Christmas Games


Christmas Games

Pic-N-Save or MacFrugals have these great plastic candy holders in different shapes for only .29 Cents. They look like Christmas ornaments, except that you can pull them apart and put candy in them.

Here is what I did with them. I bought 20 of these candy holders in different shapes and colors. I took them all apart and put them in my sensory table. The children had to match either the shape OR the color to put them back together. This is a great game for fine motor skills, colors, and shape recognition.


Cut Christmas tree shapes from Green felt. Cut several different shapes, sizes and types of tree ornaments also from felt. I used squares for packages, wreaths, bells, etc. Decorate with puff paint, glitter etc. Then have children either roll dice, spin a spinner or draw cards to determine how many shapes they will put on the tree. You can refine by using cards that say 3 packages or 2 wreaths etc. I have little ones so my dice is one, two, three only. For very little ones decorating the tree without the dice is okay and just as much fun.


During January we focus on literature for the entire month. To get the children and parents excited about reading at home I have a reading incentive program. I sent home 10 circles representing snowballs. After the children listen to a story at home the parents write the title and author and the child’s name. Then they bring it to school. They earn one piece of snowman for each snowball brought in. Each child is trying to build their own snowman. At the end of the month, all of the children will receive a free book and bookmark as a prize. I then take all the individual snowballs and put them on the bulletin board. If we get enough snowballs to build a large class snowman we will celebrate all of our reading with a pizza party. The title of my bulletin board is FROSTY IS GROWING WITH GOOD BOOKS. The last day of the month we have a Book Character Dress Up Day. All the children come to school dressed as their favorite book character. We have a fun time parading around the school and trying to guess who everyone is dressed as.


During the holidays I took three Christmas cookie cutters and traced the shapes onto a piece of art foam. Then I cut the shapes out. The children had to match the “cookie” cutout to the matching place in the large piece of foam. Then they used a rolling pin to pretend to be making cookies. When they matched the cookie cutter to the shape they could “cut” a cookie and place it on a baking sheet. Lots of fun and the children practiced matching skills as well.


GINGERBREAD MAN ESCAPE!

I pre-bake one gingerbread man for each child. (I use refrigerated sugar cookie dough to save time.) In the morning I read “The Little Gingerbread Man”. Then the children Ice and decorate the cookies. We put the cookies on a foil-lined cookies sheet. The children go with me down to the oven to pop the cookies in the oven. ( I know what your thinking, but I teach 3’s and 4’s, and in 10 years no child has ever caught on to the fact that they’ve been baked already, or that the oven is cold!) We make a big deal out of closing the oven door VERY tightly! Then we go back to our room and, while I do group time, the other teacher takes the cookies to another part of the building. She sets them upright on a bench, lined with a strip of paper towel. She also delivers notes to other teachers in the building. The notes are part of a scavenger hunt (the first note goes in the oven on the empty cookie tray. All the notes start with the familiar line from the Book; “Run and run as fast as you can, You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” Then the note might say; “I got bored in the oven, I could not wait. If you want to find me, ask Mrs. Tate!” Off we go to Mrs. Tates room! She has the next note. We follow the leads until we find the little guys!

As a language extender, we write down the children’s answer to the question; “How did those gingerbread men get out of that oven!?!” Their answers are hysterical! The kids talk about this activity all year long!


Draw a large Christmas tree on the pavement with sidewalk chalk. Draw several round Christmas ornaments on the tree. Put a number or letter inside each ornament. Children take turns throwing a beanbag from 3-4 feet away into one of the circle ornaments and identifying the number or letter.


Cut a large Christmas Tree shape from green paper. Mine is about 2 ft high. Laminate the tree or cover it with contact. Using a permanent marker, trace Christmas shapes such as a star, a bell, a candy cane, etc, on to the tree for ornaments. Trace these same shapes on to fun foam and cut them out. Apply self-stick Velcro to the backs of the foam shapes and to the shapes on the tree. Hang the tree in your room and let the children decorate it by matching the shapes. Permanent marker can be removed from laminated surfaces with Scrub Free or Bon Ami. The tree can be reprogrammed to match shapes, colors or whatever you wish.


A game that we (a three yr. old preschool class) have had fun with during our “winter weather/snow” unit was called “Pass the Snow Ball.” We used an oversized white pom-pom as our snowball. The children all sat in a circle quite close together. At first, we practiced passing the “snowball” to each other keeping our hands behind our backs. Then I sat outside the circle on a chair and closed and covered (no peeking!) my eyes. When I was ready to open my eyes and guess who was holding the snowball, I told the children so they could all be sure to have their hands behind their backs, making it more difficult for me to guess. After I guessed who was holding the snowball, that person became the “guesser” and the game went on from there.


I tell the children the poem, “Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do. If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you” I make a stovepipe hat from poster board and leave the top open and the children pitch pennies into the hat.


Put wrapping paper into the blocks area with tape, bows, ribbons etc. The children can wrap up small and large blocks like presents.

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