It’s cold, dark and damp, you are exhausted because of grotto duty at the Christmas Fair, you have been trying to get the glitter out of your hair for several days, sorting out yet again who gets the toy from the cracker during the Christmas lunch or going to yet another Christmas production practice! ‘It’s nearly here and we know from our time as teachers just how hard it is to get through the final weeks of the Autumn term in a ‘normal’ year but this definitely has not been a normal year and it’s not been normal for two years in a row!
Christmas can leave gaps in your day which you may not know how to fill, which is why we are offering you a range of stocking fillers to help you fill those moments.
The first present we have from our bulging sack of goodies is Busy Things offering you a range of fun, festive digital content that you can use to get that much-needed magical moment of peace within your class.
Santa’s Sleigh Dash! – in this fun game the pupils help Santa to get as many presents delivered as possible! In the daytime, they collect as many presents as they can using the ‘giddy-up’ button to keep him in the air (on a desktop computer you can use the space bar too). They should make sure they avoid the red monsters or else it’s game over! At night time, they drop the presents down the chimneys by pressing the ‘throw present’ button (on a desktop computer they can use the space bar too).
There are 3 other ways to play the game: ‘Words’ within this mode at night time you must select the present that matches the label on the chimney, ‘Mental Maths’ they must select the present that matches the amount on the chimney and ‘shapes and colours’ during night time you must select the present that matches the shape/colour on the chimney.
Decorate a Christmas Tree: Whilst it may be that little bit too soon to get a real tree, you can enjoy decorating digital Christmas trees with the kids and adding them to a snow scene. Use stickers, stamps and brushes to create delightful designs!
Write a letter to Santa! Children can let Santa know what they want for Christmas by writing and decorating a letter using our publishing tool. You can then print it ready for sending to the North Pole – did you know you can send letters to Father Christmas via Royal Mail and get a reply? Find out more!
Jolly Jingles: It’s time to guess that tune, with the pink monster being the conductor for the pink men but he needs your help. Tap the pink man beneath the monster to get him to play his bell. Keep going until the fairy lights are all lit up! Can you recognise the Christmas song they are playing?
Design a Christmas card: Children can use lots of lovely paint tools and stickers to create their own custom Christmas cards. Also, newly added are more fun colouring sheets which you can use digitally via Busy Paint or simply print out.
Want even more Christmas activities for children? Have you got your Free Busy Things Christmas Activity Packs? Busy Things have created free printable Christmas activity packs full of festive things to make and do! And they are completely free to download too! Download your Free Christmas Activities packs here.
The just 2 easy Tool Suite has a Christmas winter wonderland tab found here, where you can access a bumper pack of festive treats. Why not try playing a game of digital noughts and crosses festively named ‘Shepherds and Wise Men”, play a word matching game, take a Christmas quiz, create your own digital nativity scene? Or get cooking with some tasty recipes?
Did you know that all of these resources are made with the powerful j2e5 application? If you select the edit button on each activity you can see how the activity was made and then ask your students to edit the activity and make their own versions.
Many tools with the j2e toolsuite will soon have a Christmas makeover:
J2data (Branch): a Christmas set of resources to sort – elves, reindeer, gingerbread men etc. – plus a Christmas background and the clothes category are all winter clothes.
J2Pictogram: a set of high-quality Christmas clip art images to use.
JIT: Both Write and Paint have had a festive makeover, with a Christmas background in Write and Paint having high-quality Christmas clip art images to use.
J2code: Visual has a reindeer instead of the usual penguin sprite (also remember with the option to find a sprite via the internet search feature you find even more Christmas characters).
You can use also these Christmas images in the j2e Toolsuite to create your very own virtual winter land in your school (or in my frosty back garden) using the Augmented Reality Builder Adobe Aero.
For more details on how to do this, watch this video:
Your students don’t need to be visited by the Ghost of Christmas past to see what has happened at Christmas time in the past. Let them search The Guardian and The Observer Archives, they go all the way back to 1791 and offer a window into celebrations from years gone by; great for your students to research and compare modern traditions with those in the past.
Widgit has 3 ready-made activity packs you can download for Christmas, which can be found in the activities area of the Widgit resource. Widgit Symbols are simply drawn, colourful symbols designed to illustrate a single concept in a clear and concise way. They cover a range of topics (including many curricular areas) wide enough to make them suitable for symbol users of all ages and abilities. Already used by many SEND departments and schools, the entire symbol database of over 15,000 images is available to all LGfL schools to search and download.
Christmas Cards: 3 ready to print and fold Christmas card designs. Provided in the pack is a full-colour card for each of the 3 designs or to make it more personal, each design also has a colour your own version. Each card features Widgit Symbols and pictures and a symbolised greeting message on the front.
Christmas Pack: Worksheets and activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, This pack contains a range of 21 activities based around the secular aspects of Christmas, suitable for children of different ages and abilities. The more difficult activities are numbered towards the end of the list. included in the pack is an interesting German folklore story about why we put tinsel on a Christmas tree.
Nativity Pack: Worksheets and activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, 12 Nativity and Christmas themed activities and stories: colouring, word search, letters to Santa.
There are also ready-made packs for St Lucia (the Swedish Festival of Light) and Hanukkah. These resources are for whole-class work, small groups and independent workers. There are a symbol–supported stories, text-only stories, information sheets, recipes, crosswords, word searches and much, much more.
Don’t forget it is never too late to send a Christmas card (did you know that this year we will send more Christmas cards than ever before?) unlock creativity this festive season and design your electronic (and environmentally friendly) Christmas greetings using #adobespark. Start your design from scratch or use the ready-made template Christmas card designs, available here.
For many people, music is a major part of the festive season. This book designed by LGfL Community member Simon Pile celebrates 25 Christmas classics and suggests ways you could get creative while singing along to a little bit of Bublé while dusting down your baubles. With 25 classic songs linked to 25 creative activities inspired by the lyrics from each song.
Whilst we are sorry to say we can’t get round to everyone’s house to drop something in their stockings, we can give you the gift of various licences and services, LGfL bundles loads of extra value into our broadband service to save lots of money, safeguard children, keep data secure as well as providing access to some of the best educational software on the market today for free you can out about all of these services here.
However you fill the last few weeks of this school year, we at LGfL want to give you a massive round of applause and thank you for all of your hard work and support this year. We hope you have a restful break and are ready for hopefully a more stable 2022! Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! And don’t forget to please share your Christmas creations with us on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.