Christmas is the MOST wonderful time of the year! Okay, maybe that’s my opinion- but there are so many wonderful arts, crafts, and learning opportunities you can incorporate into Christmas theme preschool activities. And to see the wonder and excitement for the holiday season through children’s eyes- well, that’s just priceless!
Over the years, we have had lots of fun and learning throughout the holiday season. Here are some fabulous resources for planning your preschool Christmas theme. Most of these activities are designed for kids ages 3 through 5, but many can be modified for younger and older kids as well.
WHY IT’S FUN
As Christmas approaches kids can hardly contain their excitement. Working a Christmas theme into your activities is a wonderful way to use that enthusiasm to help kids engage in meaningful learning activities as well.
WHEN TO TEACH A CHRISTMAS THEME
The whole month of December is the perfect time to teach a Christmas theme. Kids can share what their family does throughout the season, and learn about how other traditions around the world celebrate Christmas and other important December holidays.
TEACHING TIPS & MAJOR CONCEPTS KIDS WILL LEARN
If you’re planning a preschool Christmas theme there are many possibilities for incorporating meaningful early learning skills.
These are just some of the concepts kids can learn about during a Christmas theme:
- Christmas traditions and symbols around the world
- traditional Christmas symbols
- Christmas trees
- candy canes
You can also use real candies like candy canes, peppermints and gum drops, Christmas theme mini erasers, pom poms, or jingle bells as manipulatives for many learning activities to teach math and literacy concepts.
ITEMS TO COLLECT AND REQUEST IN ADVANCE
If you get parents, friends, and family involved you can enrich the experience kids have during your preschool Christmas theme.
Collect or ask people to help you collect:
- pom poms
- craft jewels
- craft sticks
- craft bells
- candies like candy canes, peppermints and gum drops
- peppermint, ginger, or cinnamon scented items (candles, extracts, etc)
- old Christmas cards
- red and green construction paper
You might even invite special guests (or go visit if you can) to come and share about fields and hobbies related to Christmas. You could include:
- Christmas tree or poinsettia farmer
- Mail worker to discuss unique aspects of holiday shipping and volume of packages shipped in December
PRINTABLE CHRISTMAS THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
GET A FULL SET OF CHRISTMAS THEME PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES
The 169-page Christmas Lesson Plan Set includes hands-on activities and these additional printables:
1) Beginning Letters Gift Sorting Game (in color and b/w)
2) Reindeer Math Mats (2 versions in color and b/w)
3) My Christmas Senses Activity Book Making Pieces
4) 0-35 Christmas Number Cards (2 versions in color and b/w)
5) Christmas Counting Syllables Sorting Game (in color and b/w)
6) Christmas Picture-Word Cards (in color and b/w)
7) Ornament Play Dough Mats
8) Candy Cane Play Dough Writing Task Cards (shapes, uppercase letters, lowercase letters, number 0-20)
9) Christmas Light Patterns Activity Pieces (in color and b/w)
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
RELATED CHRISTMAS PRINTABLES
INDIVIDUAL CHRISTMAS ACTIVITY IDEAS ON FANTASTIC FUN AND LEARNING
Here on Fantastic Fun and Learning we’ve shared the following ideas to go along with a preschool Christmas theme. Here’s a collection of videos we have for some of our most popular Christmas activities. Click the playlist folder button on the bottom right of the video to quickly switch between videos.
Using some twigs, cranberries, and acorns you can have a fun hands-on way to create reindeer with chocolate scented play dough!
Create a beautiful Christmas tree sun catcher that you can admire throughout the season.
Grab some sponges and get ready to paint with them to create Christmas tree sponge painted art. Dress them up with jewels and fingerprints to represent the decorations on the trees!
This Christmas tree ornament is made with yarn, and craft sticks glued in a triangular shape. Wrapping the yarn provides lots of good fine motor practice!
Kids will love this hands-on approach to decorating a salt painted ornament to hang on the tree.
Save those cardboard tubes and make a Christmas wreath craft! Kids will get great fine motor practice as they weave the yarn in and out.
With just some yarn, craft sticks, and small pom poms, you can work in some fine motor practice as you wrap the yarn to create a yarn-wrapped reindeer craft.
Practice shape recognition and create a reindeer collage work of art with loose parts.
