So, if you're overwhelmed, unmotivated and facing a holiday to-do list that's a mile long, here are a few simple tips and tricks from my classroom to help you create a fun Christmas experience for you students (while saving you a little time and energy).
Each year I give my students a book as a Christmas gift. I LOVE Scholastic book orders because they always offer a few books for $1 each during the holidays. Earlier this month, my class went on a field trip to see If You Give a Mouse a Cookie performed at a local venue by Theatreworks USA. (If you're not already familiar with this wonderful company-you should definitely look into it. They perform musical adaptations of several popular children's books in each hour-long performance.) Anyways, I was THRILLED to open my Scholastic book orders and see that If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was one of the $1 books this month. I use book orders in my classroom regularly, so I was able to get a copy for each student using only my bonus points.
I wanted the gift to be special for my students but I did NOT have time to gift wrap, so I quickly printed a cute label for the inside of each book and I purchased blouse boxes for the gift wrap (you can buy them at the dollar store in packs of 3 and they are surprisingly adorable!) Ten minutes later, my gifts were labeled, wrapped and ready to go. I can't wait to see my students' faces when they open their gifts!
Parent GiftsLast week I showed you the adorable watercolor Christmas trees my students painted as gifts for their parents. Their lovely framed masterpieces also needed to be wrapped and I didn't have time to wrap those gifts either. Out came the dollar store gift boxes (larger boxes are also sold in 3-packs). With the addition of a personalized label (Merry Christmas Dad! Love _____), these were also quickly wrapped and ready to go. I let my students select the box for their parents and they loved being a part of the wrapping process.
Here is one of the paintings (in case you missed it the first time). I know many of you are VERY curious to see what my students' second gift is- I promise to share that gift with you later this week.
Christmas BingoIf you're behind in your holiday party planning, don't fret... I have a fun way to engage your students in a festive way and review information. Play Christmas BINGO! Turn any Bingo game into instant holiday fun by getting creative with your Bingo markers. I always use holiday M&Ms to play Bingo at my classroom party.
Holiday-themed foam shapes make great Bingo markers as well!
Need a BINGO game in a big hurry? I offer several different varieties in my TpT store at a great prices (prices range from $3.50 to $5.00). Click the image below to shop.
The tragic events at Sandy Hook have left an impression on the hearts and minds of every teacher and parent. This will be a difficult week to put on a happy face each day at school, but all children are deserving of Christmas magic. Let's make this Christmas one they will never forget (for all of the right reasons.)