Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for Christmas
For more Christmas activities, see these pages: Gingerbread Theme
Check here for a complete list of Books about Christmas!
Little Jack Horner Nursery Rhyme
Little Jack Horner
Sat in a corner
Eating his Christmas pie.
He stuck in his thumb
And pulled out a plum
And said, “What a good boy am I!”
- Gingerbread Man Song, by Mrs. Jones
- Raffi’s Christmas Album on CD
- Raffi’s Christmas Album MP3 Download
- Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Highlights
Alphabet Christmas Tree Mats
Nutcracker Number Match
Look for the Reindeer Grid Game on the Grid Games page for math.
Look for the Christmas Bingo Game on the Bingo Games page.
Christmas Tree Sorting Mats
Christmas Name Plates and Stationery
Children cut out a Christmas stocking on red or green paper, and add Christmas confetti, sequins, and glitter.
Children make ornaments for a parent gift, and wrap the ornaments themselves. I usually buy wooden star ornaments at a craft store. The children paint them with gold or silver paint and add touches of gold, silver, red, or green glitter glue. After the stars are dry, I tie gold or silver ribbon to the hanger.
Fine Motor Activities
I have a list of Christmas Fine Motor Activities in an article I wrote for the Teachers.net Gazette.
[Art, Fine Motor Skills]
Children make the wreath ornaments by stringing green pony beads on a green pipe cleaner. These are bent into a circle and twisted at the top to make the wreath. I tie a red ribbon around the top to cover up the twisted end.
Play Dough Christmas Trees
Use green play dough with colored beads or marbles. Children can use the green play dough to make Christmas trees and add the beads or marbles for ornaments.
Decorating the Tree
I let my children decorate our classroom tree themselves. They enjoy doing it, and it is more meaningful to them when they do it themselves.
Christmas Tree Art
To set up, I placed the collage materials on paper plates: Christmas sequins, paper Christmas cutout shapes, and Christmas craft foam shapes. I traced a large triangle on green paper for the children to cutout themselves. The paper with the numbers 1-7 says “Choose 7″ at the top. Children were able to choose whatever collage materials they wanted to use, but they were allowed no more than 7 foam shapes due to cost. Those who wanted foam shapes chose their pieces from the plate, and placed them on the numbers until they had 7 pieces (this was only used for counting them out). Children cut out and glued the green tree on the white paper, glued on the brown truck, then glued on their collage pieces.
Gift Wrapping Center
[Fine Motor Skills]
I set up a center in the classroom with wrapping paper scraps, small boxes, and tape. The children enjoy wrapping packages, and they like to find things in the classroom to wrap and pretend to give to their friends as a gift.
Silver Bell Game
Label dot stickers with uppercase and lowercase letters and placed them on the bottoms of Hershey’s Kisses. Children take turns turning two up at a time to find a match. You can also label them with numerals for numeral matching; or label some with numerals and some with dots for counting and numeral matching. I used the pattern strips sheet to keep our “bells” organized while we played the game. One “bell” was placed in each square. (See this photo.)
Jingle Bell Listening Activity
Have all of the children stand or sit facing one direction. Choose one child to stand in front of the class, facing away from the others. While his/her back is turned, place a jingle bell in the hands of one child. Have all of the children grasp their hands together as if they are holding something, and have everyone shake their hands. On your signal, the child at the front will turn around and search for the ringing bell. When the bell is found, the child holding it goes to the front of the room, and the game begins again.
This is an activity that goes with any theme. Choose a book that goes with the theme, and have the children retell the story.
Read the blog post here for details: story retelling
Children work in pairs: one child places an amount of jingle bells in a mini Christmas stocking while the other child is not looking. The other child then feels in the stocking and counts how many jingle bells. We work with 5 bells.
I bought mini Christmas stockings for $1 each. I place an object inside each stocking (jingle bells, block, candy, etc.) Children reach into each stocking to feel and guess what is inside without taking the object out. Photo cards of the objects give them clues as to what is inside.
For this activity, you will need four small water bottles, four bowls, funnel, water, clear shampoo, clear hair gel, corn syrup, glitter in Christmas colors, and paper towels. Place water, clear shampoo, clear hair gel, and corn syrup in the four bowls. First, show children the bowl of water and allow each child to dip one finger in and gently stir the water. Give each child a paper towel for drying off their finger. Pour the water into one of the bottles using the funnel, add a pinch or two of Christmas glitter, and attach the lid. Ask the children to predict whether the glitter will move fast or slow in the water when you shake the bottle. Shake the bottle and set it on the table so everyone can watch the glitter move. Repeat this process with the shampoo, corn syrup, and hair gel. You can also have the children move their bodies as fast or slow as they see the glitter move in each substance. These bottles can be added to the science center for further exploration (add masking tape around the lid or hot-glue the lids closed).
Gift Box Guessing Game
Decorate a large cardboard box to look like a gift box, and play this guessing game. While everyone’s eyes are closed, tap one child on the shoulder. That child will crawl in the big gift box. Tell the children to open their eyes and guess who is missing from the circle.
Wrap cardboard boxes (large and small) in Christmas gift wrap. Add them to the block center for children to stack.
The Christmas tree was made with green butcher paper (triangle) and brown construction paper (rectangle). The ornaments are colored circles and an angel cut on a die cut machine, with a glitter outline around them (glitter color matches the paper color). Each child’s name was written on an ornament.
Christmas Gifts for Students
Read the blog post: How to Make English Christmas Crackers for Kids
Packets Available from “Teachers Pay Teachers”
- Holiday Matching Cards at MontessoriforEveryone.com
- Christmas @ Pre-KPages.com
- Gingerbread Unit @ Pre-KPages.com
- Christmas @ The Virtual Vine
- Christmas @ LittleGiraffes.com