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ESL Kids Christmas Games & Activities


Merry Christmas!

This page has a selection of Christmas games and activities that can be used in an ESL Kids classroom. Some have specific teaching functions, others are just fun games (good for parties!). At the end of each game is a Teaching Point (TP) Section.

Teaching Point Teaching Point (TP) Key:

TP: Teaching Point

V: Vocabulary

F: Teaching Function

AA: Additional Activities

Christmas Lesson Plans:

Free ESL KidStuff Christmas Lesson plans: Check out our wonderful Christmas lesson plans which are tailor-made to use in your kids ESL classroom.


Christmas Games & Activities:

Candy Cane Hockey: Make 2 goals on a table (using jellybeans as goal posts). Take another jellybean and use candy canes to shoot it into the goals (TP: V: candy cane, shoot, goal, win, lose, winner, loser, jellybean. F: giving instructions to play a game).

Candy Cane Horseshoes: This game is similar to the throwing horseshoes game. Put up a pole/stick/cone in the classroom. Students take turns throwing candy canes at it. The object of the game is to get your candy cane closest, and only throwing underarm. Extra points for getting the hook around the pole. The winner's prize? To eat all the candy canes! (TP: V: candy cane, throw, underarm, points, prize).

Candy Cane Pass (Relay Race): Supplies: 4 candy canes per team (have a few extras due to breakage). How To Play: The first player holds 4 candy canes between his/her fingers and passes them down the line, teammate to teammate, without dropping any. (TP: None).

Christmas Cards: Supplies: card, colored pens/pencils, glitter. Ss make cards for other Ss in the class. (TP: V: Christmas card. F: writing messages).

Christmas Stocking Relay: Supplies: one stocking for each team, one spoon for each team, one bowl for each team, some wrapped candy. How To Play: Divide Ss into teams. Have each team line up at one end of the room. At the other end, hang a Christmas stocking for each team. Place a bowl of candy and a spoon in front of each team. Each S takes a turn carrying a candy from the bowl with the spoon across the room to the stocking. They drop the candy in the stocking and race back to the next person in line and give them the spoon. First team to fill the stocking wins! (TP: V: stocking, candy, spoon, bowl. AA: Before the game you can get the sts to decorate their stockings with stars, bells, glitter, etc.).

Christmas Tree Decorate: Cut out a large tree shape (a triangle with rounded corners) from poster board and pin to a wall in the classroom. Ss create decorations, ornaments and wrapped presents from craft paper, and then glue them to the tree. (TP: V: decorations (star, bells, etc.), cut, glue).

Freeze: Supplies: Christmas music (see bottom of this page). How To Play: Begin playing music, everyone moves and dances until the music stops then they must "freeze" in whatever position they happen to be in. (TP: None).

Limbo: Based on the classic beach game of "limbo". Try using a string of twinkle lights, or a strand of sparkly garland for your limbo stick. For a fun variation on the game, make it a little more challenging by adding a Santa Stomach to each student as they take their turn. Have a couple of oversized shirts, and some fluffy pillows on hand. (TP: None).

Christmas Flashcards

Christmas Flashcards

In the Member's section there are 32 Christmas flashcards.
Take a look here.
Flashcards include: Santa, Rudolph, Christmas food, presents, Christmas tree, decorations and much more!

Christmas Flashcards

Pass the Christmas Ornament: Supplies: one straw for each child / ornaments cut out of tissue paper (tree, bell, star, etc.). How To Play: Divide the class into 2 teams and line up each team. Sts pass the ornaments down the line, teammate to teammate, by inhaling and exhaling on the straw to hang onto or release the ornament. No hands! The first team to successfully pass the ornaments up and down the line wins! (TP: V: ornament, decoration, tree, bell, star, line up, pass. AA: Before the game you can get the students to make the tissue ornaments).

Pin The Nose on Rudolph: This is a take on 'pin the tail on the donkey'. Put a picture of a nose-less Rudolf on the wall, blindfold the students, spin them around and see if they can pin a red nose in the right place. The nearest wins a prize/points. (TP: V: Rudolph, reindeer, nose, pin, blindfold, spin. F: parts of the body. AA: Song 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer', 'Rudolph Dash' game).

Rudolph Dash: Supplies: Circles cut out of red construction paper, Vaseline. How To Play: Using Vaseline have each S put a red circle on their nose. In teams, relay race to the finish with each new person adding their red nose. If the nose falls off the S must go back to the bowl and add more Vaseline to reapply their nose. (TP: V: circle, red, nose, run, stick. F: shapes, colors, parts of the body. AA: Song 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer', 'Pin the Nose on Rudolph' game).

