Do you celebrate Christmas in your preschool classroom or homeschool? Keep reading for the most magical preschool Christmas activities that are sure to make this holiday season more festive and fun!
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PRESCHOOL CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas season is here, and the excitement and anticipation is at an all-time high! What better way to practice math & literacy skills than by teaching a Christmas unit in your preschool classroom or homeschool?!
Keep reading for over 20 Christmas-themed activities for your preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. These ideas include math, literacy, fine motor, gross motor, sensory play, snacks, music, and more!
Oh, and there are a lot of freebies in this post, too!
PRESCHOOL CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES: LITERACY
Choosing books is one of my favorite things to do with each new unit. Check out our favorite Christmas books here!
Phonological awareness skills are the key building block to reading success, which is why they should be practiced a little bit every day. In order to keep things fresh & engaging, I like to use phonological awareness games that go along with my current theme. Click here to check out these Christmas phonological awareness games that will help your little ones become strong readers in less than 10 minutes a day (and with zero supplies!)
You’re definitely going to want to start your Christmas unit with these Christmas vocabulary cards! They are the perfect way to introduce your little learners to the vocabulary that goes along with this season. You can use these words in your writing center, as a Write the Room activity, or as a picture match.
Focusing on the medial sound in CVC words helps our little learners develop phonemic awareness & sets the foundation for reading. This vowel-matching activity is great because it comes with two levels of cards…picture cards for our youngest learners who are just practicing sounds, and word cards for our more advanced learners who are ready to read CVC words on their own.
Who doesn’t love Bingo?! It’s a classic game for a reason! This game comes with two Bingo cards so you can play against your little one. You can modify this game to work on different skills…call out letter names or sounds, or call out three sounds that make up a CVC word and have them find all three at once!
Before you head straight into writing letters with your preschooler, make sure you’re giving them opportunities to trace and create different kinds of lines. Not only will this help develop their fine motor skills, but it’ll also give them practice with going from left to right while writing as well as how to hold a pencil correctly.
Are you writing letters to Santa this year? Here’s a great FREEBIE for you! This download comes with five different Christmas pictures (plus two types of writing lines for each) so your preschooler can choose which one they like best & create a personalized letter to Santa!
These FREE Christmas light letters can be used in so many ways! Some fun ideas include: using them to spell simple CVC words; using them in a salt or sand tray to practice letter formation; using play dough to form each letter; gluing them onto a Christmas tree to spell your preschooler’s name; using them to match uppercase & lowercase letters; using them for color sorting.
In my class, I had my students match the Christmas light letters to a clothespin with a letter on it. Then I had them put the letters in order from A-Z on a string on the wall, which was so much fun & a great cooperative learning activity. It also worked their fine motor skills (opening and closing the clothespins is great for developing those small muscles). They had a blast!
I love having my preschoolers use play dough to build up the muscles in their hands as a precursor to writing. These FREE play dough mats are so much fun because students will roll the cube, name the emotion, and then create that emotion out of play dough on their Christmas tree. They can also write or build the emotion word on their mat.
Salt trays are a wonderful multi-sensory activity to practice letter formation in a hands-on & tactile way (and they’re way more fun than pencil and paper!) We used these FREE gingerbread letters in our salt tray & my kids had a great time!
These FREE gingerbread letters are also great for a letter matching activity! I added the lowercase gingerbread letters to a sensory bin of dyed corn (see the directions for dyeing corn later on in this post!) Then I had my little guy match them to the uppercase gingerbread houses.
This was a fun whole-class activity from Play to Learn Preschool that my kids loved! We sang the song “BINGO” but replaced the letters with “SANTA.” Each time we took a letter away, we said “HO,” so by the end of the song, we were singing, “HO HO HO HO HO” which was so funny! You can read more about it and download the free Santa cards here.
PRESCHOOL CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES: MATH
Similar to the Christmas light letters, this activity uses Christmas light numbers. Again, there are so many ways to use these numbers…you can have your little ones put them in numerical order, count out the correct number of pom poms for each one, use them for color sorting, or use them to practice greater than/less than.
These reindeer patterns are the perfect way to build foundational mathematical thinking skills for our preschoolers. We want our little ones to start seeing patterns everywhere, and activities like this help develop those skills. This activity asks students to duplicate, extend, and create their own patterns using the reindeer cards.
Did you know Santa loves eating candy canes?! It’s true! In this activity, our little ones are going to give Santa jars of candy canes, but they first have to count the candy canes and fill in the ten frame correctly. They can also write the number in the box to practice number formation fluency.
