Christmas Games

Elf On The Shelf Classroom Ideas

As the holiday season approaches, teachers are looking for creative ways to incorporate festive cheer into their teaching environments. One popular and playful method is through the introduction of the Elf on the Shelf tradition into the classroom setting. This tradition not only excites students but also provides a unique opportunity to encourage positive behavior, foster imagination, and create a community atmosphere.

The Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition where a special scout is sent from the North Pole to watch over children during the day and report back to Santa each night. Upon its return, the elf moves to a new location in the house or classroom, ready to commence its watchful duties once again. This premise has proven to be a wonderful tool for teachers who wish to capture their students’ attention and maintain holiday-themed engagement throughout December.

Here are some enchanting Elf on the Shelf ideas that teachers can use:

1. Storytime with Elf – Teachers can start by introducing the elf with a reading of “The Elf on the Shelf” book. Following this, they can set up a cozy reading corner where the elf ‘reads’ different books each day, which could tie into daily lessons or storytime sessions.

2. Writing Prompts – The elf can give daily writing prompts. Perhaps it left a letter explaining its overnight adventures or mischiefs, sparking students’ imaginations and providing material for creative writing exercises.

3. Good Deeds Reporter – Encourage acts of kindness by having the elf notice and report good deeds done by students. Acknowledge these behaviors in class as examples of embodying the holiday spirit.

4. Subject-Specific Challenges – Place the elf near subject-related stations. For example, near math centers, the elf could be holding a new math challenge or puzzle each day for students to solve.

5. Arts and Crafts Guide – Have art sessions where students create tiny accessories or craft items for their classroom elf. This encourages creativity and fine motor skills development while also making fun memories.

6. Elf Reports – Use the elf as a fun way for students to practice writing newspaper articles or announcements detailing its activities and hideouts in “elf reports.”

7. Hide and Seek – Each morning, children can look forward to finding where their classroom’s elf has relocated overnight, providing an exciting reason for them to come to school each day.

8. Classroom Helper Assignments – Switch up daily helper roles based on where the elf is found each morning—perhaps it suggests who will water plants or hand out papers that day.

9. Educational Games – Create an educational scavenger hunt led by clues from the elf, guiding students through different learning stations or points of interest related to curriculum topics.

10. Exit Tickets – Have students write small notes or ‘exit tickets’ about what they learned that day and leave them under the elf’s watchful eye for Santa’s review.

Incorporating Elf on the Shelf in classroom activities can significantly boost motivation levels among students during one of the most distracting times of year for maintaining focus and educational momentum. With these ideas—and likely many more that inventive educators will come up with—the possibilities for learning-filled holiday fun are endless!

Christmas Logic Puzzles For Kids (Magical Mini-Mysteries!)

Christmas is a time for joy, family gatherings, and festivities. It’s also a perfect opportunity for young minds to engage in activities that challenge their intellect while immersing them in the holiday spirit. Christmas logic puzzles for kids are an excellent way to combine fun with education, allowing children to develop their problem-solving skills through magical mini-mysteries themed around this merry season.

Introducing the concept of Christmas logic puzzles can start with simple tasks such as sequencing events leading up to the night before Christmas or deciphering coded letters to Santa. As children master these, more complex puzzles involving elves, reindeer, and the timely delivery of presents can be introduced.

One example of a Christmas logic puzzle is the ‘Santa’s Sleigh Sort-Out,’ where children use clues to figure out which gifts go into which sleighs based on the children’s names, locations, and wish lists. Another mini-mystery could be ‘The Case of the Missing Cookies,’ in which kids analyze statements from different family members to deduce who snuck into the kitchen to taste the Christmas cookies.

Not only do these puzzles entertain, but they also encourage critical thinking and sharpen cognitive abilities. Kids learn to recognize patterns, deduce information from given clues, and apply logical reasoning to arrive at conclusions. Plus, when these puzzles are solved in a group, they promote teamwork and social interaction.

In essence, Christmas logic puzzles for kids provide a cornucopia of benefits wrapped in a festive theme that excites young detectives during the holiday season. Each magical mini-mystery lays down a trail of breadcrumbs leading not just to the solution of a puzzle but also towards enhanced learning and Christmas cheer.

Christmas Hundreds Chart Mystery Pictures


The holiday season is just around the corner, and what better way to engage students than with a fun and festive activity like the Christmas Hundreds Chart Mystery Pictures? This educational resource from Teach Starter is designed to reinforce number recognition and help students develop their math skills in an exciting way. In this article, we will explore the concept behind these mystery pictures and how they can be used in the classroom to promote learning during the holiday season.

