Christmas Classroom Activities: Santa Theme Day

There are so many adorable Santa stories out there that I couldn’t resist doing a Santa Theme Day as one of our Christmas classroom activities.

Santa Claus Day with lots of Christmas classroom activities

Last year Charlie and I did Santa Day over break too just because she loves school and I had all the goodies. We began by wearing our Santa hats.

Megan Mitchell and Charlie with Santa hats for Santa Claus day

To prepare for these fun Christmas classroom activities, I send home a letter the day before inviting students to wear their red and white and Santa hats if they have them. When the students come to school, they are so excited to get started. I begin by sharing a Santa story with them right away. There are so many adorable books to choose from, you can check out my Santa list here. I try to at least read two throughout the day. One story we use to work on comprehension strategies and the other is just for the joy of reading and listening.

After that, we read a mini book about how to wrap a present. Students sequence the story after reading it and work on a retell writing.

How to Wrap a Present mini book for kids

Next, I like to do an exchange with them. Sometimes we do a silly sock exchange or a used book exchange. We put them under my kindness tree in the morning. I draw their number and they go pick a gift under the tree. Then we all unwrap. I choose one of these two things because I have extras wrapped and on hand in case someone doesn’t have one.

Before lunch, we make this cute Santa Claus craft. You could hang them up in the hallway with the premade letters or send them home for parents to have for the holidays.

The rest of the day is spent doing more Christmas classroom activities in centers. I take time to go over expectations and what needs to happen in each rotation. While they work in centers, I pull children to do some one-on-one assessments before the holiday break. I put the activities in tubs around the room and use my center cards and checklist to get them started. Here is a peek at some of the center activities we complete.

Santa Day Christmas centers

We work on phonics and grammar activities in a few centers. We complete alphabetizing, syllables, punctuation, nouns, real or nonsense digraph scoot, and a CVCC short vowel scoot.

For math centers, we play different games and work on place value puzzles.

To work on decoding and fluency, there is a poetry center with an original Santa Claus poem. After reading the poem, students can sequence, fill in the blank, answer a few questions, illustrate, and work on rhyming.

Santa Claus poem

My students love to make a page for our Santa’s Cookies Class Book. They get to make up their own flavor, describe it, and draw it. There are other writing activities too. They can send a postcard to Santa, make a list for Santa, or write about how to catch Santa.

I also put out a mystery present writing and craft activity. Students draw a gift on the blank page and then write clues for their class to guess what’s inside. I love to share these at the end of the day to see if they can guess what is in the present.

Christmas writing activities

You could add digital centers to your Santa day as well. I have an entire Digital Santa Day, or you could grab this free Santa Gnome Shape Activity to use as well.

Before we leave, I put the children in groups and we work on building a sleigh for Santa using pipe cleaners, popsicles sticks, toothpicks, and mini marshmallows.

We love Santa Claus Day and all my other Christmas Theme Days for school.

Christmas classroom activities

You could combine this day with my How to Catch Santa literacy packet.

How to Catch a Santa activities

I know some teachers can’t do Christmas-themed activities, so I created fun Winter Theme Days as well. Last year some teachers combined both my Christmas and Winter theme days to do the 12 Days of Christmas.

I hope you enjoy these Christmas classroom activities and that your holiday season is merry and bright!

This is what a few teachers had to say about Santa Day

“This is packed full with so many engaging activities! It was so nice to have this available that I could use all day for our ‘Santa Day’”

“Great unit to use on those crazy end of year before the holidays days. Kids loved it. Stretched unit to two days.”

“These activities were so fun for my students! They especially loved the Santa number matching math game!”

Check out these other Christmas classroom activities:


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I’m Megan, a first grade teacher and a mother to 7 amazing children. I love to create and collaborate with teachers. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family, baking and playing tennis.

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