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It’s nearly here and we know as teachers just how hard it is to get through the final weeks of the Autumn term with all of our normal workload plus the added festival activities, It’s got colder, darker and damper, 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, had to sort out yet again who gets the toy from the cracker and there is yet another Christmas production practice! Christmas can leave gaps in your day that you may not know how to fill, which is why we are offering you a range of digital 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, just search and select the Christmas tab in the special events section.
Snowball shootout: This fun game is very similar to Angry Birds, Just Aim the cannon to try and hit the pink men! See what happens when you hit the nets, targets and passing birds! This game has a different control system for tablets and touchscreens. For tablets it's automatic, but if you are using a touchscreen or whiteboard, you will need to turn on the 'Whiteboard/Touch mode' setting in the Device settings in the teacher bar.
Miner Birds is one of the most popular games on Busy Things and it has had a festive makeover with Miner Birds Christmas edition: Collect candy canes by answering maths questions - the more canes - the more complex the question. There are also surprise bonuses to discover in the presents. The first player to 20 candy canes is the winner. It costs a candy cane to dig through a boulder or travel 2 spaces. Have a piece of paper and a pencil at the ready to help you work out the more complex questions!
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 choose 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 a 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? Their Christmas Topical Pack for Schools is completely paper-based, and accessible to anyone. Take a look for a taster of Busy Things’ activities! In it, you’ll find:
There really is something for everyone! My favourites are the card and coding activities, but let us know yours!
There is also a digital writing template for the festival of Hanukkah with both a simple and advanced option.
The just 2 easy Tool Suite has a Christmas winter wonderland tab found here, where you can access a bumper pack of festive treats, the collection is powered by just2easy’s new library functionality 2 favourites are:
Christmas Repeating Patterns: Drag the Christmas pictures from the top to complete each of the patterns. There is space at the bottom for you to make up your own.
Design your own Christmas Jumper: Why not celebrate Christmas Jumper day by designing your own Christmas jumper? Use the attached template and paint and clip art tools to make your jumper as festive as possible. We have designed an example for you to look at - but we're sure you can create something even better! Remember to save your work so your teacher can see your design.
I have also included a few j2e5-created files from past Christmas projects, just click on each icon below to find out more about each lesson.
You will also notice many of the tools with the j2e toolsuite will have a Christmas makeover:
Using the Augmented Reality Builder Adobe Aero, you can also use these Christmas images in the j2e Toolsuite to create your own virtual winter land in your school (or in my frosty back garden).
For more details on how to do this, watch this video:
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 Adobe Express. 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 free 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.
We also have a fantastic rewind session Seasonal Sensory - Technology Tinsel: This resource is for classroom practitioners, and those working in SEND, looking for simple and practical ideas to engage their learners combining fun with engagement and curriculum content. In this session, we discuss the power of sensory learning, especially for those with barriers to learning and understand how this impacts both UDL (Universal Design for Learning) and The Engagement Profile. You will see a mixture of hands-on activities and online resources that can be used effectively for fun sensory learning for Christmas and beyond.
Whilst we are sorry to say we can’t get around 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.
To help use and find all of these stocking fillers we have created a site with all of the best resources and content, which you can 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 brighter 2023! 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.