At the end of the year, many providers are at their busiest. Celebrating the holidays can easily be lost in wrapping up the end of the year and planning for the next. Looking for some inspiration for celebrating the holidays? We recently asked our community of early childhood directors, providers, and educators for their favorite holiday activities at their center. Here are their top 10 fun and festive ways to celebrate the holidays.
Cookies, crafts, and cocoa
This winter, celebrate the little things with a cookies, crafts, and cocoa day. Decorate holiday sugar cookies with icing, sprinkles, and candy, make some holiday crafts or gifts for parents, and end the day with hot cocoa!
Transform your center into a winter wonderland
Set up each room with a different holiday-centered theme. Have a snack and activity that corresponds to that theme in each room. Some examples include:
- Reindeer Room: Have ‘reindeer food’ muddy buddies as the snack!
- The Snowman Room: Make marshmallow snowmen and drink hot chocolate.
- The Candy Cane Room: Make peppermint bark!
Celebrate the Winter solstice
To celebrate the winter solstice, read a book explaining the solstice, bundle up and go for a walk outside, and come back to plenty of hot cocoa. Before going outside, you could also decorate pinecones in bird seed or push cloves into oranges to hang up around your center’s yard.
Have a holiday party with stations to rotate through
Celebrate everything you love about winter with a holiday craft party, complete with a few different stations for children to do activities at. This festival can be made COVID-safe by being hosted outdoors with proper social distancing. Some booth ideas include:
- Paper-snowflake station
- Ornament decorating (hang these on a tree in your center lobby)
- Cupcake Decorating - make individual packets of icing and candy to keep this hygienic
Silly holiday sweater day
Encourage families and their children to wear silly holiday sweaters! You can decorate sweater-shaped sugar cookies and color in holiday-themed coloring pages to make this day even more fun.
Learn about different winter holidays
There are many holidays that fall in the winter season. Each day, learn about a holiday that is celebrated around the world and plan appropriate activities related to that holiday. There are endless options for books that explain popular holidays around the world.
Sing holiday carols
Sing a few holiday songs as a classroom. To make the final performance as safe as possible, you could either hold it outside or send a video of the songs. You can also set up a private livestream for parents to watch!
Top tip: Use the brightwheel app to send parents short clips of the carols, plenty of photos, and the link to the livestream!
Polar express day
If your center celebrates Christmas, have a Polar Express Day! Start the day off by reading The Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg. You can print tickets to welcome children into the classroom and aboard the Polar Express, watch the movie with hot chocolate and popcorn, and give out reindeer bell ‘souvenirs’.
Have a gingerbread day
Read a few stories about the Gingerbread man, and then make gingerbread ornaments and gingerbread houses! You can either bake gingerbread ornaments ahead of time, or you can decorate wood or brown paper cutouts of gingerbread men, all while eating gingerbread!
During the holidays, there’s nothing better than being cozy! Celebrate the cooler weather by having a pajama day, where you can watch movies, make holiday crafts, and drink hot chocolate.
More resources for this holiday season
For more information on how finish the year strong, check out these additional resources!
At brightwheel, we’re grateful for all the ways you care for and celebrate the children and families at your center. We hope these ideas spark some fun ways to celebrate the holidays at your center this year.
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