No time of year is quite as cozy and exciting as the fall and winter holidays. These snuggly seasons appeals to all ages, from Kindergartners to middle schoolers, so be sure to take advantage of the fun and festivity in your own classroom. Here are four ideas to help you get out in front of the holidays and give kids their best year yet.
1. Prepare Holiday Craft Activities
Sure, paper cutouts of pumpkins and turkeys can be fun, but this year, make it a point to go above and beyond. Perhaps you can celebrate the winter holidays of several cultures, such as Christmas, Chanukah (aka Hanukkah), Diwali or even Solstice. Buy paper in bulk to maximize your classroom budget, and you’ll be able to do activity after activity without worrying about running short.
2. Plan for Classroom Celebrations
Many teachers like to have a holiday celebration to see their students off for the Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Your students may observe a wide variety of holidays, depending on their culture and religion, so keep your emphasis on the seasons rather than on any particular holiday. Let parents know they can bring (packaged) food, and block out a several hour period at the end of the last day before each holiday for hanging out, playing and eating.
3. Get Your Class a Gift
While some teachers like to give each student a holiday gift – such as pencils or stickers – others like to get the whole class a gift. If you’ve needed a big item for a while, such as a listening center or a set of therapy balls, this is a good opportunity to get it and present it to your class.
4. Inform Parents About Needed Supplies
You may need extra or specialty supplies for winter projects, pageants, costume parties, plays or holiday festivals; so be sure to let parents know well in advance. If you don’t, your students may not have what they need on the special day, and that’s never good. Instead, use easy downloadable forms to alert parents of what’s needed ahead of time.
This year, don’t get caught unawares when the holiday seasons roll around. Plan for fall and winter holidays, prepare craft activities to get everyone in the mood, set your celebration times in advance so everyone can participate, get your class gifts and let parents know what you need. Although we can’t tell you to “sit back and relax,” because you’re a teacher, we hope you enjoy yourself!