7 Engaging Ideas for Virtual Fun in December

Many have been teaching virtually since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Others are switching to remote due to rising Covid cases. Whatever the situation, you might be wondering how you can translate holiday activities into your online classroom. I’m sharing 7 of my favorite go-to activities that I think will work well in the digital world. 
While this certainly isn’t a new concept, it might be one that you forget about in the virtual setting. You can still have theme days! Speaking of which, we recently had slipper day. We planned all of them when we were still hybrid but then we abruptly went remote. Well guess what? I still wore my slippers and so did my students. We all had fun sharing them on camera. You might think “Eh, does it really matter?” because trust me, I’ve been known to have the same attitude towards all things “extra” at times. BUT, I’m here to say–JUST DO IT! It matters to the kids and it helps take their mind off of this ridiculous school year. Let them be kids! And join in on the fun. 

If you want to borrow this graphic, I have an editable copy for you here. In order to use the font I used, you will need to click “file –> download as a PPT” and download KG Blank Space Solid. 

How to make it work virtually: Make sure to share with your students about the daily themes ahead of time. If you can send a copy of the schedule home ahead of time, families can post on their fridge or learning space. Send a digital copy via your school’s learning platform. We use Seesaw so I would pin it to the top of the journal a few days in advance. 

Optional virtual elements: 

Winter Wonderland: Have students change their backgrounds to a winter scene. 

Holiday Sweater Day: Combine this day with the Design a Sweater contest (read more about it below)

Cozy up and Read day: Put students in breakout rooms to share their favorite books. 

Building reading fluency + having fun! My students obsess over Readers’ Theaters every year! I seriously think it’s one of the most memorable parts of our year. 

How to make it work virtually: Print and send home a copy of the script. I always like to start with a whole class read through before assigning roles. Have students practice in their small groups. Ask some teachers if their classes would like to come watch (or go to their Zoom to perform). 

Here’s a free 5 part reader’s theater called “The Snow Family” by Designed by Danielle and another free one with 4 parts by The First Grade Bloom.

Monthly-themed virtual libraries are always a hit with students! There are twelve books in the December library inclusive of many holidays and traditions. 
 It is FREE and available in Google Slides or Seesaw. Click here to get your copy
How to make it work virtually: Assign on Google Classroom or Seesaw for students to explore the library. All of the books are clickable and will automatically open in full screen mode (no ads or other videos to click on!). Also included is a listening response page to complete afterwards!
Designing a holiday sweater is one of my favorite activities every year! I love seeing students’ creativity. I make sure to provide ample time to work on them so they can be high quality!



How to make it work virtually: If you can include the blank sweater and writing paper in a material distribution, students can use whatever they have around the house to decorate. Or, use the virtual option in Seesaw or Google Slides. Have students share a photo or copy of their sweater so you can show the class! Then, everyone can vote for their favorite. You could use a Google Form to vote or students could vote by sending a private message on Zoom. If using Seesaw, they could “like” or leave comments for the sweaters they want to vote for. 
December is the perfect time to incentivize your students to reach a common goal. I’m sure your students will be antsy for the holiday break and distracted by…well..everything around them. Sitting down to discuss what you need from your students for the next few weeks, how they can accomplish the goal and what they will earn will be time well spent! You get what you put in to a class incentive. 
In this incentive tracker, students earn lights on the tree. All of the lights are movable in edit mode. Changing out your incentive tracker isn’t just for looks. Students will be motivated by the novelty of each month’s theme. You can check out more of these monthly incentives here
These are available for the whole class or individuals as well! For each desired behavior, a light or mitten is added. The goal and reward is editable! I’ve included 18 different ideas for virtual rewards. You can read more about those here. 

How to make it work virtually: During your next morning meeting or class meeting, have a candid conversation about behaviors you need to see over the weeks leading to break. You might say “I’ve noticed a lot of students logging in late to our lessons. What effect does this have on students and the class? What strategies can we use to make sure we are showing up on time?” Then, introduce the tracking system and decide on the goal and reward together. Including your class in these decisions will create a greater buy-in. You can screen share and display the virtual tracker at the beginning and end of each day. You could post a picture of it in your Seesaw or Google Classroom as well. 

If you’ve been following along here for awhile, you know I absolutely LOVE games! I think they are one of the best ways to learn, keeping students engaged and excited. I play games with my reading groups at least once a week. Playing games virtually looks a little different but I’ve created games for each month and they are a lot of fun! These December Memory games are perfect for a morning meeting activity, reward, brain break or Fun Friday!
How to make it work virtually: In order to play these games in Zoom or Google Meets, you will need to share your screen. Display the picture for a couple of minutes (set a timer!). And then show the question page. Work through each question and reveal the correct answer by moving the checkmark. You can only manipulate the interactive pieces in edit mode (not present). See my tip for the BEST screen sharing tip in Zoom here
When I saw this simple idea from Kristen @ateenytinyteacher, I thought “How perfect!”. She sent home a packet of hot cocoa mix with a little tag to remind students to save it for a special Zoom meeting. You can get the tag for free here

How to make it work virtually: Include the hot chocolate packet and tag with your next materials pick-up. You can grab a 50 pack of hot chocolate on Amazon for $13.99–perfect to split with a teammate! {affiliate link} You could even include a candy cane or a baggy of marshmallows for an added treat! You could model how to mix it all up and even turn it into a how-to writing activity! Or just ask that they have it ready to drink when you meet on your designated day. 

Adding fun, holiday activities to the month of December will give everyone something to look forward to in a time where so much has been sacrificed. I hope you and your students can enjoy the holiday season in your online classroom with some of these ideas. 


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