A Holidays Around the World theme is the perfect way to blend learning and fun during the holiday season. Students get to learn about other cultures and traditions and have a little holiday fun. It’s an easy way to have a diverse and inclusive celebration in your classroom.
Holidays Around the World Party Ideas
To make a Holidays Around the World party super easy, we’ve done all the planning for you. It starts with my Holidays Around the World Escape Room. Of course, if you don’t want to throw a party, you can use this escape room as a stand-alone activity. Your students will still have a blast learning about how different countries and cultures celebrate the holidays.
But if you want to up the fun factor, why not incorporate these celebrations into a classroom party?
Keep It Simple: One-Day Plan
Do the escape room activity in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Pick one activity from each country for a multicultural party. You could set up six centers–one for each country– and have students move through them in small groups.
I would suggest picking one snack, one book, one craft, two fun activities, and one educational activity. You could also complete the activities as a whole class and just select one from each category. Another fun idea could be to have a tasting party. Sample one traditional treat from each country.
You can also extend this Holidays Around the World theme to multiple days. (Note: There are six countries in the escape room, so if you focus on one country a day you will need to devote six days to this activity. But you could easily double up one day, maybe the last day before break).
Each day, work through the escape room. Then, sample a tasty treat and do some fun extension activities.
I’ve included comprehensive plans for each country. There are lots of options for you to choose from. Please don’t think you have to do all of these things. In fact, that would be impossible. Just pick and choose your favorites.
Other Holiday Celebrations
Also, feel free to incorporate other cultures or celebrations in your multicultural celebration. At the end of the post, I’ve included additional holiday books that celebrate diverse cultures and festivals. Perhaps, you’d like to talk about Kwanzaa or Native American celebrations or how the holidays are celebrated in Asia. If you have students who celebrate a different holiday tradition, be sure to include them in your plans.
Holidays Around the World Escape Room
Your class will plan a special holiday celebration that includes items from around the world. Students must work together to collect toys, food, and decorations from six different countries to make the holiday party a success.
Each country includes an information slide with details about how the holidays are celebrated there. There are also task card slides for each country with an activity the students must complete to figure out the items needed for the party. These activities include fun puzzles, mazes, ciphers, and codes.
Not only will students get to learn about different holiday traditions, but they will also get to practice their problem-solving and cooperative learning skills.
If you are using the digital version, audio is included on each slide. This is great for lower grades or struggling readers.
There are also lots of ways to use this Holidays Around the World escape room in the classroom. You can work through the activities as a whole group to provide support for lower students. If you prefer to use the activity in small groups, feel free to use it as a guided activity and work with students who need extra support.
Learn about fun holiday traditions in a variety of cultures:
How to Use the Holidays Around the World Escape Room
This activity comes in both digital and printable formats. You can use the digital version in your classroom to save paper. This works great in 1:1 classrooms. Students can even check their answers on Google Forms.
Watch this video for detailed instructions on how to use the digital version and to see what’s included in this fun holiday activity.
Or you can print the pages and use paper copies. This is a great option if you want to complete the escape room as a class or for students to work on in small groups.
Simply print off all the task cards, laminate them, and palace them in envelopes. Students will need to write on some of the task cards, so they will need a dry-erase marker. Label the envelope with the task card number or country name.
If students are working in small groups you will need multiple copies and envelopes.
Launching the Activity
Start the game by reading the background story. Pass out the first envelope and let students get to work. Students will work through one task card at a time. When they solve one puzzle, they can submit their answer on the Google form or have you check their answers. If they are correct, hand them the answer card and the next envelope. Make sure you keep the answers separate from the task cards.
The Holidays Around the World Escape Room activity has minimal prep. All you have to do is print, copy, and place information and task cards in envelopes. You don’t need any extra supplies or complicated locks.
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Now, let’s look at some fun Holidays Around the World party ideas for each of those countries.
Russia – Счастливого Рождества! (Schastlivogo Rozhdestva)
Students learn how they celebrate the holidays in Russia and then complete a puzzle to figure out what toy Father Frost and Snow Maiden left for the children.
Waffle cookies are a traditional Russian treat. These colorful wafer cookies are filled with delicious frosting. Russians like things bold and beautiful, so these cookies are often brightly colored.
You can buy some wafer cookies at the store. They come in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and other flavors. Pick a variety of flavors and colors. Then let students decorate them with some additional frosting and sprinkles.
Another traditional Russian pastry is rugelach, a doughy crescent cookie. Luckily, these little treats show up in most grocery stores during the holiday season. They’re filled with cream cheese, jam, or even chocolate. Pick up a few varieties to share with the class.
Pryaniki are Russian spice cookies that come out during the holidays in just about every Eastern European household. Also known as “honey bread”, these simple cookies are often made with some type of spice. Popular varieties include cinnamon or nutmeg and come out with a dark, brown center. But feel free to skip the spices to make them more kid-friendly. See the recipe section to make your own.
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups sugar
- 16 oz sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-4 tbsp milk
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg yolks and sugar until well combined.
- Whisk in sour cream until creamy.
- In a small dish combine vinegar and baking powder, and mix until it bubbles. Add this mixture, plus the vanilla and salt to the bowl and mix.
- Add flour one cup at a time. You may want to use a dough hook as this dough gets pretty sticky.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball with well-floured hands. Or use a small ice cream scoop. Flatten slightly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool
- In a medium bowl, mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.
Learn about Russia
Folding Matryoshka Dolls
Nesting dolls, or Matryosjha, are famous Russian toys. Let your students make their very own set with this easy craft. Simply photocopy the template for each student.
Cut out the circles and draw faces on each one. Then color the bodies on the template. Students can use paint, markers, or crayons. They can color each doll a solid color, or decorate it with designs.
Glue the face onto the body. (Glue dots work well).
Once the dolls are decorated, cut out the template. Be sure to keep the bottom of the dolls attached. You want one long line of five dolls, not five separate dolls.
Fold the paper accordion style, tucking each doll behind the next. You will see only the largest doll. But as you unfold the paper you will see all five.
Lacquerware Spoon Craft
Lacquerware painting is a centuries-old Russian tradition. Papier mache boxes and panels are lacquered and painted with intricate designs and scenes from folk tales. To make this craft simple for kids all you need are a wooden spoon and some acrylic paints.
Students can paint their spoons black. Or you can do that ahead in advance to save time. Or, just leave it plain wood.
Then students can decorate it with symbols. Fruits, treats, Christmas symbols, or even a scene from one of the holiday books you read are all great ideas. (This photo is just for inspiration. These are professionally painted spoons.)
Grandpa Frost Cartoon
Watch Grandpa Frost, a cartoon from the Classic Fairy Tales From Around the World series.
Listen to the Nutcracker
Play some songs from the Nutcracker for background music.
The Tale of Baboushka: A Traditional Christmas Story by Elena Pasquali. Baboushka is busy with her house–she has so much to do. The late-night arrival of three travelers at her cottage door interrupts her domestic routine of cleaning and polishing. Although she gives them excellent hospitality, she is relieved that they plan to travel on the following day.
The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas Bliss. A tender, old-fashioned story serves as a testament to the power of sisterly love and a celebration of matryoshkas–the beloved Russian nesting dolls.
The Nutcracker by Jan Brett. Jan Brett makes this classic her own by setting it in snowy Russia and adding whimsical touches to the favorite elements of the traditional ballet. Enjoying this book will be an instant Christmas tradition for families who love ballet and those new to the story.
Germany – Fröhliche Weihnachten
Next students will visit Germany. After they learn about German traditions, students must use a cipher to figure out the fun and yummy tradition that began in Germany and is now enjoyed around the world. Hint, it’s a traditional Christmas treat.
Germany might be my favorite because you can do so much with Christmas trees, candy canes, and gingerbread! Your students will collect a favorite Christmas treat.
Christmas Tree Grahams
All you need are a box of graham crackers, each student only needs half of a sheet, some green icing, M&Ms, and Rolos, cut in half.
You could also sub some M&Ms for the sprinkles. And a star would look adorable on the top!
Gingerbread cookies are the perfect party treat for your Holidays Around the World party. I love to let the kids decorate their own cookies. This makes a fun treat and party activity! It’s easy to find premade gingerbread this time of year. Or Pillsbury makes ready-to-bake cookie dough.
Add some frosting and sprinkle and you’re all set. Want to make this activity super easy? Put the icing in individual plastic cups. Be sure to use plastic knives or try popsicle sticks.
Want even more gingerbread ideas? Be sure to check out the Gingerbread Man Party Theme.
Learn about Germany
Gumdrop Christmas Tree
Give students a box of toothpicks and some green and red gumdrops and challenge them to build a Christmas tree. Get all the details at Left Brain Craft Brain. There are several other Christmas tree STEM challenges too.
