Best Free Winter Holiday Lessons and Activities

Desktop computer with red mousepad and Christmas decorations
(Image credit: Pixabay/Pexels)

Beloved winter holidays present an excellent opportunity to engage students while teaching about cultures and traditions from around the world, as well as winter-related science and language arts topics. 

All of the following winter holiday lessons and activities are easy to access, use and enjoy. Best of all, they’re 100% free! 

Do December holidays pose a multicultural dilemma in your school? (opens in new tab)
Full of common sense and uncommon insights, this article helps educators develop an approach to religious holidays that focuses on cultural understanding and education, rather than celebration. 

Make your own holiday greeting card (opens in new tab)
Select images, font, background colors, and greeting to create a customized printable greeting card for your favorite winter holiday. Don’t forget to include a fun graphic on the back. Great for kids of all ages. 

All about Christmas (opens in new tab)
A treasure trove of Christmas traditions, customs, and activities, including Christmas crosswords, quizzes, and puzzles. Christmas song Karaoke, anyone?

Circuit Holiday Cards: Winter and Christmas Science (opens in new tab)
A NGSS-aligned winter holiday PDF lesson on circuits and electricity, perfect for a STEM classroom or remote learning. 

Frosty the Snowman Meets His Demise (opens in new tab)
From the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), this standards-aligned hands-on science lesson for students in grades 9-12 examines the science of carbon dating. 

Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party (opens in new tab)
A complete, standard-aligned lesson based on the story and characters from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Commentary from educators who have implemented this lesson is a welcome bonus. 

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights (opens in new tab)
Teach the story of Hanukkah, then add the grade-based reading, writing, and art activities to your December classroom instruction. 

December Holiday Lesson Plans and Activities (opens in new tab)
A wealth of cross-curricular winter holiday lessons and activities for students of all ages. Explore the history of games and toys, try the "Re-Name That Tune" vocabulary exercise, or delve into Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Kwanzaa (opens in new tab)
This detailed article from the History Channel covers the history, principles, and symbols of Kwanzaa. Educators can use it to launch a classroom discussion about the importance of rituals in building communities, or how students can put the seven principles into use in their everyday lives. 

Give your students the Dickens! (opens in new tab)
According to some scholars, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the single greatest literary influence on our modern Christmas customs. Explore these student-friendly ways to study not only A Christmas Carol, but also 19th-century English society. Both encompass themes relevant to today’s world, such as poverty, inequality, and how we treat our fellow humans.  

30 of the Coolest Winter Science Experiments and Activities (opens in new tab)
From the science of snowflakes to making instant ice, these hands-on science experiments and activities will be a hit with your K-8 students.

Online Kwanzaa Games (opens in new tab)
Practice math and language skills while having fun with these Kwanzaa-themed digital games and puzzles.   

Online Hanukkah Activities (opens in new tab)
Kids learn the history and rituals of Hanukkah through engaging activities, including digital Dreidel games, crossword puzzles, and coloring pages. These digital activities are printable too! 

Christmas Interactive Slides (opens in new tab)
This Spanish-language digital slideshow helps students learn about Christmas traditions in Spanish-speaking locales, from Spain to Mexico. Perfect for Spanish language class.    

 Interactive lessons from PBS: Celebrating Winter (opens in new tab)
Celebrate the season with a bounty of winter-related interactive lessons in math, biology, art, religion, and poetry. These preK-12 lessons are standards-aligned, sharable and integrated with Google classroom.

Crafts for Kids
Kids will enjoy creating a Winter Wonderland Terrarium (opens in new tab) using only empty jar, twigs, pinecones, and trinket toys. Be sure to check out the Cotton Swab Snowflakes (opens in new tab) for another easy and fun winter art project. 

Winter holidays Quiz (opens in new tab)
A short colorful quiz that asks students to demonstrate what they know about winter holidays worldwide. 

Online Christmas Puzzles and Games (opens in new tab)
Fun online interactives for younger learners include puzzles featuring Santa and the elves, a Santa and Rudolph coloring page, and a digital math game, video lesson, and worksheet. 

Winter Holiday Activities and Resources (opens in new tab)
Make your winter instruction brighter with more than 50 preK-12 lesson plans, activities, and handouts covering the familiar December holidays, as well as the Chinese New Year (February 1st), and the Persian New Year, Nowruz (March 21st).