I’ve put together a couple of games and activities that could be used in the classroom in those last few days where your pupils are very excited and find it hard to settle and do their normal classwork. You can have a bit of fun while ensuring the class are still learning!
I’ve only included games that I think would work in a classroom, a lot of the games on the net are designed for the American teacher or parent. I found all these on the net easily enough but sometimes it can take a long time to source these things only to realise they wouldn’t work in a Irish classroom.
Level: 1st-6th Class
1. Players sit in a circle.
2. The first player says,”On Christmas Eve I’m traveling with Santa and I’m going to take (something starting with A )”.
3. The next player repeats the first object and adds an object beginning with B continue the game through the alphabet.
If there are more players than 26 letters…start again at “A”.
Level: All classes
This is a good game for winding the class down after a Christmas party.
You will need:
A large space-it’s better if there is no carpet.?A chair?A set of bells ?A blindfold of some sort.
The children sit in a circle. A chair is placed in the centre of the circle and the set of bells put underneath. A child is chosen to be Santa and sits on the chair. Santa is then blindfolded.
A child in the circle is chosen to be the thief. The thief must try to steal the bells without being heard. If Santa hears a noise he must point at the thief before the thief goes back to his/her place in the circle. If the thief succeeds, Santa has another go while a new thief is chosen. If the thief is identified, they become the new Santa and the previous Santa rejoins the circle.
Depending on the numbers and ages you can adapt the last part. For example in a large group I try and pick a different Santa and thief each time to try and ensure everyone has a go at something. With younger ones I let the thief become Santa whether they succeed or fail in getting the bells.
Musical chairs or statues
Level: All Classes
You will need:
A CD player or similar with dancing music or children’s favorites?Some little prizes
How to play:
Similar to musical bumps, the children dance around while the music plays and must stand still as statues when the music stops. Anyone seen moving after the music has stopped is eliminated.
When playing with younger kids it may be better to “eliminate” children by asking them to dance in a different area of the room, rather than sit around watching.
We have found it is easier to give prizes to the last 2 or 3 children playing rather than try to pick one winner.
Some younger children can get very competitive so you will need to be prepared to distract them and involve them in some other way if necessary!
Scramble Christmas Words:
Levels: 3rd upwards
Index cards, paper bags.
How To Play:
Choose a Christmas word such as: Christmas, Candy Cane, Santa Claus, Reindeer…. Write each letter of a word on individual index cards. Put the set in a paper bag. Divide the Ss into teams. Give each team a bag. The first team to decipher what the word in the bag wins. A variation of the game would be to divide into teams with the same number of Ss as there are letters in the word. Each S gets a letter and the team must arrange themselves in the right order to spell the word.
Secret Santa Gift Exchange:
Levels: 3rd upwards
Now, we are sick of hearing about the recession, so why not change this game to a Secret Santa card exchange?
Set this up 2-3 weeks before the class party. Write each person’s name on a slip of paper, then have students draw a name from a hat. They can’t get their own name. Students must make a card/present for the person whose name they chose. Students bring the card, with the recipients name on it, to the party (have a few extra cards on hand if anyone forgets, or in case of other emergencies so everyone can get one). The teacher (or Santa!) draws the names from a hat, and the recipient has to guess who gave them the card.
Levels: 2nd upwards
Prepare two banners that say whatever you want them to say, ie Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, etc. Also prepare a set of letters for the same words cut out in two different colours hidden randomly around the room. Divide the class into 2 teams with two captains–the captains sit and wait for their teammates to bring the letters for their banner. If a student is on the “red” team and sees a letter for the “green” team he/she just leaves it alone. The first team to cover their banner letters wins.
Who am I Santa?
Levels: All levels
Blindfold one student. The other Students stand in circle around the blindfolded student. Spin the student around and then stop him/her facing another student. S says “Ho ho ho. Who am I?”. The blindfolded S must guess who that student is and call out his/her name.
Levels: 2nd upwards
Supplies: timer, paper, pens. Divide Ss into teams. Take a Christmas related word such as: Christmas, candy cane, Santa Claus, etc. and find as many words as possible using the letters of that word. Give a time limit (e.g. 2 mins). The team with the most words wins! Example: Christmas 1: (sit, is, his, miss, rat, tar, this, math, chair, rim…), Example 2: Candy cane (candy, cane, and, dance, day, nay, can, dye, an, any…).
http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/christmas_games.htm– Great website for everything Christmassy! ACtivities, downloadable, cards, games and much, much more! Can go a bit “Crafty” though sometimes so be aware!
www.allthingschristmas.com– does what it says on the tin, lovely section of carols and recipes if you want to be adventurous! Some nice games that you can print out and use with the class but mostly tailored to home use so adapt!
www.mash.ie this contains loads of good links to Christmas. These links were uploaded by teacher so it’s worth a look!
http://www.eslkidstuff.com/ChristmasGames.htm This is a great educational Christmas-themed section. Some lovely ideas for children that need help with their language and those who don’t! A list of lyrics for well-known Christmas songs could be used for any English/Music lesson.
http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/christmas/ This is a most excellent website that you could teach all year from! Covers the religious aspect of Christmas to poems, songs and art. It had many free dramas and short scripts if you wanted to try readers’ theatre here. Well worth a look!
Last Update: August 17, 2017
3 thoughts on “Christmas games in the Irish classroom”
Excellent stuff Rozz,.some of these games could easily be used in Irish lessons also.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed!
These games looks exciting to play, will definitely try them out!