Candy Cane Experiment
Wouldn’t it be fun to do a science experiment at your Holidays Around the World party? The kids would love it! Check out this candy cane experiment about making predictions from The Brown Bag Teacher.
Candy Cane Ornaments
This is a simple holiday craft. All you need are pipe cleaners. I like to use red, green, and white. If you have the long ones, cut them in half. Then have students thread red and white beads in a candy cane pattern onto the pipe cleaner. It’s great practice for fine motor skills. Twist the ends so the beads stay on.
If you have long pipe cleaners, cut them in half.
PRO TIP: Challenge the kids to make different patterns with their beads. Two red, two white; two red, one white; red, white, green; etc . . .
Listen to Some German Christmas Carols
These German Christmas carols are great background music while you are doing other Holidays Around the World party activities.
The Great Spruce by John Duvall. Alec’s favorite is the great spruce. Every Christmas, Alec and his grandpa decorate the tree together, weaving tinsel and lights through its branches, making it shine bright. But one day, a few curious men from the nearby city take notice of Alec’s glistening great spruce and ask to take it away for their Christmas celebration.
Oma and Me: A Christmas Story by Kevin M. Donovan. A little boy and his German grandmother are getting ready for Christmas. Oma enjoys sharing German Christmas traditions with her grandson. During the four weeks leading up to Weihnachten, she sings “Oh Tannenbaum” while baking Christmas cookies and Stollen. She shares her Christmas stories in hopes that her grandson will feel the true Christmas spirit
France: Joyeux Noël
When students “visit” France in the Holidays Around the World Escape Room activity, they will learn about the French Christmas traditions and collect a Yule log for the classroom celebration.
Twinkie Yule Logs
A Buche De Noel is a traditional Christmas treat in France. Let your students make a simple Yule Log with some Twinkies and frosting. If Twinkies aren’t available, you could try using Swiss Cake Rolls.
Candy apples or Chocolate Covered Apples or Strawberries.
A French tradition is that 13 different desserts are eaten on Christmas day. All desserts are made from fruits, nuts, and pastries. Try candy apples or chocolate-covered apple slices or strawberries.
These pretty and elegant cookies are so festive. And they can be easily purchased in your grocery store freezer for your Holidays Around the World party. Check out Target for these bite-size French treats.
Another classic French Christmas cookie, Palmiers are super easy to make. Only two ingredients and twenty minutes of baking time. If you have access to an oven (and are feeling brave) you could even make this in class.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 puff pastry sheet (frozen or refrigerated)
- Place the puff pastry dough on a floured surface. Sprinkle it generously with sugar and run a rolling pin on it.
- Fold in ¼ of the dough from the top and ¼ of the dough from the bottom until the folds meet in the center.
- Cut it into 1/4-inch cookies. Place them sideways on a baking sheet.
- Bake them at 450°F for 6 minutes and flip them over to the other side. Bake for 5 more minutes and enjoy!
Optional ingredients: Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough.
Pro Tip: Make sure the dough you are working with is extra cold. When puff pastry gets warm, the butter melts, and your cookies won’t have those beautiful, flaky layers.
Learn About France
Watch National Geographic Kids: France to introduce kids to the country. Or learn about How French Christmas is different? Students can make a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting Christmas in the U.S. with Christmas in France. Or pick one of the other countries you have already studied.
Leave Shoes for Père Nöel
In France, children leave out their shoes, hoping Père Nöel will fill them to the brim with little presents, sweets, fruit, nuts, and anything else that will fit in there. Children. It would be so much fun (and quite easy) to have your students take off their shoes and place them outside the classroom door. Then have a volunteer or coworker, fill them with fruit and small candies!
Make an Eiffel Tower Out of Straws
Sing Jingle Bells in French
Watch this video with lyrics to learn a French Christmas Carol. Viva le Vent! is sung to the tune of Jingle Bells with repetitive lyrics that are easy for kids to learn.
Listen to French Christmas Music
Set the scene by listening to some French Christmas carols at your Holidays Around the World party.
Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans. It’s the night before Christmas and everyone is sick in bed. All except brave Madeline, who is up and about and feeling just fine. Taking care of eleven little girls and Miss Clavel is hard work, but when Madeline finds help from a magical merchant, the girls embark on a Christmas journey that will surely make them forget their sniffles and sneezes.
Mexico – Feliz Navidad
In Mexico, students learn about the tradition of Las Posadas and the legend of the poinsettia.
Chips and Salsa
Keep things super simple with a kid favorite: chips and salsa. Maybe add some guacamole for a fun twist.