Decorate a Christmas treat with upside down ice-cream cones that are transformed into tasty Christmas tree cones. Kids will love to frost, decorate, and eat them of course!
Grab some green yarn and some small pom poms to create a yarn wrapped Christmas tree ornament.
Paint with pom poms to decorate this pom pom painted Christmas tree craft.
Invite kids to decorate a felt shaped Christmas tree donned with ornaments, lights, and presents- all with pre-cut felt pieces.
Grab some tinfoil and construction paper, and you can make these fun process art Christmas ornaments.
Pom pom paint your way with toddlers to this easy and fun glittery pom pom painted Christmas tree craft.
Create your own salt dough to make a handmade candy cane ornament.
Gather some loose parts such as cardboard tubes, tinsel pom poms, buttons, and colorful beaded necklaces and let kids’ imaginations run wild. We had fun creating a Christmas tree loose parts craft.
Decorate a Christmas tree with some Washi Tape and you’ll have a beautiful Washi Tape Christmas tree!
Create a unique Christmas tree craft by rolling dough cutters across the paper tree to create the tree’s “needles.” Add some cute fingerprints to represent ornaments or lights.
This simple paper ornament craft is a quick and easy way to add a kids made ornament to your tree.
Save those small bits of construction paper and create some Christmas torn paper art. You can create stockings, candy canes, Christmas trees, or even ornaments.
Cut out some gingerbread man shaped felt for this fun and hands-on gingerbread man felt play.
Invite kids to create a Christmas tree ribbon craft by stacking pre-cut strips of Christmas ribbon.
Save those egg cartons and create a cute egg carton jingle bell craft.
Stack some painted egg carton piece to create a Christmas tree egg carton craft.
Work in some fine motor practice as kids peel and stick on colorful dot stickers to decorate a Christmas wreath craft.
Make your very own handmade Christmas cards this season using Washi tape.
This Christmas play dough invitation is sure to excite kids as they get to decorate their Christmas tree with sparkly jewels and smell the minty green dough as they flex those fine motor muscles.
Practice color recognition with this color matching Christmas tree activity. Kids will get extra fine motor practice as they peel the removal dot stickers off.
Practice upper and lowercase ABC matching with this fun reindeer play dough alphabet matching game.
Work on matching upper and lowercase letters with this fun Christmas tree letter matching activity.
Using gingerbread scented play dough and loose parts, stamp out and decorate letters of the alphabet to practice letter recognition with this gingerbread ABC play dough activity.
Create your own gingerbread play dough people with some loose parts with this fun play dough invitation.
Looking to add a little sensory fun and play to your holiday season? Set up a peppermint water play station for kids to explore.
With some loose parts and a sensory tray, let little learners dig into this fun sensory bin to decorate a Christmas tree.
Add some loose parts to a sensory bin and let little hands explore a Christmas themed sensory bin.
This Christmas tree addition game is a fun and easy way to practice basic addition, as kids use green and red colored M&M’s to recognize addition facts.
Practice number recognition with this Christmas tree number matching math activity. Kids will match the dot sets to the corresponding number on colorful removable dot stickers.
Using some paper rolls and twigs, create a cute reindeer craft with imaginary play that also incorporates some counting!
Trace a child’s foot and get practicing some simple counting and addition with this reindeer math craft and activity. Kids will match or create addition sets based on the number on Rudolph’s nose.
Let creative juices flow with this candy cane symmetry math activity. Kids will love designing their own tree using candy canes that reflect symmetrically over a line of symmetry.
Get kids moving and shaking as they create their own jingle bell process art.
Exercise those fine motor muscles as you create Christmas torn paper art.
Check out our fun Christmas PJ’s tradition and how we incorporate Christmas book bedtime stories and hot chocolate taste testing in them.
Looking for a healthy snack for the kiddos around this holidays? Involve them in creating this healthy Christmas tree to munch on.
Whip up some Christmas tree pancakes as a special treat. Add some green food coloring and Christmas colored M&M’s to decorate!
Choose whether to use natural materials or your favorite beads and mini lights in this loose parts play Christmas tree craft project.
MORE ACTIVITIES FROM CREATIVE EDUCATORS
Find an engaging Christmas sensory bin to set up for kids to play with in December.
Get creative with play dough using these fun Christmas play dough ideas.