Exploring the site:

When you visit, you will find an array of captivating mystery pictures related to Christmas themes. These pictures are designed in a way that reveals an image when the corresponding numbers on the hundreds chart are colored or shaded correctly. The process of uncovering the image can be a real thrill for students, as they get to see the hidden picture gradually appear.

How to use the Mystery Pictures:

Using the Christmas Hundreds Chart Mystery Pictures is a breeze. Teachers can print out the mystery picture worksheets and distribute them among the students. Each worksheet consists of a hundreds chart with numbers ranging from 1 to 100, along with a key that reveals which numbers should be colored or shaded to reveal the hidden image.

Integration with Mathematics:

The Christmas Hundreds Chart Mystery Pictures serve as an excellent tool to reinforce mathematical skills. By engaging in coloring and number recognition, students practice key mathematical concepts while having fun. Whether it’s counting, skip counting, or identifying patterns, these mystery pictures make mathematical learning exciting and relevant.

Benefits for Students:

The benefits of incorporating the Christmas Hundreds Chart Mystery Pictures into the classroom are abundant. Apart from reinforcing number recognition and mathematical skills, these activities also promote problem-solving, attention to detail, and critical thinking. Students develop their ability to follow instructions accurately, enhancing their focus and concentration in the process.


Incorporating the Christmas Hundreds Chart Mystery Pictures into your teaching resources can add a touch of excitement and holiday spirit to the classroom. Not only will students have fun uncovering the hidden pictures, but they will also strengthen their mathematical abilities in the process. Give your students the gift of engaging and meaningful learning this Christmas season with the Teach Starter’s Christmas Hundreds Chart Mystery Pictures.

7 Hilarious Christmas Games for the End of the Year

If you’re looking to spice up your holiday party this year, consider adding these 7 hilarious Christmas games to the agenda. Games are a fantastic way to break the ice and create lasting memories with friends and family. Here’s a list that will keep everyone laughing all the way into the New Year.

1. Ugly Sweater Contest:

Kickstart the festivities with an ugly sweater contest. The rules are simple: everyone shows up in the most atrocious, gaudy Christmas sweater they can find. Get creative with lights, pom-poms, and outrageous patterns. Award prizes for the ugliest, funniest, and most original sweaters.

2. Santa’s Beard Relay Race:

Divide your guests into teams and have them race to apply a “beard” to one team member using cotton balls and vaseline. The first team to create a full, snowy beard wins. This gets even funnier if you set a time limit and watch the frantic beard-making ensue.

3. Candy Cane Hook:

Players stand at a designated line and must hook as many candy canes as they can onto a cord or rod within a time limit using only another candy cane held in their mouth. It’s harder than it sounds and provides lots of laughs, especially with candy canes flying every which way.

4. Gift Wrap Twins:

Partner up players who must wrap a gift together using only one hand each. This game requires cooperation and often results in hilariously wrapped packages that barely resemble gift parcels.

5. Christmas Carol Charades:

Get everyone guessing with this silent rendition of famous Christmas carols by acting them out charades-style. When “Silent Night” is taken quite literally or when someone is flapping their arms trying to impersonate “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” giggles are guaranteed.

6. Cookie Face:

Players place a holiday-themed cookie on their forehead at the start whistle and must get it into their mouth without using their hands. The catch? They can only use facial muscles to move it down their face!

7. Snowball Toss:

Create a makeshift snowball fight indoors using soft pom-poms or white paper balls. Designate areas worth different points—or if you’re feeling mischievous, put target signs on people’s backs! The person or team with the most points after a barrage of ‘snowballs’ wins.

Remember that what truly matters is the spirit of joy and camaraderie these games can bring to your holiday gathering. So deck the halls with boughs of holly—and laughter—this Christmas season!

8 Christmas Food Ideas for the School Holidays

The school holidays are a time for fun, festivities, and food! Christmas especially is a season that’s often associated with delicious and comforting meals shared with friends and family. If you’re looking to bring some holiday cheer to your table during the school break, here are eight Christmas food ideas that are sure to be a hit with both kids and adults.

1. Gingerbread Pancakes: Start the day off with a festive breakfast by adding gingerbread spices to your pancake batter. Serve with warm maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar for a meal that tastes like a Yuletide treat.

2. Holiday Shaped Sandwiches: Use holiday-themed cookie cutters to turn ordinary sandwiches into fun Christmas shapes. Fill with favorites like turkey and cheese or cranberry chicken salad for a delightful lunchtime surprise.

