Try our best selling Christmas in the Classroom countdown lesson plans and activities for 12 full days of themed learning- now including digital activities for distance learning.

Impress your principal, parents, and even yourself as students engage in holiday fun & learning right up until the last bell rings before Winter Break with the 12 Days of Christmas in the Classroom Countdown Activities.

 Now also available for 4th-6th!

All teachers know that meaningful learning in the classroom between Thanksgiving and the Winter Break can be difficult.  For one thing, students want to be engaged in holiday crafts and fun activities, but teachers also want lessons and activities to be educational. This year, you can do both!  With these printable or digital 12 Days of Christmas Lesson Plans , students will be racing to school, or hopping online, excited for what each new day has in store for them.

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Classroom Countdown Christmas Activities for Grades 1-3

(Click here to scroll to Christmas Activities for Grades 4-6)


Gingerbread Day Classroom Countdown (1-3)

These gingerbread countdown lesson plans provide activities where the students can:

  • read or listen to a Gingerbread Man story
  • complete a story map
  • read a second Gingerbread story to compare and contrast
  • explore several writing prompts, “Would you try to catch the Gingerbread man or let him run away?”  “How would you catch the Gingerbread Man?” Or write their own version of a Gingerbread Man story 
  • take a scavenger hunt to try and catch the Gingerbread Man
  • play a “Guess My Number” place value game
  • “Roll-a-Gingerbread Man”
  • draw the other half of gingerbread man to review symmetry
  • decorate gingerbread houses or men

Santa Day Classroom Countdown (1-3)

With these Santa Day themed activities, the students can:

  • read an informational text about Santa Claus around Europe
  • stamp their ‘passports’ and take notes as they “visit” each country and learn about different Santas
  • read or listen to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
  • use evidence from the texts to study Santa Claus’ character traits
  • write a letter to Santa 
  • “Roll and Color” a math page to practice number operations (differentiated)
  • singing songs about Santa Claus from the list of songs provided

Reindeer Day Classroom Countdown (1-3)

Check out the printable or digital reindeer activities for students to:

  • read or listen to a story about reindeer
  • retell the story on a graphic organizer
  • read the included informational text about reindeer
  • take notes and write their own informational text about reindeer using one of several writing page options
  • put reindeer names in ABC order
  • play one of the “Reindeer 4 in a Row ” differentiated math games
  • create a reindeer craft made out of a cup.

Classroom Countdown Christmas Activities for Grades 4-6

Now each themed day includes digital student work pages compatible with Google Slides.


Santa Day Countdown Activities (4-6)

Our Santa themed lessons allow students to:

  • “travel” to learn about different Santa Claus traditions around Europe while reading included informational texts and even add a stamp as they complete their “visit” to each country
  • read or listen to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas 
  • cite evidence from all of the texts to answer the question “What character traits does Santa possess?”
  • write an opinion or argumentative essay describing which character traits they think Santa has
  • evaluate their own writing using an opinion writing checklist
  • “Roll and Color” pages for differentiated number operations math practice
  • play Santa charades and sing along to Santa themed songs

Reindeer Day Countdown Activities (4-6)

To participate in Reindeer day activities, the students can:

  • draw a reindeer
  • read or listen to a literature book about reindeer
  • complete a storyboard summary graphic organizer
  • read an included informational text and take notes about reindeer
  • use their notes to write their own informational piece about reindeer
  • make a labeled diagram of a reindeer
  • revisit their initial reindeer drawing, make a second illustration and write about what changes they made in comparison to their first drawing
  • practice math skills while playing one of the differentiated “Reindeer 4 in a Row ” games
  • create a reindeer craft made out of a cup 

Candy Cane Day Countdown Activities (4-6)

Using these Candy Cane classroom countdown activities, the students can:

  • read and compare two legends about candy canes
  • write an opinion about which legend they feel is true
  • use candy canes for measurement graphing and conversions in math
  • make predictions about dissolving candy canes in a fun science experiment
  • participate in a candy cane exchange
  • complete a stained glass candy cane craft
  • learn how candy canes are made and write a summarizing 4-step instruction guide

And, for this day we recommend that you try this short, fact-filled video about how candy canes are made. Not only does it give several relevant steps that are perfect for student note taking, but it also reinforces which candy cane legend is true!


Here are all of the daily Christmas themes in our 12 Days of Christmas in the Classroom Bundle:

Each of the 12 Days of Christmas countdown lesson plan includes:

  • reading and writing activities
  • differentiated math activities
  • variety of other fun and educational suggestions that match the theme

In preparation for each of the 12 Days of Christmas lessons, you will need some type of container to store each day’s materials. For example, we purchased 12 gift bags from our local dollar store because they were only 2 for $1. If you are taking this option, you can staple or glue the daily labels onto the bags.

It is important to note that the read-aloud books used in these lessons are suggestions, and are not included. However, we have a few recommendations that may help you. First, we recommend that you check out your local library. As an option, some teachers even find and show Youtube videos of the books being read aloud. As another option, most suggested book titles can be purchased online or in Scholastic’s book club orders.  Or, you can always choose your own books that go along with the daily theme.

Give yourself a well-deserved teacher gift this Christmas: 12 days of lessons, already planned for you! 

Similarly, if you’re looking for other holiday-themed Interactive Read-alouds: