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Budget-friendly, engaging activities to incorporate into your classroom this holiday season

A few weeks shy of the holiday season & you may be looking to finish your year strong with engaging activities for your children. I know you've already submitted your December lesson plans, but you're looking for that last-minute, unique activity to take your lesson plans to another level and get the kids excited to learn. Luckily, we have compiled a list of fun, budget-friendly activity ideas to keep your children entertained during the holiday season and help them finish their year strong.

Infant Activity

Merry Christmas Mistletoe Footprints Activity Poster

The mistleToe Footprints are a long-standing tradition during the holiday season & are a great way to get the classroom in the festive spirit. The game's name comes from the fact that your children will be using their feet to create a beautiful masterpiece-literally.

Materials needed

  • small painting canvas

  • red and green paint

  • paint brushes

  • white paper

  • red ribbon

  • Christmas stickers


  1. Place the piece of paper on the floor underneath the canvas.

  2. Have your children dip their feet into the paint & then stamp onto the white paper over the canvas in a circular pattern, like mistletoe leaves

  3. Repeat this step with green paint, gently blending the colors.

  4. Once finished, let the painting dry

  5. Attach a red ribbon to the top of your canvas and add some Christmas stickers for sparkle.

  6. Using a paintbrush, randomly add a few dots of color around the painting to decorate your masterpiece and give it a wow factor.

  7. Hang your masterpiece in the classroom for all to enjoy.

This activity is an excellent way to get kids excited about the holiday season and is a great way to incorporate some art into your lessons. Plus, it's a fun activity for children of all ages and can be adapted depending on the age group you teach.

Toddler Activity

Ornament Sensory Bin

The ornament sensory bin is a great activity that will engage and delight even the youngest members of your classroom. This activity features various textures, colors, and shapes, perfect for toddlers learning about different sensory experiences.

Materials needed:

  • small colorful ornaments (could be a mix of balls and wood)

  • water

  • spatulas/spoons


  1. Fill a large, shallow container with water clean water

  2. Add the colorful ornaments to the container, ensuring plenty of room for little hands to scoop them. The ornaments can be round plastic balls.

  3. Invite your children to grab a big spatula or spoon and have them use it to scoop up the ornaments out of the water.

  4. Encourage your children to explore the ornaments' different textures, colors, and shapes as they play with them in the water.

The ornament sensory bin is a great activity that reinforces imagination, pretend play, and sensory development in young children-all while keeping them entertained and engaged. So if you're looking for an engaging activity to keep your younger children happy this holiday season, look no further than the ornament sensory bin.

Preschool Activities

Tree painting

The old-school classic of tree painting hasn't lost its charm and is still a great way to keep your preschoolers entertained this holiday season. The activity is simple, easy to conduct, and requires minimal materials.

Materials needed:

  • green construction paper

  • red, white, yellow/gold paint

  • pre-drawn Christmas tree on green paper.

  • paintbrushes

  • plate for paint


  1. Begin by laying out your green construction paper on a flat surface and invite your preschoolers to come up front.

  2. Give each child a plate of paint filled with a small amount of red, yellow, white, and gold paint.

  3. Instruct your children to dip their paintbrush in the red paint and use it to put dotted colors inside the pre-drawn cone-shaped tree.

  4. Next, encourage your children to dip their paintbrush in the yellow and white paint and use it to create ornaments on the tree.

  5. Once their trees are complete, have them step back to admire their work.

This activity encourages creativity, artistic expression, and teamwork among preschoolers. And best of all, it's a simple and great activity for improving gross motor skills and coordination. So be sure to give tree painting a try.

School-Age Activity

Tabletop Bowling

As the name suggests, this activity is a twist on the classic bowling game but can be played right on the table or any other flat surface. Perfect for school-age kids.

Materials needed:

  • red/green plastic cups

  • large cotton balls

  • tabletop surface

  • paper for scorecards


  1. Create an open surrounding area for your children to set up the bowling alley.1

  2. Place a pyramid of stacked red/green plastic cups on the tabletop and set a large cotton ball at a distance of about 1-2 feet.

  3. Invite your children to take turns throwing cotton balls at the cups, trying to knock them down.

  4. Notch up the game by having one child record the scores as the other children play.

  5. Offer prizes for the winner.

Tabletop bowling is a great game to ignite friendly competition while improving hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and teamwork. The game is easy to set up, requires minimal supplies, and can be played anywhere. It also helps teach the young ones about the importance of sportsmanship and healthy competition.

Other Activities

Traditional dress-up clothing.

There's no perfect way to celebrate the holidays than by adding cultural diversity into your classroom. One great activity for doing this is with dress-up clothing. Invite your children to dress up in traditional holiday clothing from different cultures. This can be anything from a sari, kimono, dirndl, or sombrero. This activity encourages cultural appreciation, diversity, and understanding among your children. It also offers children a chance to learn about the traditions and customs of different cultures. And it's a fabulous way to get them creative while having fun simultaneously.

Holiday-inspired songs to sing or read holiday-themed books

Another great way to celebrate the holidays in your classroom is by singing holiday-inspired songs and reading festive books. Some fun song options include "Jingle Bells," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "Frosty the Snowman." And for book options, some popular classics include "The Night Before Christmas" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas." With these holiday-inspired songs and books, your children can get into the festive spirit, learn about different cultural traditions, and have fun celebrating the holidays together.

With these fun and engaging activities, you'll be able to keep your children happy and entertained this holiday season. Happy holidays from Elite Educational Enterprises!

Reference: Joyfully Thriving. (n.a).12 Best Christmas Song Books for Kids


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Age Appropriate Learning Experiences

Course Description

This course will guide you on how to implement various age-appropriate learning experiences in your classroom. This course will teach the importance of developmentally appropriate practice through instructional strategies, curriculum, and environment.


Meet the Author

Pheolia Smith, Director of Operations

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