3. Christmas Tree Pizzas: Get creative with pizza dough, cutting it into tree shapes before baking. Let kids decorate their own tree with various toppings as ornaments and strips of bell pepper or string cheese as tinsel.

4. Cheese Reindeer: Turn cheese wedges or string cheese into cute reindeers by using pretzels for antlers, olives for eyes, and red peppers for Rudolph’s nose. These are perfect as playful appetizers or classroom snacks.

5. Snowman Soup (Hot Chocolate): Warm-up from winter weather by serving cups of hot chocolate garnished to look like snowmen. Marshmallows can serve as the heads while chocolate chips and orange sprinkles make up the facial features.

6. Stuffed Turkey Breast: Opt for a stuffed turkey breast instead of cooking a whole bird—it’s smaller, easier, and ideal for intimate family dinners. Fill it with sage stuffing or cranberries and walnuts for a rich holiday flavor.

7. Holiday Cookie Workshop: Turn dessert into an activity by baking an assortment of plain sugar cookies in advance, then provide icing, sprinkles, and candies so everyone can decorate their own festive treats.

8.Cranberry Pear Cobbler: Mix up the traditional Christmas dessert choices with a cranberry pear cobbler—a tart yet sweet dish that’s both comforting and festive when topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

These holiday food ideas are not just delicious but also offer an opportunity to create joyful memories during the school holidays—because sometimes the best gifts can’t be found under the tree but are made in the kitchen surrounded by loved ones.

Christmas Code Crackers | Whole Class Game

As the festive season approaches, teachers worldwide are on the lookout for engaging activities to keep their students entertained and educated in the lead-up to the holiday break. One such activity that marries the spirit of Christmas with critical thinking and teamwork is “Christmas Code Crackers,” a whole class game that has been growing in popularity in recent years.

 Introduction to Christmas Code Crackers

Christmas Code Crackers is a puzzle-solving game designed for a classroom setting. It leverages the excitement of the holiday season while promoting logical thinking, problem-solving skills, and cooperation among students. The premise is straightforward: Students must work together to solve a series of Christmas-themed codes and ciphers to unlock a mystery or retrieve a ‘hidden treasure.’

 Setting Up The Game

To set up the game, the teacher creates a series of puzzles or codes that the students must decipher. These can range from simple Caesar ciphers (where each letter in the alphabet is shifted a certain number of steps) to more complex riddles or mathematical puzzles. Teachers often incorporate curriculum-relevant content into these challenges to reinforce learning outcomes in a fun context.

The game’s complexity can be adapted according to the students’ age and abilities. For younger classes, this might involve picture-based codes or basic letter substitutions, while older students could tackle intricate multi-step problems that require a concerted team effort to solve.

Each code cracked brings the class closer to solving the overarching ‘mystery,’ which could be anything from finding out where Santa hid presents in the classroom to unlocking a box containing small gifts or ‘treasures.’

 Benefits of Playing Christmas Code Crackers

The benefits of incorporating games like Christmas Code Crackers into the classroom are multifaceted:

 Educational Integration: The game can include components from different subjects like math, language arts, history, or science.

Critical Thinking: To decode each challenge, students must use logic and deduction.

Teamwork: Since it’s designed for groups, students learn to communicate effectively and listen to others’ ideas.

Engagement: The festive theme captures students’ attention and harnesses it for educational benefit.

Celebration: It enables teachers to celebrate Christmas within an educational framework.

Example: A Simple Code Cracking Puzzle

Imagine this scenario: Each student team receives an envelope labeled “Santa’s Secret List.” Inside is a coded message that reads like this:


Vrphwklqj vshfldo lv klgghq lq wkh errn vkhoi.


With some guidance from their teacher on Caesar ciphers, they recognize that each letter has been shifted three spaces down in the alphabet (so ‘V’ stands for ‘S’, ‘U’ for ‘R’, etc.). Decrypting it reveals:


Something special is hidden in the bookshelf.


Excitedly, they scour the bookshelf until they find another clue leading them on their merry quest.


Christmas Code Crackers is more than just an amusing diversion; it’s a pedagogical tool that entertains while honing mental acuity and collaborative skills. Through these festive cerebral escapades, students enhance not just their confidence in solving problems but also partake in mirthful memory-making ahead of Christmas day—making learning during this cherished time of year both unforgettable and joyous.

Classroom Advent Calendar | Christmas Holiday Count Down!

The holiday season in the classroom can be a time of excitement and learning combined. One of the engaging ways to count down to Christmas is through a Classroom Advent Calendar.