Looking for a healthy holiday themed snack? We’ve found 25 healthy and tasty holiday snacks that are sure to keep the holiday snack time healthy and festive!
There are lots of cute options and ways to involve children in creating handmade Christmas cards.
Here are so many fun ways to create a Christmas photo ornament for your tree using a favorite picture. These are such great mementos!
Check all of these cute DIY snowman ornaments that also make great mementos of the season.
If you’re looking for a fun way to count down to Christmas, check out some of these advent calendars for kids.
Get creative with this MASSIVE list of Christmas tree craft projects for kids.
You’ll find lots of cute reindeer learning activities and crafts here.
Check out this amazing list of free Christmas printables from so many of our friends from around the Web.
INFORMATIONAL YOUTUBE VIDEOS
Kids talk about their favorite parts of the holiday season and their own traditions on how they celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Ramadan and Three Kings Day.
This informational song has real photos and shares how the holidays are celebrated around the world.
Listen to the many different holiday greetings from around the world spoken in many languages.
Sing along to a holiday favorite, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by The Kiboomers.
Jingle all the way to Jingle Bells from Super Simple Songs.
Watch the town get ready for Christmas and sing along to We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Super Simple Songs.
Sing along to this holiday classic, Frosty the Snowman by Christmas Songs for Kids.
Sing along with lyrics to Up on the Housetop by The Learning Station.
OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES
Finger plays and action rhymes are a great addition to your preschool themes. Here are a few terrific options to go along with a Christmas theme.
Childhood 101 has 12 engaging Christmas finger plays and action rhymes for kids.
Check out Teach Preschool’s holiday finger plays and songs for preschoolers. Some involve popular holiday books such as The Mitten.
If you’d like to supplement your hands-on learning with some online games you might try:
PBSKids has a ton of fun and engaging games for the holidays! From snowflake match to helping Curious George deliver presents, there’s lot of fun to be had.
Build a snowman, trim a Christmas tree, or solve a puzzle with northpole.com’s holiday learning games for kids.
Help find Rudolph, create a Christmas mosaic, or decorate reindeer cookies to just name a few fun online holiday games for kids from Primary Games.
FAVORITE CHRISTMAS BOOKS
Affiliate links included.
There are a ton of wonderful books to read for your Christmas theme. Below are some of our favorite picture books for a Christmas theme.
Bring the holidays to life as kids read books with with real photographs in nonfiction texts about the holidays around the world.
MORE CHRISTMAS BOOKS
Sing along to some favorite Christmas tunes while reading some of our favorite Christmas song books for kids.
Read one of ten different versions of The Twelve Days of Christmas and have fun singing along!
Reindeer are a fun topic to explore throughout the Christmas season. Check out some of our favorite books about reindeer.
We love reading about gingerbread throughout the holiday season. Check out some of our very favorite gingerbread man (and girl) books.
The Nutcracker is a beloved and timeless Christmas story. Enjoy some of our favorite versions of The Nutcracker.
OTHER PROPS AND TEACHING TOOLS
Reinforce learning with these hands-on materials for your Christmas theme preschool activities. They can be used for sensory bins, crafts, and learning activities.
Using loose parts and play dough, have fun with our free Christmas ornament play dough mats for some hands-on artistic play.
Roll and color your way to number and color recognition with this free roll and color Christmas tree math game.
Make a batch of peppermint play dough and get to writing letters, CVC words, or sight words with our free printable writing task cards for some candy cane play dough writing!
Work on letter recognition and formation with the fun gingerbread man alphabet printables.
Use this free printable Roll and Say Christmas ABC game as another fun way to practice letters and sounds.
Practice counting and showing ways to represents numbers to ten with these free printable gingerbread counting mats.
Little scientists can test their sense of smell in this fun Christmas scents guessing game.
Don’t forget to write those Christmas thank you notes! Choose your favorite free printable Christmas thank you letter template.
POSSIBLE FIELD TRIPS OR ADVENTURES
- Visit a Christmas Tree Farm.
- Head to a bakery to help make gingerbread or another favorite holiday treat.
- Go caroling around school or in a local assisted living facility.
As you wrap up your preschool Christmas theme you’re probably ready for a nice long winter break. Enjoy!
And when you’re ready to start planning your winter theme fun, check out our winter lesson plan options.