is a special time of year for students and teachers alike. As we celebrate the holidays, there are…

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Welcome to the winter season, teachers! December is a special time of year for students and teachers alike. As we celebrate the holidays, there are also many opportunities to keep learning alive in fun ways. In this blog post, I’ll share 14 fun activities that you can do with your upper elementary school students during December. With these activities, you will be able to provide an engaging and educational experience for your class while still having some festive holiday fun! Let’s get started!

14 Fun Activities for Upper Elementary Students in December:

  • Christmas Math: Have your students create multiplication and division problems that include their favorite winter holiday items. For example, how many pieces of candy does Santa have in his sack? Or, if each reindeer ate three carrots, how many carrots did all eight of them eat? This is a great way to keep math skills sharp during the December break!
  • December Art: Have your students create holiday-themed art projects. You can have them practice their drawing, sculpting, or coloring skills by creating a winter snowman, a festive wreath, or Santa’s sleigh. You can also use old Christmas cards to make collages or inspire creative writing stories and poems about the holidays.
  • Holiday Card Making: Invite students to create personalized holiday cards for their families, friends or even members of the community (such as elderly care facilities). Gather supplies such as cardstock paper, glitter, markers and stickers to help students express themselves and make their cards stand out. After they finish making their cards, have them brainstorm creative ways to decorate envelopes for mailing them out!
  • Christmas Cookie Decorating: Who doesn’t love a good sugar cookie? Give your class an opportunity to get creative with baking and icing by encouraging each student to decorate a few cookies with festive colors and designs. Whether it’s edible snowflakes or traditional gingerbread men, this activity is sure to be a hit!
  • Holiday Music: Gather your students around the classroom and have them sing some of their favorite holiday songs together! Have each student pick a favorite song or you can assign specific songs to different groups, depending on what works best for your class. After they finish singing, challenge them to write down the lyrics of their chosen song and share it with the class.
  • Gift Wrapping Challenge: Divide your class into small teams and provide each group with a few rolls of wrapping paper and various decorations like ribbons, bows, bells and glitter glue. Give them 10 minutes to wrap an item (you can use a book or other object) as creatively as possible – whoever wraps their item most artfully wins!
  • Reindeer Races: Let students get their energy out with a reindeer race! Have them line up in pairs and hand each pair two empty paper towel rolls. Instruct them to hold the ends of the rollers, one in each hand, over their shoulders and race around the room as fast as they can—just like reindeers flying through the sky!
  • Christmas Scavenger Hunt: Create some clues or riddles related to Christmas-themed items hidden throughout the classroom. Divide your students into teams, give each group a list of clues and let them search for the items. The first team who finds all of them wins! Be sure to have prize ready at the end so everyone feels rewarded for participating.
  • Holiday Book Club: Hold a mini book club with your students where they can read and discuss a few favorite holiday stories. Encourage them to take turns reading aloud or you can assign roles like storyteller, discussion leader and recorder of ideas. After they finish their readings, have the group come up with creative ways to retell the stories in their own words!
  • Christmas Tree Decorating: Give each student a small Christmas tree to decorate with whatever materials you have available—paper cut-outs, construction paper decorations, glitter glue, etc. This activity is great for developing fine motor skills as well as inspiring creativity. Plus, it’s always fun to see what everyone comes up with!
  • Winter Science Experiments: There are tons of fun and educational science experiments you can do during the winter season. From making snowflakes to creating a blizzard in a jar, there are plenty of activities that will teach your students about the science behind what happens when it’s cold outside.
  • Holiday Charades: Charades is always a favorite game among students! Have each student think of something related to the holidays—such as singing Christmas carols or decorating a tree—and have them act it out without speaking. The rest of the class has to guess what they’re doing or saying.
  • Snowman Building Contest: Take your students outside for some fresh air and hold a friendly snowman building competition! Divide them into teams and give each team 20 minutes to build the best snowman they can. At the end of the time, have everyone vote on which snowman they think is the most creative and unique.
  • Writing Activity: Give your students a chance to reflect on the spirit of the season by having them write a short story, poem or essay about what Christmas means to them. Let each student pick his/her own theme and give them time to explore their ideas in writing. After they’re done, have them share their work with the class so everyone can hear the different perspectives.

No matter what activity you choose, the holidays are a great time to foster creativity and have some fun in the classroom! With these 14 ideas, you’re sure to give your students an enriching experience during December. Happy Holidays!

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