“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, you stand in splendid beauty!” This Christmas tree activity has our preschoolers practicing 2D shapes in a fun & hands-on way. Have them spin the spinner, name the shape, and then find the matching shape on the Christmas tree. If they cover up the matching shape with a pom pom, it’ll look like ornaments decorating the tree!
Size order activities help our little ones with visual discrimination, which helps them with reading letters later on. For example, being able to visually discriminate a b from a d is crucial for reading success! These FREE gingerbread size order cards give our little ones the chance to practice this skill in a festive way!
Each year, we create our own Christmas Countdown to mark the days until Christmas. My daughter and I brainstorm different holiday activities we can do each day (like drinking hot chocolate, looking at Christmas lights in the neighborhood, or donating toys) and then we pull one idea out per day. It’s a great way to build excitement for the season and practice counting skills.
I couldn’t find the exact same Christmas Countdown that you see in the picture (I bought this from Amazon years ago), but here is a similar one for you to check out!
PRESCHOOL CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES: SENSORY, SNACKS, & HANDS-ON IDEAS
We always add a sensory bin to our preschool units, and this red & green rice sensory bin was perfect for Christmas! I just dyed two batches of rice (one red, one green) and added them to our bins. Then I added in jingle bells, shatter-proof ornaments, mini erasers, and any other Christmas trinkets I could find (plus a few scoopers!) and let my kiddos explore freely. (The steps for dyeing rice can be found in this post!)
I have never tried dyeing corn kernels before, but I saw this post from Fun-a-Day and I knew I had to try it! These red & green corn kernels turned out great & are so Christmasy! You can check out her blog post for all the details!
My mom has made these Cornflake Wreaths every Christmas for as long as I can remember, and she learned the recipe from her mom. They’re a family favorite! These wreaths are similar to Rice Krispies treats, only they’re made with cornflakes. You can get your preschoolers involved with this by having them help you pour, mix, scoop, and add the red candies.
Another type of wreath you can make with your little ones is a fine motor tear wreath. For this activity, simply cut out the center of a paper plate. Then have your little ones tear red and green paper into small pieces (this is great for fine motor development) and glue them onto the paper plate. Last, you’ll hole punch the top, add a ribbon, and finish it off with a bow. It’s the perfect holiday decoration!
Have you ever heard of a gumdrop tree? I find that most people haven’t, but it’s been a tradition in my husband’s family forever! He loves to make one with our kids each year, which is not only fun but great fine motor practice!
I remember making this treat as a kid, and it’s still just as magical for my own kids! You take an ice-cream cone, flip it upside down, and add green frosting to make it look like a Christmas tree. Then add “ornaments” (sprinkles and marshmallows). This is the perfect holiday snacktivity!
How adorable are these reindeer? When I saw this idea from Fun-A-Day, I knew we had to try them! All you need are graham crackers, pretzels, m&ms, and peanut butter or frosting (we made some of each!) My kids both LOVED this snack!
Another adorable reindeer snack is this Reindeer Pudding Cup! These would make a great snack for a preschool or kindergarten holiday party! You just add goggly eyes, a red pom pom, and pipe cleaners for antlers, and you’ve transformed a boring pudding cup into a festive snack!
Want to start a special Christmas Eve tradition? Try this! Read Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and then make Reindeer Food! All you do is combine oats and sprinkles into a plastic baggie. You can attach a “Reindeer Food” printable (there are lots of free ones if you search Google), and then sprinkle it in your front yard on Christmas Eve. It’s a great treat for the reindeer who work hard all night long to pull Santa’s sleigh!
And who can forget the most festive Christmas activity of all…decorating Christmas cookies?! My students LOVED decorating cookies and getting the chance to explore, create, and make a mess! Special thanks to my mom & dad for setting this up for my class!
OLD TOYS FOR SANTA
I have one more idea to share for families who want to teach their preschoolers about giving during this holiday season. Every year, my family and I gather up a group of toys for our elf on the shelf, Snowflake, to take back the North Pole. These toys are donated to other good girls and boys, which teaches my kids to think of others during this season. It also helps us declutter before the next group of toys comes in! This is one of our favorite traditions and something we look forward to each year.
MAGICAL CHRISTMAS FUN
I hope these ideas helped you fill-in your Christmas-themed lesson plans for your preschool classroom or homeschool! All of the printables for this unit (that aren’t freebies!) can be found in my Christmas Magic Preschool Mini Activity Pack.
And all of the freebies from this post can be found in my FREE Activity Library. The FREE Activity Library is password protected. If you’d like to get access, join our email community HERE and the password will be emailed to you as a thank you for joining! If you’re already subscribed, you should already have the password. The password is updated every so often, so make sure you stay subscribed so you don’t miss any of our freebies!