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13 Christmas Games for Kids + Holiday Fun for an Inclusive Classroom Celebration

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Photo of Jeanne Sager
Updated | 5 min read

The closer we get to the end of the school year, the more Christmas games and holiday games come in handy in the classroom. We get it. The kids are ready for that winter break, and you are too. And you want to send them off for a happy holiday season.

The teachers on the Teach Starter team (you know, the ones who create all the fabulous printables you know and love?!) pulled together some of our favorite holiday games to play in the classroom to save you serious planning time. These games are great for your holiday party, for those last few days before the break when half the class is already out, or even just to give those fast finishers something fun (and educational) to do with a holiday theme.

Best Christmas Games for Kids

Jingle Bell Toss

This holiday game has a mathematical twist that makes it fun AND educational!

How to Play:

Students will be playing this game in groups.

  1. Set up a set of paper cups with values written inside of them for each group. The values can be as simple as single-digit numbers (for younger students) or as complex as mixed fractions (for those wanting a challenge!).
  2. Place a piece of painter’s tape at a specific distance from each set of cups.
  3. Give each student in each group a jingle bell to play with. Students will take turns throwing their jingle bell into a cup.
  4. Once everyone has had a turn, add up the numbers that have a jingle bell inside. The group with the highest total is the winner!

Equipment:

  • jingle bells (enough for each student to have 1)
  • a set of 10 cups with a value written inside

jingle bell toss game for kids

Holiday Bingo

Who doesn’t love Bingo? The age-old game promotes teamwork in the classroom, helps students build cognitive skills, and of course, it’s plain old fun.

Print out copies of our free blank Bingo card template and add holiday-themed characters. You can keep it secular with Frosty the snowman and other winter themes, or add Santa, his reindeer, and more.

Draw a Holiday Picture

This is a drawing challenge with a fun catch! Students’ drawings can look a bit abstract at the best of times… but what if they were drawing without looking at what they were doing?

How to play:

  1. Give each student a paper plate and a pencil.
  2. Instruct the students to place the paper plate on their heads. This becomes their canvas.
  3. Give your students a drawing challenge for them to draw on the paper plate while it’s up top — no peeking!
  4. The best/most accurate picture is the winner. (You may want to call in a third party, such as a teacher from another classroom, to judge.)

Ideas for what to draw can be incredibly simple — you don’t want to make it too difficult, or students will get frustrated. With winter upon us, why not ask students to draw a snowman or a cup of hot cocoa?

Equipment:

  • one paper plate per student
  • one pencil per student
  • We’ve used our editable Desk Name Tags – Holiday to make some hilarious suggestions!
 

Escape Room — Holiday Style

Escape rooms are a big hit these days, with logical challenges that keep students’ minds whirring, and your classroom working together as a team. Work on class collaboration this holiday season with some digital escape rooms created specifically for the season:

Pin the Tail on Rudolph

We’re big believers that simple is always best, and what can be simpler than taking a traditional party game and making it holiday-themed? You can pin the nose on Rudolph with this fun Christmas game template!

pin the nose on rudolph christmas game for kids

Holiday Code Crackers

Keep the chaos of a holiday party under control with group games that are challenging and fun — code crackers. Similar to an escape room, these games are stocked with puzzles that have cognitive benefits with a whole lot of fun mixed in. For example, The Holiday Code Cracker: Middle Years – Whole Class Game includes an introductory poem, six puzzle activities, and a final riddle. Students work in groups to solve each puzzle to reveal six numerals. Next, students combine the digits and determine their order to open a combination lock.

Other activities include:

  • Rudolph’s Present Predicament
  • Trifle Tower
  • Cryptic Chatterbox
  • Vacation Treasure Hunt
  • Party Light Chaos
  • Holiday Hooray! Final Riddle

Try the full array of holiday and Christmas code crackers!

Image of Christmas Code Breaker Puzzle - Whole-Class Activity

teaching resource

Christmas Code Breaker Puzzle - Whole-Class Activity

A whole-class Christmas Codebreaker Puzzle activity.

Teach Starter Publishing13 pagesGrades: 2 - 4
Image of Holiday Code Cracker: Upper Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

teaching resource

Holiday Code Cracker: Upper Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

A whole class, holiday-themed game where students work together to find a secret code.

Teach Starter Publishing35 pagesGrades: 5 - 6
Image of Holiday Code Cracker: Lower Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

teaching resource

Holiday Code Cracker: Lower Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

A whole class, holiday-themed game where students work together to find a secret code.

Teach Starter Publishing32 pagesGrades: K - 2

Winter Games for Kids

Want some games that are purely winter-themed for a more inclusive classroom celebration before winter break? Give these winter games a try!

Snowball Bowling

This game can be played inside or outside the classroom! This simple take on ten-pin bowling has a fun holiday twist.

How to play:

Put students into groups of 4 or 5. Allocate a ‘laneway’, a set of skittles, and a ‘bowling ball’ to each group. You can make your laneways by drawing chalk lines on a sidewalk, placing skipping ropes longways on the ground, or using tape on the carpet!

Your students now take turns bowling the ball down the lane toward their skittles. For each skittle they knock down, they receive a point. The person who has the most points at the end of 3 rounds of bowling is the winner!

Equipment:

  • 8-10 skittles per group. Repurpose something quick and easy, such as empty water bottles with a little Christmas ribbon tied around them, or go all out and paint some ‘snowman’ themed tin cans or paper cups! It’s a great idea to ask your class to bring in clean tin cans to decorate for the day leading up to the games so that it’s a whole class effort.
  • One bowling ball per group — you can use a real ball or just something white, such as a large pair of white socks rolled into a ball.

Snowman Name Game

This is silly fun at its absolute best! Use our snowman naming template to help your students find their snowman name using their initials and the month they were born!

Frostbitten Fireplace and Snuggly Icicle have a nice ring, don’t you think?

snowman game for kids

Disappearing Snowman

This is a fun — and secular — holiday game for the classroom that’s educational to boot! A twist on the old classic “hangman” that’s a lot more kid-friendly (more on the issues with hangman here), kids practice guessing and spelling words in this interactive PowerPoint … but instead of a stick figure hanging from a noose (shudder), you have a fun and friendly snowman with accessories that disappear when kids make the wrong guess. Set it up on a computer for kids to play alone or project on your whiteboard for the whole class!

Snowman Slapjack

Some teachers call this game Slaps — although we promise there is no violence in the actual game! Snowman Slapjack involves matching families to test students’ observation skills, with the fun of fast-paced play thrown in. Print your own slapjack cards here!

Snowman Says

Put a wintry twist on Simon Says with printable “Snowman Says” task cards, designed for students from pre-K on up!

Explore hundreds of winter and holiday printables for your classroom!

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