Every year, about a month before Christmas holidays, I put up different advent calendars for different level classes ,in our classroom….
I am writing about my most favourite ones so far, below….
THE ENVELOPES ADVENT BANNER
24 small envelopes
24 wooden christmas or clothes pegs ( which can be decorated with paint and glitter)
24 pieces of card or postcards
To decorate the envelopes, I use christmas stickers but, another nice idea is to ask the students to draw on them or paint them, beforehand…
With a pen, I write the numbers 1-24 on the envelopes
To fill in the advent calendar I either use printable capital letters or decorate 24 postcards with the letters myself , as follows:
Envelope 1- W, envel.2- E, env.3-W, env.4- I, env.5 -S, env.6-H……etc
When done, we have the sentence: WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
I usually pop something else into the envelopes.I often put pictures with Christmas vocabulary for my little ones, or christmas jokes for the older students.
To use the advent banner:
Each day, I take down and open that day’s envelope and peg up the card instead. By Christmas Eve ,the banner will read WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
I usually decorate a further 7 envelopes adding the numbers 25-31.I make 7 cards .One decorated with a star, 5 with each of the words AND,A,HAPPY,NEW,YEAR, and the seventh with the date of the New Year! I peg these envelopes at the end of the advent banner and reveal the cards inside in class, the very last day, before schools close for Christmas…
THE CUPS ADVENT CALENDAR
Clips: I use mini clothespins or Christmas pegs, binder clips, paper clips etc…
1. Affix number sto the cups
2. Attach to the ribbon
3. Fill cups with messages, christmas jokes, loot etc..
4. Show to kiddies and have fun time each morning checking out the new surprise!
You can use anything to fill in the cups…
It can be a little treat, it can be a note about an activity we’ll do that day. e.g. paint an ornament for the tree, watch a holiday movie, sing a christmas song but, here below, I am sharing with you some Game-surprises, I have used for our advent cups this year:
A. Santa says (similar to Simon Says)
It’s a fun game to play with young students
B.Pass the ornament game
We need a straw for each child. we use ornaments cut-out of tissue paper or real ones.
Pass the ornaments down the line , teammate to teammate, by inhaling and exhaling on the straw to hang on or release the ornament. no hands1
C.Pin the nose on Frosty or Rudolph
Blindfold the player, spin’em around and let them try to stick the nose where it’s supposed to go. Give a sticker for the player who gets the closest.
D. Christmas Scramble
Choose a Christmas word such as : Christmas, Candy, Cane, Santa Claus, Reindeer…Write the letters of the word on individual index cards. Do this two times, making two sets. Put each set in a paper bag. Two teams.Give each team a bag. The first team to decipher what the word in the bag is wins.
Better for 5th or 6th graders or high school children.
All the girls stand on one side, the boys on the other.One girl and one boy are chosen to dance in christmas music for a minute while the rest of the class are singing along. Then, a signal is given and the girl and the boy choose new partners. This continues until everyone is dancing.Great to teach Christmas songs, too!
F. Tongue Twisters
Say each phrase three times as fast as you can. A christmas sticker for everyone who tries.
Santa sings shining star songs
Sally skis super slow
Tip-top tiny tot toys
Sally’s striped stocking’s stuffed slightly
Santa’s super souped sleigh swiftly slides sideways
Candy cane cookies keep kids coming etc
G. Book exchange
Inexpensive gift wrap for each child
A christmas book
Children set in a circle, holding a wrapped book. A Room Mother reads A Christmas story. I prefer the Gingerbread Man story.
Every time the word “ran” is spoken they pass the book to the person on their right. Continue doing until the story is over. Whoever has the book on their lap at the end of the story is theirs to keep and open.
Many activities can follow this amazing story telling game! Draw the story, retell the story, change the story ending, write the story summary etc, according to the class level!
H. Word Find
Take a Christmas related word such as: Christmas, Candy cane, etc and find as many smaller words from it as posiible , working in teams, before the time runs out. Example: Christmas-sit, is, his,miss,rat,this,math,rim…
The team with the longest list of words, win christmas stickers.
I. Christmas twenty questions
The teacher says ” I am thinking of something…” The children try to quess what it is by asking no more than 20 questions ,that can be answered “Yes” “No”or “I don’t know”.The student who guesses correctly is next up.
I am thinking of someone who wears a hat. He loves snow.He’ll melt if it’s too warm outside
Clues should be age appropriate for the children playing
More ganes ideas you could also find on
ENJOY!!THE COUNTDOWN ARTISTIC ADVENT CALENDAR
The simplest advent I have ever used in my class , is the one in the photo above! Simlpe but yet, artistic and fun! Children just love it!
We count down together as a class -revising the numbers, at the same time – before I change the numbers each day!
Stay tuned…more advent ideas that work in my english class, tomorrow…