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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts

This holiday season, explore different holiday traditions that are celebrated in various countries with your little learners. Here are some fun activities for your Holidays Around the World unit including fun crafts, literacy centers, digital teaching slides, and more!

This holiday season, explore different holiday traditions that are celebrated in various countries with your little learners. Here are some fun activities for your Holidays Around the World unit including fun crafts, literacy centers, digital teaching slides, and more!

Why is it important to teach Holidays around the World?

Teaching children about holidays from different parts of the world is an important aspect of early childhood education. It not only introduces them to various cultures and traditions but also fosters empathy, respect, and inclusiveness. Engaging children in activities related to holidays from different countries can be an exciting and educational experience. It is a great way to include and celebrate your students from different cultures in a fun and educational way. 

Understanding Cultural Diversity

Teaching young children about cultural diversity is crucial in today’s globalized society. By exposing them to different traditions and customs, we help them develop a sense of empathy and respect for others. Research has shown that children who learn about different cultures at a young age are more likely to embrace diversity and have a broader perspective on the world. According to a study by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), multicultural education in early childhood can promote positive social and emotional development, enhance cognitive skills, and contribute to a more inclusive classroom environment.

Christmas Holidays to Teach in Kindergarten and First Grade

Throughout our Holidays around the World unit, we learn about 15 different holidays and traditions during late November and the month of December:

  • Christmas in the United States
  • St. Nicholas Day in Germany
  • Christmas in Italy
  • Diwali or the Festival of Lights in India
  • Hanukkah that is celebrated by Jewish people around the world
  • Noche Buena, a Christmas Eve celebration in the Philippines
  • St. Lucia Day in Sweden
  • Las Posadas in Mexico
  • Christmas in Russia
  • Kwanzaa celebrated by African Americans
  • Christmas in England
  • Christmas in Australia
  • Ramadan in Afghanistan
  • Christmas in Brazil
  • Christmas in France

Holidays Around the World Teaching Slides

Teaching Slides are an easy way to guide your instruction about different holidays around the world. These PowerPoint presentations take students through interactive activities as they learn about different celebrations. This sweet group of kindergarten students had fun learning all about Christmas in France.

This lesson started with a video to learn about Christmas traditions that are celebrated in French culture. 

Students had a great time learning about various celebrations in European countries, as well as, others around the world. 

Christmas in Brazil activities

Each set of teaching slides includes fill-in-the-blank fact sheets that are completed after students watch the video on the first slide. 

The entire bundle of interactive teaching slides includes 15 different winter holidays and it is completely prep-free! Check out the bundle here: 

Holidays Around the World Math and Literacy Centers

Literacy and math centers happened every day in my classroom. So of course, during this time of year, I added winter holiday classroom activities. 

Fill the Stockings with Beginning Sounds

Feliz Navidad Syllables

Do you hear what I hear? 

This is Christmas Emergent Reader 

Your kindergarten students will practice tracing the word “this” while seeing and coloring different holiday celebrations around the world. 

These math and literacy centers, along with even more, are available in this bundle:

Holidays Around the World Digital Centers

If you have classroom tablets or computers, digital centers are a fun way to incorporate technology into your Holidays around the world lesson plans. I’ve also used these centers during whole group when we have a few extra minutes before a transition. It is a great way to keep students focused and have a quick review of a literacy or math skill. Just pull it up on an interactive white board and have fun! 

I know many schools have transitioned to online learning for snow day to keep from adding extra days to the end of the year. These also make a great at-home learning activity for younger learners on those unexpected snow days! The centers are preloaded into Seesaw and can be easily added to your library. Or, they are available as Google slides to share with students or add into your Google Classroom. 

There is a set of center activities for kindergarten and also first grade. You can find those here:

Holidays Around the World Craft Activities

Crafts are fun and engaging for students. From a Christmas tree for England to a Menorah to celebrate Hanukkah, your students will enjoy these holidays around the world art projects. 

Russia Babushka Dolls are painted wooden dolls that stack inside each other. Students create their own version of paper dolls. 

Christmas in Russia activities and crafts

Kinara Drawing

These sweet friends had fun learning about African culture and drawing Kinaras. 

Directed drawing of a kinara for your Kwanzaa celebration
15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 4

A Kinara is a candleholder that represents the days and principles of Kwanzaa. There is a great YouTube video of how to draw a kinara. Check it out here:

Rangoli is a colorful floor design created with clay, powder, and rice during Diwali. Students color this Rangoli and paint over their coloring with black watercolor. 

Tomten is a Christmas Gnome that visits homes in Sweden on Christmas Eve and gifts out presents. 

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 7
Tomten Craft for Christmas in Sweden

Nativity scenes or Creches are a traditional Christmas tradition in France. 

