Taking on the countdown to winter break can be stressful, but these themed activities may help to give students something to look forward to. Your classroom space might still feel wound up, but mixing learning activities in with a countdown is a fun way to bring everyone together during the hectic days before break. Check out this five-day plan for classroom themes and related activities to try the week before winter vacation.
Countdown to Winter Vacation Classroom Activity: BREAK
This week-long classroom activity schedule can make the countdown to winter break a little more cheerful and fun for students. The theme of the day doesn’t need to be distracting or involve a messy craft.
Just keep the themes a secret until students walk in for the day. Students may even enjoy trying to guess what the theme of the day will be before you share it with them. Use one of the suggested ideas to bring the theme of the day into the daily topics or events.
A Week of Winter-Themed Fun: B.R.E.A.K.
The word “break” covers a five-day week before winter vacation and offers ideas for a theme to go with each day. Use the themes to think of activities, lessons, or crafts that work with that theme. Feel free to use the themes as inspiration to to come up with your own winter break countdown theme and activity calendar:
Day 1 Theme: Blizzard: a severe snowstorm with high winds and low visibility.
- Blizzard Prep: Discuss how humans prepare for a blizzard and compare our preparations like coats, scarves, a warm house, with the preparations that animals make in the wild (hibernation, a cozy den, thick fur, migration).
- Blizzard Books: Read a book about snow or blizzards as a class.
- Classroom Blizzard: Pretend there’s an indoor blizzard and decorate the classroom with paper snowflakes. Allow students to wear a winter hat for the day.
- Blizzard Science: Try this Easy Blizzard Science Experiment
Day 2 Theme: Reindeer: a mammal native to Eurasia and North America.
- What Are Antlers For? Talk about how animals like reindeer use their antlers to protect themselves and to find a mate. Discuss the benefits of living in a herd and how they are able to protect each other by sticking together.
- Reindeer Craft: Make a classic reindeer craft by tracing and cutting out students’ hands to be used as antlers.
- Reindeer Dropping Bingo Board: Make winter-themed bingo board and have the students use “reindeer droppings” or chocolate covered raisins as bingo chips.
Day 3 Theme: Evergreen: a plant that retains green leaves (needles) throughout the year
- Leaves vs Needles: Discuss the differences between leaves and needles, and why certain trees (specifically pine trees) don’t lose their needles when the weather turns cold.
- Evergreen Exploration: Bring in branches of different types of evergreen trees (green giant, cypress, spruce, etc) and talk about how the evergreen leaves are built to last through winter.
- Triangle Trees: Discuss the shape of evergreen trees and how that shape helps to protect them from wind and snow.
- Bird Feeder Craft: Make bird feeder pine cones using this recipe without peanut butter. Tell students to hang them outside and keep an eye out for thankful, hungry birds.
Day 4 Theme: Arctic: relating to the area of the world near the North Pole.
- Icebergs in the Arctic: Talk about icebergs and how they grow, shrink, change, and move.
- Chilly Swimmers: Discuss how swimming animals stay warm when they live in the icy cold arctic ocean. Focus on the differences/benefits of fur and blubber.
- Whale Science: Test the idea of whale blubber as an insulator with this Whale Blubber Experiment.
Day 5 Theme: Kindling: small sticks or twigs used for starting a fire.
- Campfire Chat: Create a circle with the desks in your classroom and build a pretend campfire in the middle. Discuss how fireplaces and campfires have been used throughout history (cooking, light, heating, socializing).
- Hypothesize Hotness: Discuss what colors of fire are the hottest. Have students list the different colors of fire that there are (red, orange, yellow, blue, white), and then hypothesize which color is the hottest.
- Word Fire: Have students list as many adjectives about campfires as they can. List them all on the board. Give out prizes to the students with the most creative answers.
- Campfire Songs: End the day with “The Campfire Song Song” from Spongebob and a winter break dance around the pretend fire.
More Holiday Games & Activities
Looking for more ideas and ways to engage your students as winter break approaches? Check out the Holiday Games & Activities and the Winter tag pages to find lesson plans, games, and more. Also be sure to stop by the online store to find all the tools and supplies you need to make winter and holiday crafts and activities come to life.