Top 10 Educational Holiday Activities for Big Kids

The holidays are coming, and you might be scrambling to incorporate some Christmas activities into your lesson plans! You want to keep things fun and festive, but you also have to keep things rigorous and academic. Finding the perfect balance can be tough, so I've compiled ten of my favorite academic yet incredibly festive and engaging holiday activities to get you through the next two weeks!  I've blogged about great holiday activities before HERE, but this is a new compilation! This list contains a variety of my own activities as well as some other activities from some of my very favorite teacher authors!

Christmas and winter holiday activities for upper elementary students

Do you have a favorite holiday activity? Be sure to share it in the comments!


A Holiday Craft Full of JOY

This activity from Michael at The Thinker Builder is both educational AND artsy, and it's the perfect holiday gift for parents. Grab the book that Michael suggests and download his freebies, and you will be well on your way to a fantastic holiday activity!

Learn more and Download the FREE activity for HERE!

Trapped in a Snow Globe

If you have never tried this writing assignment, it's a MUST DO! The premise is simple: your students have become trapped in a snow globe, and their writing must detail their adventures while they are inside. I used THIS freebie to help my students plan their writing. Then, I took pictures of them to place inside of their snow globe and decorate. This is always such a huge hit.

Trapped in a Snowglobe Activity

Christmas Simile and Metaphor Task Cards

I created these FREE task cards to make it really easy for you to adapt them to use!  There are 32 simile and metaphor task cards with a holiday theme!  You can use a few a day, do a scavenger hunt, etc. The possibilities are endless, and now is a great time to review figurative language skills!

free Christmas figurative langauge


Using Pictures to Teach Reading Skills: Holiday Version

This freebie includes SEVEN pages of winter reading tasks using pictures! This was inspired from my best-selling resource, Using Pictures to Teach Reading Skills, and I decided to make this little freebie to get your students into the holiday spirit! Whether you have used the original version in your classroom or this is your first time using pictures to teach reading skills, your students are going to LOVE these pictures and accompanying activities!

You can get this for FREE when you subscribe to my Teaching With a Mountain View Newsletter! This is a newsletter subscriber EXCLUSIVE freebie and you can't access this content anywhere else! Sign up below and you will immediately receive an email with your freebie! Update 2020: This FREE resource now includes both a digital and printable version!

Holiday Read Aloud Literacy Activities

This post has a TREASURE trove of literacy activities to accompany beloved holiday picture books. Jennifer from Teaching to Inspire has created printable activities to go with each book she features, and each activity is rigorous AND engaging!

Download all of the free Christmas book activities HERE.

Holiday read aloud activities


Snowmen at Christmas (Division)

It somehow always happens that I am teaching division right before Christmas break. (You can read more about teaching long division HERE.) This is hard. Really, really hard. I am always trying to find highly engaged activities to practice division, which isn't always easy. A few years ago, I created this division companion to Snowmen at Christmas, and my students just adore it!  We read the book, and then they complete the tasks that go with it.

If you need a copy of this amazing book, you can purchase it from Amazon HERE. (Affiliate link)

Snowmen at Christmas activity

The Multiplication Gingerbread Village and The Division Tree (Multiplication & Division)

These two are also math activities, and they cover multiplication and division! I started creating math pictures with place value, and my students totally eat them up! For these math picture, students use numbers in their life to come up with an answer. Then, they use their answer to draw the picture. The answer might tell them how many trees they have, how many peaks their gingerbread house has, etc. I love these pictures because they all come out differently, and the students are still completely engaged in the math aspect of it!

Christmas Multiplication and Division Activities

Enter your email here to download the Snowmen at Christmas activity, gingerbread village, division trees, and a multiplication and division snow globe activity too!

Perimeter and Area Christmas Trees

Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6 is one of my absolute favorite teacher bloggers because the activities she shares are always SO academically focused while still being fun! Just look at how sweet these perimeter and area trees are!  If you have older students, this is a great review for them, and if you have younger students just learning about area and perimeter, it's great practice.

Download the FREE Tree recording sheet HERE.

Christmas Perimeter and Area

To Grandmother's House We Go (Mixed Math Review)

My students always look forward to math projects, and this one is no exception! Students review a plethora of different math skills with this project while planning a trip to grandmother's house. This is a multi-day project, and it is great for the days leading up to break because it reviews so many math skills and keeps kids super engaged.

Grab To Grandmother's House we go HERE.

Christmas math project

Are you looking for a WINTER themed math project instead? I have a brand new one HERE!


Christmas Science & STEM Labs (Science)

There isn't much that engages my kids like a good STEM activity! Ari from The Science Penguin has created some of THE COOLEST Christmas science activities I've ever seen. I love that Ari always creates resources that don't require an excess number of supplies, and you can implement them right away.

See all of her Christmas Science Labs HERE!

Christmas Science Lab

…and finally, number eleven, for good measure! 🙂

The Ultimate Christmas Activity Bundle

If you are looking for even more holiday activities that have a HUGE educational bang for their buck, I have a bundle of all of my Christmas resources. It is guaranteed to get you through those long days before break!

Grab the Christmas bundle HERE.

Subscribe for access to dozens of exclusive free resources.

Free Morphology Activities

Are you ready to get started teaching prefixes and suffixes? This FREE word study bundle can help!

free upper elementary notebook ideas for teaching prefixes and suffixes along with Greek or Latin roots

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