Tuesday, 1 December 2015

NO PREP activities for surviving THAT Monday and Tuesday

Hi all,

It's December and Christmas is just around the corner. If you're in school on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd December this year, then you'll probably be counting down the hours and minutes until the holidays. 

What better way to pass the time than cram those days full of Christmassy activities? This post is here to take away some of the doom and gloom of planning and suggest some ready-to-go activities.

1. Let A Crucial Week teach your class:
Yep! Let me in to your classroom. Well, not literally! Last year I (mortifyingly) created a video tutorial for a dance to Jingle Bell Rock (child-friendly, NOT Mean Girls style!). It's 14 minutes long and you can happily sit back while your children learn the dance from me! The dance is all performed on the spot so it can be done in the classroom, at their desks. Click here to find out more!

2. Have a Christmas karaoke session:
I've created a YouTube playlist with Christmas karaoke videos. Maybe your students are comfortable to get up and sing solo or in small groups. Otherwise, you could have the whole class sing together. Check it out here.

3. Have a table quiz:
Being a self-confessed quiz nerd, I can't resist the opportunity for a good aul quiz. This one from Nollaig Shona (by the man behind our beloved Seomra Ranga) on Powerpoint has a beautiful background and consists of 8 rounds of 6 questions, a tie breaker round (and answers) along with cute Christmas jokes at the end of each round. You'd be mad not to download this 145 slide freebie!

4. Throw on this Christmas playlist:
Whether the children are having a party, doing arts and crafts, stuck inside during wet weather or just singing/dancing along, this Christmas party playlist will keep them happy. Please be aware that you might have to skip a few ads at the start of these videos!

5. Have your own Late Late Toy Show:
Ask the children to bring in their favourite toy. Have the children do an oral "review" of the toy for the class. Don't forget to don a Christmas jumper to rival any that you've seen on Uncle Gaybo, Pat or Ryan! In my school, we allow the children to bring in one toy and they all play together in the gym. They love the novelty of it!

6. Watch a Christmas movie:
Some seasonal favourites are: 
Polar Express
Frosty The Snowman
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Kung Fu Panda Holiday
If you're allowed to put on PG-rated movies with older classes - Elf and Home Alone are good choices...
but the best way to organise this is to get the children to bring in some DVDs and vote on their favourite.

7. Christmas Memory Game (IWB):
Put this interactive memory game (from primarygames.com) on your whiteboard and let the class have turns to play it. As it is timed, maybe you could divide them into teams and see who could find the most pairs/ find all pairs the fastest. Be sure to check out the other Christmas-themed interactive games on that site too. 
If you'd prefer to have a hard copy of this type of game, you can download it for free from my TPT store.

8. Calm everything down with a softly-read story:
You don't even need to read it. This lovely rendition of "Twas the Night Before Christmas," read by Janet Lanier, accompanied by a harp is soothing to the ears.

9. Your Classroom's Got Talent / The X-Factor:
Unleash your class members' creativity by holding a "(Insert town/school name)'s Got Talent" or "X-Factor" show. Give the children some time to prepare a Christmas rap/song/dance/short sketch and then perform for their peers.

10. Classic party games:
Let's not forget the obvious. Some classics never fail to disappoint. Pick up a few cheap Christmas-themed stationery bits and bobs or candy canes, wrap them up and play "pass the parcel." Play musical chairs, musical statues or musical bumps with upbeat Christmas music.

*background and clipart in the title image from My Cute Graphics

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