A traditional Christmas Eve dish. Order some tamales from your favorite Mexican restaurant or pick up some frozen ones at the grocery store.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
This Mexican hot chocolate is made with real milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, chili powder, and a little bittersweet chocolate to make the whole thing a bit creamier and smoother. I also added a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a little spicy end note, but that’s totally optional.
Make it in the crockpot for an easy, warm, Mexican treat.
Combine all the ingredients (except cayenne pepper, if using–and you might want to omit it when serving to kids) in a large crockpot and heat for 2-3 hours. Serve in small cups with whipped cream.
Mexican Christmas Cookies
This cookie is super easy to make. It’s not pretty, but your students don’t care. The important thing is it tastes delicious.
- 2 sticks 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract or Mexican vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups to 1 3/4 cups
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
- Beat in the salt, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, scraping the sides of the bowl often, until the mixture is smooth. Add the baking powder.
- When it’s thoroughly mixed in, add the flour and stir by hand until it’s well mixed. The batter should be soft, yet sturdy enough to shape.
- With a level tablespoon, scoop up the dough and shape it into 24 balls. Place balls on a parchment-coated baking sheet and chill for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Arrange the dough balls about 2 1/2 inches apart, then press the balls into 2-inch rounds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- While the cookies are baking, mix the sugar, chocolate, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Remove warm cookies from baking sheets and let cool for about 3 minutes on a wire rack. Roll warm cookies in coating and return to wire rack. Let cool completely before serving.
Learn more about Christmas in Mexico
Draw a Poinsettia
This poinsettia directed drawing from Art Projects for Kids would be a super fun activity at your Holidays Around the World party. My students had a blast doing them last year and they turned out gorgeous!
A piñata would be a fun activity to do with your class. You can buy them at most party stores.
Sing Feliz Navidad
Watch this video and sing along to Feliz Navidad.
Mexican Christmas Carols
Want more Mexican Christmas music? These songs make great background music.
This is another sweet craft that can double as a family gift. Give each child a large (12 x 18) piece of red construction paper and a small (9 X 12) piece of green paper. Have them trace their hand several times on the red and two or three times on the green and cut out the shapes.
Then give them a piece of cardstock. Have them place the green handprints down first, as leaves. Then layer the red hand cutouts on top of one another to form a poinsettia shape. They can use a black piece of construction paper or color in the center.
The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola. In Mexico, the poinsettia is called Flor de la Nochebuena, or flower of the Holy Night. At Christmastime, the flower blooms and flourishes, the quite exquisite red stars lighting up the countryside. This Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl’s unselfish gift to the Christ Child.
‘Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong. It’s Christmas Eve, and you’re invited to a Nochebuena celebration! Follow a family as they prepare to host a night filled with laughter, love, and Latino tradition.
A Piñata in a Pine Tree by Pat Mora. In this festive Latino twist on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga including piñatas, burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable.
England – Merry Christmas
Students learn about celebrating Christmas in England, including a very special tradition that students love.
Although originally a Scottish tradition, shortbread is enjoyed throughout the United Kingdom during the Christmas season. Pick up a tin of shortbread at your grocery store for a quick and easy treat. You can find Walkers, Lorna Dorne, or Pepperidge Farm at most major grocery stores.
Pudding is a traditional Christmas dish in England. Make it kid-friendly with some Swiss Miss pudding cups, whipped cream, and Christmas sprinkles.
Christmas Carol in the Hallways
A popular tradition in England is carol-singing, when groups of young or not-so-young stand in the street, or go from door to door, singing carols and collecting for a charity. Why not learn some Christmas tunes and spread some holiday cheer in your building by Christmas caroling in the hallways?
Or make this cute Christmas caroler craft from A Faithful Attempt.
All you need is some construction paper, crayons, and sheet music (you can print it from your computer).
Cut out a circle for the head and an oval for the body. Cut out a hat and mittens. Add some hair. Draw some simple features and glue everything together. How fun!
Let students experience the joy of Christmas crackers firsthand. I recommend buying in bulk from Amazon.
Christmas Stocking Craft
Make a paper Christmas stocking! (Find a template for this craft and so much more in the Ultimate Holiday Guide linked below).
In England, children hang stockings on the mantle for Father Christmas to fill. Create your own Christmas stocking with this printable. Let students decorate their stockings with scraps of Christmas wrapping paper. Challenge them to make a pattern.