Traditionally, Advent calendars start on December 1st and end on December 24th, anticipating the arrival of Christmas Day. They often contain small gifts or candies hidden behind little doors, one of which is opened each day leading up to Christmas. But in a classroom setting, an Advent calendar can do more than just offer a treat; it can become a tool for education and joy.

A Classroom Advent Calendar can include daily activities that focus on various subjects or themes. Each day might reveal a new educational challenge, such as solving a math problem, writing a poem about winter, or learning about holiday traditions around the world. This approach transforms the wait for Christmas into an interactive learning journey.

Teachers can also infuse moral and social lessons into their Advent calendar. Instead of chocolates or toys, each day could present an act of kindness to perform, such as writing thank you cards to school staff or sharing stories with classmates.

To make it more interactive and engaging, students can participate in crafting the Advent calendar. They could draw pictures, write puzzles or compose questions that would be included for each day’s reveal. This not only stimulates creativity but also builds anticipation as they wonder which contribution will be highlighted next.

Including fun facts about Christmas and winter holidays from different cultures can foster inclusivity and broaden students’ horizons. For instance, one day may focus on Hanukkah; the next could explore Kwanzaa customs.

Incorporating technology could also modernize the experience. A digital Advent calendar could use online platforms to unveil daily tasks or educational videos that affirm learning goals while still embracing the festive spirit.

A Classroom Advent Calendar is not just about counting down — it’s about building up: skills, knowledge, kindness and cultural awareness. A well-implemented calendar garners enthusiasm from students as they learn that every day holds a potential for discovery and goodwill—the true gifts of the season.

Christmas Games for Kids

With the festive season around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how to keep the little ones entertained. Christmas games for children are a fantastic way to embrace the joy and excitement that comes with the holiday. Whether it’s classroom activities, family gatherings, or just some fun at home, there’s an array of Christmas games that can add sparkle to your festive celebrations.

One brilliant aspect of these Christmas games is how they cater to different age groups, ensuring that everyone from the littlest elves to the tallest reindeer can join in on the fun. They’re not only entertaining but also a creative way to develop various skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, and fine motor skills.

Here are several crowd-pleasing Christmas games for kids that are sure to make your celebration a hit:

1. Santa Says: This twist on Simon Says is perfect for keeping young children engaged and active. With instructions like “Santa says hop on one foot” or “Santa says dance like a snowman,” kids will be giggling all the way through.

2. Christmas Bingo: A festive version of the classic game, where traditional numbers are replaced with Christmas-themed images or words. It’s great for children’s picture recognition and can easily be adapted for different age ranges.

3. Candy Cane Hunt: Hide mini candy canes around the home or classroom and have the kids search for them. It’s akin to an Easter egg hunt but with a sweet peppermint twist!

4. Pin the Nose on Rudolph: A holiday spin on Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Blindfolded participants try their best to pin a red pom-pom onto Rudolph’s nose on a poster or wall hanging.

5. Christmas Memory Game: Create a set of cards with festive images in pairs. Lay them out face down and have players take turns flipping two cards at a time, trying to find matching pairs.

6. Snowball Relay: Divide kids into teams and have them transfer cotton ball “snowballs” using spoons from one point to another without dropping them. It’s a race against time and opponents!

7. Holiday Pictionary or Charades: Draw or act out holiday-related phrases or words while others guess what it is. This game truly encourages creative thinking and teamwork.

8. Decorate-the-Tree Race: Set up mini trees or cardboard cutouts and have teams compete to decorate them with ornaments fastest—great for fine motor skills and teamwork.

9. Freeze Dance with Christmas Music: Play holiday tunes and have kids dance until the music stops, when they must freeze in place. The last one dancing wins!

10. Gift Wrap Relay: Teams race to wrap boxes with paper and ribbons under a timer—perfect for practicing those gift-wrapping skills!

These games provide more than just entertainment—they’re an excellent way for children to interact with each other while celebrating the magic that comes with Christmas time. So pick your favorites, gather around friends and family, and get ready for laughter-filled moments that will create fond memories for years to come!

12 Days of Christmas Craft – Fun and Festive Activities for Your Class!

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer and what better way to celebrate in the classroom than with a 12 Days of Christmas Craft! Here’s a list of fun-filled and festive activities to make each day leading up to Christmas a memorable one for your students.

Day 1: Paper Chain Countdown

Kick off the countdown with colorful paper chains. Students can write wishes or things they’re grateful for on each strip of paper before linking them together.

Day 2: Handprint Wreaths

Using green paint, students can create wreath shapes with their handprints. Add red pom-poms for berries to complete these festive decorations.

