For those who celebrate it, the lead up to Christmas is one of the most exciting times of year for children (if not the most exciting). From a young age, children are involved in their family traditions and festivities. So what better way to help them get into the Christmas spirit than with some pre school Christmas activities they can take part in at nursery with their classmates and teachers? Try out these educational, fun Christmas activities for pre school children.
1. Decorate a Christmas Tree
Decorating a real Christmas tree might be a health and safety nightmare in nursery school but here’s an easy alternative that gives each child complete autonomy over how the Christmas tree should look. Provide each child with a picture of a plain tree, our Jumbo Christmas Tree 40 pack is perfect, with pre-cut tree shapes. Fill a big tub with craft materials and let each child decorate their own Christmas tree. You can
2. Fill a Christmas Tree Silhouette
This is a super easy group activity that children can play together. Not only will this help them to play as a group and be considerate of one another, but it’ll give them an opportunity to practice spatial awareness and problem-solving.
Using duct tape mark out a Christmas tree silhouette on the floor. Have the children all stand around it and ask them what it looks like. Tell the children that they must decorate the ‘tree’ by filling it with different objects. This game offers a lot of variation. You can set the challenge of filling the space with as many objects as possible or of only using items of a certain colour, for example.
3. Make Christmas Character Crowns
Get into the festive mood with some funny Christmas character crowns that your nursery students can make and wear for the day, or for a special Christmas party. In this pack of 30 Christmas Character Crowns you have everything you need to create a crown in a few simple steps. Use the band as the base of the crown and ask the children to stick on the eyes, nose, and other accessories.
There’s freedom for the children to customise the crowns how they want, you could encourage them to colour them in or supply other materials to stick on and make their crown unique.
4. Grow your own Christmas Tree
You might need to start this activity in advance to get the full effect when you’re carrying out Christmas activities for preschool at the end of term. But preparation will teach children about being patient, and understanding how it takes time for things to grow in the natural world.
Start off by handing round Christmas tree-shaped sponges. To keep things tidy and easy t move you’ll want to put each tree sponge in an individual tray or on a waterproof plate. Let each child cover the whole of the top of their sponge with grass seed and spray it with a water bottle so the sponge is damp. You’ll need to set the trees aside something with access to sunlight for around four weeks for good growth of grass. You can turn this into a regular activity by helping the children to check up on the growth of their Christmas trees and whether they need more water. Once the four week period is up you can get to the really fun bit- trimming the grass on the trees with child-friendly scissors.
5. Bending Candy Cane Challenge
Can your students bend candy canes into new shapes? Teach about heating and cooling and how it can change the behaviour of materials with this experiment. Heat up the candy canes in the oven or microwave and wait for them to cool to a safe temperature before handing them out to the children to bend and mould. See if anyone can bend theirs into a knot. You might want to give the children some props to try and bend their candy canes into other shapes, like numbers and symbols.
6. Make a Christmas Countdown Clock
Christmas activities for pre school should build on skills that young learners are already developing. Creating this special Christmas countdown clock that children can take home with them will help young learners with grasping time as well as counting. Help children to decorate their clock by sticking the snowman’s face on, and even writing the numbers on depending on their age. Fix the carrot nose in the centre with a split pin, or ask a teacher’s assistant to help you with this part. Use coloured card to cut out the shapes for the snowman’s features.
If you want to give the children more creativity you could simply task them with decorating their plate with a Christmas scene or other Christmas characters and use a conventional dial in the centre. Find lots more Christmas activity worksheets in our blog The Only Christmas School Activities Worksheets You will Ever Need.
7. Christmas Stencil Experiment
For a really simple craft idea that will have children occupied if you need to tick something off your list, hand out Christmas stencils and a selection of art materials like paint, crayons, sponges, and so on. Task each child with creating as many different pictures as they can using the same stencil. Encourage them to try different materials and different techniques to produce different outcomes.
8. Messy play with Christmas Slime
Slime is always a popular addition to messy play. Introduce messy Christmas activities for nursery school with a Christmas slime tuff tray activity. You can buy festive red or green slime from Springboard Supplies. Add in some Christmassy accessories in different textures and materials to make the slime more interesting, like Giant Christmas Spangles.
Talk to the children about the slime as they play with it. How does it feel? Is it squishy or hard? What can you do with it? Can you pour it or mould it into a shape? Use Green slime as part of Grinch-themed Christmas activities too.
9. Make Christmas Decorations to take Home
Christmas activities pre school kids love usually involve having something to show to the class or take home at the end. Using our Polystyrene Christmas Decorations Pack of 35 you can easily task preschoolers with creating their very own Christmas decorations to take home and hang on the tree. In this pack, you’ll get 35 plain polystyrene decorations that can be coloured or decorated with glitter, felt pieces, sequins, playdough, or anything else you have access to. The smooth polystyrene is completely safe for little ones to work with.
10. Make Paper Snowflakes
There’s nothing to have young children practising their cutting skills than making paper snowflakes. If you’re looking for Christmas pre school activities to help them practice these skills, this task is so simple there’s little excuse not to do it. All you need is a ream of printer paper and some safety scissors. Fold each piece of paper as many times as you like (try not to make it too thick and difficult to cut). Then hand round scissors for children to have a go at cutting out various shapes and patterns. They can have as many goes as there is time and try out lots of different ways of cutting to see how they work when the paper is unfolded.
You could go one further and make the snowflake cutting activity even more fun with some special Crazy Cut Scissors. These will let little ones cut in different patterns for even more impressive snowflakes. Use the snowflakes the children have made to decorate the classroom for a special Christmas classroom party.
On the return to school it can be hard for everyone (teachers included) to get back into the school routine. Try some of these back to school activities to get everyone in the mood to learn again.