Santa Says: Same as 'Simon Says': The S up is "Santa". S says "Santa says hop". All Ss hop. S says "Stop". Ss should continue hopping on until "Santa" says "Santa says stop". Repeat for other actions such as jump, run, turn around, sit down, stand up, hands up/down, star jump, etc. (TP: F: actions, commands).

Christmas Worksheets

Christmas Worksheets

In the Member's section there are 20 Christmas themed worksheets.
Take a look here.
Worksheets include: coloring pages, quizzes, word searches, bingo game sheets, mazes and much more! 

Christmas Worksheets

Scramble Christmas Words: Supplies: index cards, paper bags. How To Play: Choose a Christmas word such as: Christmas, Candy Cane, Santa Claus, Reindeer.... Write each letter of a word on individual index cards. Put the set in a paper bag. Divide the Ss into teams. Give each team a bag. The first team to decipher what the word in the bag wins. A variation of the game would be to divide into teams with the same number of Ss as there are letters in the word. Each S gets a letter and the team must arrange themselves in the right order to spell the word. (TP: F: Spelling).

Secret Santa Gift Exchange: Set this up 2-3 weeks before the class party. Write each person's name on a slip of paper, then have students draw a name from a hat. They can't get their own name. Students must buy a present for the person whose name they chose, but set a (low) price limit. Students bring the wrapped present, with the recipients name on it, to the party (have a few extra presents on hand if anyone forgets, or in case of other emergencies so everyone can get one). The teacher (or Santa!) draws the names from a hat, and the recipient has to guess who gave them the present. (TP: None).

Snowball Frosty the Snowman: Draw a snowman on the board with target points (e.g. 10 pts head, 5 pts stomach, etc.). Make wet balls of using tissue. Sts throw the wet 'snowballs' which stick to the snowman (who also slowly melts!). Ask qus for points. (TP: V: snowman, snowball, throw, points. F: 'wh' / 'yes,no' questions. AA: Song 'Frosty the Snowman', 'Rudolph Dash' game).

Snowflakes: Fold a piece of paper until it is quite small. Then cut small holes in the folded paper. Open up - a snowflake! (TP: V: Snowflake, paper, fold, cut. F: weather).

Spelling Banner: Prepare two banners that say whatever you want them to say, ie Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, etc. Also prepare a set of letters for the same words cut out in two different colors hidden randomly around the room. Divide the class into 2 teams with two captains--the captains sit and wait for their teammates to bring the letters for their banner. If a student is on the "red" team and sees a letter for the "green" team he/she just leaves it alone. The first team to cover their banner letters wins. (TP: F: spelling).

Who am I Santa?: Blindfold one student. The other Ss stand in circle around the blindfolded student. Spin the student around and then stop him/her facing another student. S says "Ho ho ho. Who am I?". The blindfolded S must guess who that student is and call out his/her name. (TP: F: asking people to identify themselves).

Word Find: Supplies: timer, paper, pens. Divide Ss into teams. Take a Christmas related word such as: Christmas, candy cane, Santa Claus, etc. and find as many words as possible using the letters of that word. Give a time limit (e.g. 2 mins). The team with the most words wins! Example: Christmas 1: (sit, is, his, miss, rat, tar, this, math, chair, rim...), Example 2: Candy cane (candy, cane, and, dance, day, nay, can, dye, an, any...). (TP: F: Spelling).

Christmas Songs:

ESL Kids Carols Download by ESL KidStuff - We have two great carols which you can download and use in your lessons: "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and "Jingle Bells". Each song has been adapted so that the words are easier for kids learning English. Listen to these songs on our Songs Page.

Christmas Carols for ESL Kids - a great article with three Chritmas carols specially adapted to use in the ESL kids classroom.

The following Christmas songs links are provided by 'Christmas Fun for Kids'. Clicking on the link will take you to a lyric page that also plays a midi version of the song.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

12 Days of Christmas

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

The First Noel

The following Christmas songs links are provided by 'Christmas-Carols.Net'. Clicking on the link will take you to a lyric page that also plays a midi version of the song.

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

All I Want For Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

Frosty the Snowman

Jingle Bells

Jingle Bell Rock

Oh Christmas Tree

Rocking Around The Christmas Tree

Silent Night

The Christmas Song

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

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