Winter is a time of rest and regrouping. It’s generally colder, and the days are shorter — it’s a great time to gather with friends and family to celebrate holidays and traditions.

We recently asked our Teacher-Authors how they celebrate the winter holidays from around the world with their students. Read some of their wonderful suggestions and make a new tradition of your own!

Discover Winter Holidays Around the World

Holidays Around the World- A Fun Paper Bag Passport with Crafts, Posters & More!Erin Palleschi’s class plans a trip: “We make travel passports! Part of our curriculum includes learning about different traditions and celebrations, so I created a paper bag passport that’s easy for the kids to put together. We make a craft related to each holiday that fits into the pockets of the paper bag book. Here’s a link if you want to check it out: Holidays Around the World- A Fun Paper Bag Passport with Crafts, Posters & More!

Christmas around the World WebQuestHigh schoolers can get some stamps on their passports as well, says History Gal. “In high school, there’s not a lot of time to spend on things that aren’t in the state curriculum. December is always a mad rush to try to get as much content covered as possible so students will be ready for midterms or finals when they return from break. However, I usually try to sneak some holiday fun in during the last day before break. I have my 9th graders either complete a webquest about Christmas celebrations around the world and the history of Santa or a webquest about celebrating the New Year.”

Holidays Around the World Part I and Part II {Bundled}All Y’All Need has high praise of Rachelle Smith’s Holidays Around the World Part I and Part II {Bundled}. “We love sharing about different holidays and customs around the world. We believe teaching our kids information about how other kids celebrate around the globe is vital to the season. After all, information is power. Our kids cannot relate to what they don’t know about or don’t understand. We believe winter is the perfect time to show our kids how the rest of the world looks at the same time of year. The all-time best product ever comes from Rachelle Smith. Seriously, get this product now! It will brighten your holidays.”

Christmas Around the World Pack now with Reader's TheaterPlan a virtual holiday feast, suggests Melissa Shutler-Evidence of Learning. Here’s how she does it: “First, we learn about winter holidays around the world. Each table is assigned one holiday to research. Then the students decorate their tables to look like they’re hosting a holiday dinner from that country. They cover their table with butcher paper using the colors of their holiday, create centerpieces, and draw the food on paper plates. Invitations are left at each seat to explain the meaning and traditions. Then we travel from table to table, taking notes about each holiday. It’s magical!” Here’s the link to her Christmas Around the World Pack now with Reader’s Theater.

Giving Back Makes a World of Difference

Holiday Act of Kindness Class ProjectCelebrate this season of giving by helping those less fortunate. That’s what Can’t Stop Smiling does with her classroom. “Every year, I begin by telling my students about the importance of giving to others during the holiday season. Students are then asked to do chores at home and earn money, which will go toward a class collection to help a family in need. The students become very engaged and leave not only with a sense of ownership as they’re directly involved with earning, purchasing, and wrapping gifts, but also an enormous sense of pride and reward for making someone else’s holiday a little more special. It is truly a magical endeavor every year.” And she makes a (free) gift of her resource: Holiday Act of Kindness Class Project.

Winter Mini STEM Snowball Frenzy: An Engineering Exploration of Levers and ForceGet Caught Engineering – STEM for Kids’ school has some generous and fun traditions: “A tradition at our school has been the ‘Giving Tree.’ A tree is set up in the lobby, and students donate and hang new hats and gloves on the tree. These are then given to a local shelter. In November, we do a ‘Food Train.’ Every class is given a box that they decorate as a train car. The ‘train’ is set up in the lobby, and food donations fill the boxes that are then given to a food bank. The staff has a tradition of donating time on a selected weekend morning at a local shelter to wrap and prepare gifts for families in need.

On the last day before the holiday break, classes rotate to various activities: A read-a-thon, a faculty vs. students scooter basketball game, a taste of traditions banquet with families bringing in holiday food items, cooking, and STEM activities. We’ve adapted one of our most popular engineering activities to a winter theme — Winter Mini STEM Snowball Frenzy: An Engineering Exploration of Levers and Force. You can bet that snowballs and catapults will keep the students very engaged!”

It’s Not Winter in Australia and New Zealand

Snowman Math Bump Games FreebieIt’s just about summer in Australia, and the school year is wrapping up for the summer break. But there’s still holiday fun to be had, and this is how it’s done: “The last days before kids break for the summer here in Australia are usually really hot! It can be hard to get the kids to focus, so I usually do a rotation of fun Christmas activities,” says Games 4 Learning. “I like to use fun Christmas-themed math so that the kids think they’re just playing a game, but they’re actually still learning and reviewing math skills. A win-win for the kids and the teacher!” Keep cool with her Snowman Math Bump Games Freebie.

Christmas in Australia“Growing up in Australia, Christmas means the beach, carols by candlelight, long summer holidays, barbecues, salads, cricket matches, heat, flies, bush fires, and storms. No snow in sight but we still sing Jingle Bells,” says Teaching Trek. “Our school year ends in December, and it’s not always easy to keep the kids engaged and learning right up until our 6-week summer break, so I try to combine higher-order thinking with some Aussie seasonal fun!” Check out her ace (that’s Australian for awesome) Christmas in Australia resource.

Reindeer! {A booklet of fun and facts about reindeer}Green Grubs Garden Club says, “Let’s hear it for the summer holidays! We’re just coming into summer down here in New Zealand, which also marks the end of our school year, so there’s lots of end-of-year beach trips, prize-giving practices, and sun safety talks going on. Christmas here means camping, spending time at the beach, barbecues, and summer fun — not a snowflake or snowman in sight, but even so, here’s my Winter nature booklet and Reindeer fun and facts for COLD Christmases!”


Find more fantastic ways to celebrate Winter Holidays Around the World. Happy holidays, dear TpT’ers! Here’s a blast from the past — our Winter Holiday 2013 post, packed with must-have resources. It’s stood the test of time, and though not all of the resources are free anymore, they’re all highly rated!

(Feature image: Thanks to KB Konnected for the snowbird, Cavallet for the hanging mittens, Amelia Vecchio for the snowman, and The Learning Tree for the Tree Crack font.)