Holiday Season Unit Study Ideas

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Many families slow down on their school work over the holiday season. But you don’t need to completely stop (unless you want to, which is totally okay too). Here are some fun themes you could learn about or play around with. How deep you go is really up to you. You could even incorporate these themes into an advent calendar.

Holiday Season Themes

1. Different Names of Jesus or God

2. Holiday book novel study

3. Different winter celebrations and holidays

4. Holiday traditions around the world

5. Winter weather unit

6. Animal adaptations and how they survive (including hibernation, migration and adaptation)

7. Holiday symbols and what they represent

8. Study the story or history behind select Christmas carols

9. Christmas or holiday foods from around the world

10. Children’s picture books, book study or even write your own

11. Jesse Tree – move through the bible from Genesis to Jesus

12. Character study of different people from the Nativity

Where to get materials? 

I’m not affiliated to any special sites. I keep it really simple and use what I find online. Others have put a lot of thought and work into creating fabulous materials. Sometimes I’ll get a flash of inspiration and come up with my own ideas. I’m not one for spending too much on new curriculum or books but these are sites we like:

Teachers Pay Teachers


YouTube and Google

Local Library

This year I asked my boys what they wanted to learn about. After choosing their favourites from the list we settled on Christmas symbols and their meanings. You can Check out my Pintrest Board Here.

What activities do you do for a Holiday Unit?

This really depends on your own personal goals and priorities for the Holiday Season. I always recommend keeping things simple and focused on creating connections.  That said there are lots of activities you could include depending on your theme:

  • Reading books
  • Watching related videos
  • Write a story
  • Cooking or baking related to the theme
  • Crafts
  • Art projects
  • You may find math activities
  • Madlibs
  • Writing prompts
  • Getting physically active
  • Sensory play
  • Games
  • Telling others about what you learn in some way

What is our family doing?

Below is a list of what I’m doing with my boys. It isn’t in too much detail but there are links to some pages and my Pinterest board. If you’d like to hear more send me a message or follow us on social media.

Symbols of Christmas

Advent 1 – Rocks and minerals – Read part of nativity story 

Last day of November surprise note about our December theme and adventure 

 1. Candy cane – Luke 2:8 also story of Candy Cane, Jesus is our Shepard – candy cane experiments, hook candy canes game 

 2. Wreath – John 19:2 – Crown on Jesus’ head, God’s love never ends -make a wreath 

 3. Angels – angels appeared in several places in Nativity story – make angles out of nature

 4. Candles – Luke 1:79 – Jesus is the light of the world – make candles, go out to see lights 

 5. Bells – ring out to announce the coming of the Lord – play with all our musical instruments

 6. Advent 2 – Add nature, keep reading nativity story

 7. St. Nicholas – Fun symbol, read Santa story book, leave surprises in shoes, leave surprise treats for friends too 

 8. Holly – Matthew 26:28 Blood of Jesus, sharp like the crown, gather nature to decorate house  

 9. Fir tree – John 3:16 Represents eternal life and points to God – set up the tree 

 10. Star – Matthew 2:2 Star above Bethlehem – make origami or paper stars 

 11. Colours – red is blood of Christ, green is everlasting, gold symbol of royalty – art work, get out all our supplies, sensory bin

 12. Caroling – Luke 2:13-14 – listen to music- watch video about story behind a song, dance party 

 13. Advent 3 – add animals, read about shepherds in nativity story

 14. Christmas Crackers – read about them, how are they made, buy or make some. 

 15. Ornaments – make some ornaments, 

 16. Cookies and food – make cookies, try some Christmas food from a bakery 

 17. Cards – read about cards, make cards for friends 

18. Poinsettia – tell story of poinsettia, visit garden centre 

 19. Gifts – Matthew 2:11 – gift of the magi – wrap presents and go shopping 

 20. Advent 4 – Add people, read about Jesus

 21. Spiral, Winter – make our own spiral, read about spiral, maybe invite friends 

 22. Mistletoe  – read, find some silly Christmas games – new game  

23. Nativity scene – watch a movie, read a different perspectives 

 24. Stockings – tell a story about stockings, set out ours, Christmas eve gift to open

No matter what you choose for your focus this season I do hope it is full of Joy and Peace.

I can’t wait to hear about what you are learning about. Be sure to tag me on social media if you post anything. I’m on Facebook and Instagram as @gentleparentingcoach