Day 3: Salt Dough Ornaments

Mix salt dough together and let students shape and bake their creations. Once cooled, they can paint and varnish them for a lasting keepsake.

Day 4: Popsicle Stick Stars

Students can glue together popsicle sticks in star patterns, paint them, and add glitter for some sparkle.

Day 5: Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes

Twist white and red pipe cleaners together to form candy cane ornaments. These are simple yet delightful additions to any classroom tree.

Day 6: Gingerbread House Cards

Crafting cards that open into three-dimensional gingerbread houses will surely excite the class. They can decorate them with markers, glitter, and cotton ball snow.

Day 7: Reindeer Portraits

Have students trace their footprints and handprints onto construction paper. Their footprint will be the reindeer’s face, while their hands become antlers.

Day 8: Christmas Tree Cones

Decorate craft foam cones with sequins, beads, and stars to make miniature Christmas trees that stand on desks.

Day 9: Snowflake Cutouts

Teach your students the art of folding and cutting paper to create unique snowflakes. Decorate the classroom windows with their designs.

Day 10: Holiday Scented Playdough

Homemade playdough infused with cinnamon or peppermint scents make for sensory-rich crafting. Students can sculpt holiday figures or scenes.

Day 11: Yarn-Wrapped Ornaments

Wrap yarn around cardboard cutouts in holiday shapes for a cozy ornament texture. Add buttons or beads for added detail.

Day 12: Elf Hats

As a grand finale, construct elf hats out of felt. Students will enjoy parading around in their handmade gear, spreading joy throughout the school.

These crafts are not just entertaining but also great opportunities for developing fine motor skills, following instructions, and fostering creativity among young learners. What’s more heartwarming than seeing your classroom filled with handmade holiday spirit? Happy crafting!


Christmas Mini-Mystery – Who Broke the Candy Cane?

It was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring—except for a faint rustling near the festively decorated tree. Little Sammy had sneaked downstairs to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus. But what he found was a scene straight out of a mini-mystery: the family’s cherished glass candy cane ornament had been broken, its pieces scattered across the velvet tree skirt like sparkling snowflakes.

Who could have committed such an act on this most magical of nights? As Sammy gazed at the candy shards, he vowed to solve the Christmas Mini-Mystery of the broken candy cane.

The usual suspects in any household caper included his older sister Lily, who had an affinity for holiday sweets; Baxter, the bumbling family dog known for his clumsy tail; and Doris, their curious cat with a notorious penchant for climbing places she shouldn’t. Each had their motive and opportunity, but who among them was our candy cane culprit?

Sammy decided to inspect closer, pulling out a magnifying glass from his mini-detective kit—a present from last Christmas. The first clue was a trail of sticky residue leading away from the tree. Sammy followed it carefully—it led straight to Baxter’s bed! But upon witnessing Baxter’s deep slumber and gentle snoring, Sammy found no evidence on his paws or fur. It seemed Baxter was innocent this time.

Next, he turned his attention to Doris. She was perched high atop the bookshelf with her eyes fixated on something outside. A few strands of tinsel were stuck on her claws—a suspicious sign indeed! But then Sammy noticed how pristine her area was; no glass or candy remnants in sight. Doris had a solid alibi, perched well away from the crime scene.

Lastly, Sammy considered his sister Lily. She secretly loved decorating (and occasionally sampling) edible ornaments. As he looked around for Lily, he stumbled upon her diary left absentmindedly open on the couch. His eyes fell upon an entry dated only a day before: “I must confess my sweet tooth’s urge is strong this year—I fear I may not resist temptation!” Was this written proof of Lily’s guilt?

Confronting Lily in her room conjured up an unexpected twist: she produced a receipt from earlier that day showing she’d been buying last-minute gifts when the crime occurred. Just as Sammy’s hopes of solving the mystery began to dim, Lily presented one final piece of evidence—a video call timestamped at the exact time of the incident showing her chatting with friends online.

With all three prime suspects effectively cleared and no further clues forthcoming, Sammy retired to bed perplexed but undeterred. It wasn’t until Christmas morning when presents were being opened that truth gleefully revealed itself.

Nested among gifts was an unassuming package containing a note from Santa himself: “Sorry about your candy cane—slipped right out of my mittens when checking my list twice!” The true innocent culprit unveiled!

As laughter filled the room and hearts swelled with joyous relief, Sammy added another notch to his belt as an amateur detective who unwrapped not just presents but also a sweet Christmas surprise mystery courtesy of St. Nick!