Festive Activities: Who would have thought they could be educational?

The run up to Christmas is sometimes quite stressful: Adults with so much still to do for the big day and children bored and impatiently waiting.


Why not get your children involved in preparing some silly, old fashioned games for your guests over the Christmas period?

And as you will see from these suggestions, they’ll be doing literacy type activities without even knowing it!



Christmas Scavenger Hunt


This can be a good ice breaker - a way of getting people mixing together as they arrive.

Prepare some ‘odd’ things around the house; things that don’t quite fit with Christmas. Then ask people in pairs or small teams to go and find them all.


Children really enjoy thinking of things that might fool people and they need to do some thinking and writing to prepare this game – they also have to read everyone’s answers to find out who is the winner.


Examples could include:

  • Put a birthday card in with the Christmas cards.
  • Have a pair of tights hanging rather than a Christmas stocking.
  • A puddle of water with a scarf and a carrot.
  • Have an Easter chick hanging with the baubles on the tree
  • Write a musical sign that says ‘Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine’
  • Place a fourth wise man in the nativity scene
  • Put a candle upside down.
  • Draw a snowman wearing sunglasses and a swimming costume
  • Have a plastic cow pulling Santa’s sleigh
  • Wrap a present with the paper the wrong way round.




Christmas Words Hunt


A variation on the scavenger hunt is to have teams looking for letters that make up Christmas words.


Use different coloured paper – say red and green. Write out 3 Christmas words in big letters

E.g. Red letters include STARTREESANTA

Green letters might be: JESUSMANGERWISEMEN


Cut up all the letters and hide them around the house/garden.


The red team has to go and find all the red letters and the green team all the green ones. The first team to find all the letters and re-arrange them into the original words wins.



Christmas Bingo


Get children to prepare some Christmas bingo cards with different Christmas items on – they will also have to put pieces of paper into a tub to be able to pull them out and be the ‘bingo caller’

For 4 or more players using 4 X 4 grids they will have to think and write about 60 Christmas related words.



Christmas Charades or Pictionary


Children will love preparing some things for people to act out or draw. They could work within 4 easy categories:

Things that we sing at Christmas

Things we eat

Things we watch (TV, films and theatre)

Things we have as presents.

Get them to make at least 6 for each category and write them onto small cards for the game.




Christmas Present Stories


Get your children to make up silly Christmas stories using the words Left and Right.

They then read this story aloud with people sat in a circle passing a present around.

Every time the word left is read out the parcel is passed to the left and to the right when they hear the word right.


An example story might be:


At 6am two children called Sally and Stanley fell right out of bed. They left their slippers behind as they ran down the left side of the landing. Stan went right back the bedroom when they had left them. He put his left slipper on to his right foot. He is a right silly billy, isn’t he?

Sally didn’t do much better because she didn’t get it right either at first but somehow managed to get the left slipper on the left foot and everything was right in the end.


And so on…..

When the story ends the person holding the present wins.


Have a very Merry Christmas


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