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 8

Christmas Truck is a fun craft to celebrate Christmas in Canada.

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 9
15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 10

Of course you have to do this craft when your school has a truck with trees in the back! This group of kindergarten friends is PRECIOUS!

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 11

These crafts and others can be found in this unit:

Read Aloud Favorites for Holidays Around the World

Books are one my favorite ways for sharing about family traditions during the Christmas season. Here are some great book titles that will fit nicely with your Holiday around the World unit. 

Tomie DePaola has some really great books about different holiday traditions. 

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 12

This Mexican tale narrates the origins of the poinsettia, tracing it back to a young girl’s selfless present to the Christ Child. Tomie dePaola, a renowned author honored with the Newbery award, beautifully retells this legend infused with his heartfelt Christmas sentiment.

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 13

In this cherished and timeless picture book, Tomie dePaola recounts and illustrates an Italian Christmas folk story, infusing depth and compassion into the portrayal of the solitary Old Befana and her perpetual quest for the Christ Child.

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 14

Accompany tiny gnomes as they venture forth using whimsical modes of transportation, be it a miniature train or a flying dreidel, ensuring Hanukkah’s spirit arrives in the most magical way. 

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 15

On the eve of Kwanzaa, a young boy eagerly anticipates spending the night with his family. Each evening, they gather to light a candle, delve into their heritage, and engage in meaningful traditions! 

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 16

The tomten, a mystical, elf-like being, roams a desolate old farm, ensuring that everything is in order. He brings solace and reassurance to everyone he encounters along his path.

15 Holidays Around the World Activities and Crafts 17

It’s Diwali time! The floor is adorned with beautiful Rangoli art, while strings of flowers adorn the doorways. It’s the moment to chime the bells, illuminate the lamps, and embrace the New Year with loved ones. A delightful glimpse into the Hindu festival of lights.

If you are looking for a nonfiction book to share with students, National Geographic Kids has a few in their Holidays Around the World series. 

Teaching traditions to young children is not just about the activities themselves but also about creating a welcoming and inclusive environment where cultural diversity is celebrated and respected. Plus, teaching and learning about holidays around the world is fun, too! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

This holiday season, explore different holiday traditions that are celebrated in various countries with your little learners. Here are some fun activities for your Holidays Around the World unit including fun crafts, literacy centers, digital teaching slides, and more!

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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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11 Responses

  1. I just want to say….THANK YOU…for taking the time to post your "Peek At The Week". I know this takes a lot of time and we are very fortunate you are willing to be so giving! P.S. I bought the Writing Units 1 & 2 from you and Deanna Jump. I just LOVE using them with my students. Amber ~ Kindergarten Rocks Blog

  2. Thank you Amber for taking the time to comment. Sometimes I wonder if people read them… LOL! I hope it helps.

    I am thrilled to hear that our writing units are helpful. We hope to have our 4th one up by the end of the week… Where does all the time go?

    Thank you again for your sweet comment!

  3. Hi DeeDee~
    We are LOVING your poetry units in my classroom! LOVING!! The kids can't get so excited on Monday mornings to see what our new poem is for the week. The poems are terrific!
    I loved all of your pictures! The projects look great!
    Robyn

  4. DeeDee…
    I know what you mean about wondering if anyone even reads the posts we share. White I was presenting in Indy, we were on my blog site and I had a new comment. I must have looked as "giddy" as a 4 year old getting a piece of candy. I had to read it right away! HA HA HA I have made it a goal of mine to make at least 3 comments a night before I go to bed. I follow so many amazing blogs that I wish I could comment on all of them. I do appreciate other teacher/bloggers taking the time to share their wondering ideas.

  5. Hello there,

    It seems like you are a great friend as I turn to your bog when I need motivation to remind me of why I do what I do. I loved the Nov and Dec Poetry pack. I didn't have time to implement the Nov. pack but I have been using the December and my students love it.

    I do have a question, how many HFWs does your class learn in kinder? I know there are all different numbers out there. We use the HFWs in our Awards Reading program which is 37 but a fellow teacher in LA has her kids learn 100. My students are doing well with the 37 but if I introduce more they will probable learn them but I am just not sure. Sometimes just giving them more for the sake of giving them more just doesn't make sense.

    What are your thoughts
    Thank you,
    Pat

    1. Hi there, We have 54 word wall words. I would say about half of them can be decoded (can, big, sit, it, at, ….). Most of my students seem to master this list by the end of the 3rd quarter. I have a few who are close right now, but I have some who will need everyday of the school year to get there.

      I hope that helps.

  6. I got your poetry stations for December and love, love love them! Can't seem to get the "Gingerbread Man" tune out of my head. I can't wait to purchase the rest. Going to my Principal to see if she will consider getting them for all of us n K! Love your work! You have given me tons of inspiration!

    Amy

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