20 Ways to Turn Your Classroom into a Winter Wonderland

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It’s the time of year when visions of the holidays dance in our heads. Here are some creative and interactive ways to embrace the holiday spirit in your classroom.

1. Turn your door into a reindeer stable

This construction paper friendly project will make students smile to see Rudolph peeking out – and it may get a giggle or two, too.

2. Make Jack Frost your classroom greeter

We’re not sure if he’s coming or going through the door, but this snowman made of Styrofoam cups certainly makes the door décor pop! Plus it’s is a fun and safe way for students to take part in building a snowman.

Once inside the classroom …  

3. Have students hang their hats

This display featuring paper hats that students can decorate themselves (with markers, cotton balls, etc.) is the perfect way to remind them to hang up their things when entering the classroom from outside.

4. Light up your whiteboard 

The lights around the board are sure to catch students’ eyes and encourage them to stay engaged.

5. … and the bulletin board

Kindness is one of the most important themes of the holiday season. This activity and visual helps bring that lesson home.

6. Make your own artificial snow 

Sprinkling snow adds a nice winter touch to classroom tabletops and displays and this snow, made of baking soda and conditioner, is a simple way to do it.

7. … and have students imagine that snowglobe life

This snowglobe (held together with plastic bowls) is a great way to tap into students’ imagination and have them bring their visions to life.

8. Make borax snowflakes

These snowflakes add a new twist to the usual paper make-your-own snowflakes and provide the opportunity to teach students about science at the same time. Bonus: add some string and they can hang them at home.

9. Build a gingerbread house

Oh, the wonders of cardboard boxes. You build the gingerbread house and as a classroom activity, students can color the candy decorations to go outside – and don’t forget the paper plate shingles!

10. Hold reading time by the HANDmade fireplace 

Students can cut out shapes of their hands to make the fire or color stockings for the mantle, making a cozy and personalized spot for reading. 

11. Host a hot chocolate party

Save time and the trouble of making instant hot chocolate with mix packets by preparing it in a Crock Pot instead.

And as the holidays approach …

12. Make watercolor dreidels 

Cut the dreidels out (or let the students trace and cut, if appropriate) and let them paint their own designs to make these pretty pieces of art.

13. … which pair perfectly with stained glass star of David ornaments

Popsicles have endless potential. Glue the popsicle sticks together and then overlay with tissue paper to make them look like stained glass. For the full effect, try hanging them in the window to catch the light!

14. Turn paper plates into menorahs 

For a quick but meaningful project, you can make these menorahs out of paper plates and top them with construction paper candles.

15. Let students create Kwanzaa jewelry

These necklaces made of pasta let students play jewelers and wear their pieces with pride.

16. … which match these DIY Kwanzaa hats

These hats are made easily by stapling together strips of construction paper. To make them individual and interactive, have them write something they’ve learned about Kwanzaa on the labels.

17. Hand traced Kwanzaa wreaths 

The list of things you can make with hand-shaped paper cutouts is endless. To add extra meaning, students can write principles of the celebration on the hands.

18. Thoughtfully trim the tree

These thoughtful and interactive ornaments prompt students to consider the reasons for the season.

19. Help Santa down the chimney 

This fun and timely activity is a great way to sharpen storytelling and problem-solving skills.

20. Make the season bright 

Have a few extra minutes to fill? Try this chalk stencil art project.



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Aimée La Fountain

Aimée La Fountain is a Greater New York based writer and communications professional. She's a correspondent for Gannett, where she has an art column as well as contributing news and feature stories.

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