Boxing Day Gift Wrap Project
Your students will LOVE this FREE Holiday math activity. This is a simple but fun activity that keeps the focus on learning. All you need are scraps of wrapping paper cut into squares and rectangles. I bet you even have some gift wrap at home. You’ll want to keep the pieces pretty small unless your students are ready to calculate big numbers.
Students will use the gift wrap to practice measuring area and perimeter and record their answers on the recording sheets.
This activity is:
- Easy and cheap to prep
- Perfect for holiday-themed practice of essential math skills
- Easy to differentiate. Use small pieces of paper to keep the activity simple. Include some larger pieces for more of a challenge. Pick paper with the squares on the back to scaffold learners. Or cut the paper into irregular shapes. There are so many options!
The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig. In this whimsical story, Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was her Christmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble and up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas.
The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden. Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones all have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she’s sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Joneses wish more than anything for a son or daughter to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true?
Even though the Christmas story took place in Israel, most people there don’t celebrate Christmas. Instead, this country will introduce students to Hanukkah and the Festival of Lights, including the Dreidel game.
Gelt refers to wrapped chocolate coins that are used to play dreidel, a traditional Hanukkah game. A dreidel is a top with four sides, each with a different Hebrew letter. Each letter represents a word in Hebrew that means “a great miracle happened there” (referring to Israel, where the Hanukkah story took place). Gelt is readily available at many stores in December.
Jelly donuts, known as Sufganiyot, serve as a reminder that life can be sweet sometimes—which is exactly why they are part of Jewish holiday celebrations. Pick up some jelly donuts at your local grocery store.
Introduce your students to the traditions of Hanukkah with this video. Kids will learn about the origins of the holiday and the meaning behind symbols such as the menorah and dreidel.
Build a Menorah
Introduce a STEM project and let your students get creative building their own personal Hanukkah menorah to use at home. Before this activity, explain what a menorah is to your students. Menorah means lamp in Hebrew. There are eight branches of the Hanukkah menorah, which are cumulatively lit on each night of the holiday. For example on the third night, the first three candles are lit. A menorah also includes a shamash (shuh-MOSH) in the center. This “helper” candle is lit first and used to light the other candles.
Introduce recycled materials like cardboard, plastic cups, paper towels holders, cans, etc . . .
You can also use paper, LEGO, building blocks, toys, etc . . . The only requirement is that the menorahs contain eight candles and one shamash.
Hanukkah Scavenger Hunt
Gelt is a traditional chocolate coin given out on Hanukkah. Hide pieces of gelt around your room and let your students hunt for them. Be sure to specify how many pieces each child can find. You can up the difficulty level by providing them with a list of Hanukkah trivia questions they have to answer correctly before they can search.
Play some traditional Hanukkah music in the background.
Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf by Greg Wolfe. Shmelf, one of Santa’s most important elves, goes out to investigate why some children are missing from Santa’s list. He uncovers Hanukkah, a wondrous and joyful holiday that Jewish families celebrate each year. As Shmelf observes a family lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, and hearing the Hanukkah story, he sees how special the traditions of the holiday truly are–and he wants to be a part of it!
The Night Before Hanukkah by Natasha Wing. It’s the night before the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah begins, and everyone is excited! Each evening, the family gathers to light the candles and share holiday traditions such as playing dreidel, eating latkes, and exchanging gifts.
Hanukkah Bear by Eric Kimmel. Bubba Brayna makes the best latkes in the village, and on the first night of Hanukkah, the scent of her cooking wakes a hungry, adorable bear from his hibernation. He lumbers into town to investigate, and Bubba Brayna—who does not see or hear very well—mistakes him for her rabbi. She welcomes the bear inside to play the dreidel game, light the menorah, and enjoy a scrumptious meal. But after he leaves, the real rabbi shows up.
Meet the Latkes by Alan Silberberg. Lucy Latke’s family is just like yours or mine. Except that they’re potato pancakes. And also, they are completely clueless. Students will be laughing out loud at this silly story.
Additional Multicultural Holiday Children’s Books
Let’s Celebrate! Special days Around the World by Kate DePalma.
Beautiful, descriptive nonfiction text and vibrant illustrations invite readers to experience a child’s-eye view of 13 special days around the world, such as the Spring Festival, Inti Raymi, Eid al-Fitr, Día de Muertos, and the New Yam Festival. Includes a global festival calendar and educational notes about why we celebrate.
Celebrations Around the World by Katy Halford
Embark on an exciting journey through the most interesting and important festivals, celebrations, and holidays enjoyed by people around the world. Stunning original illustrations and fascinating facts will inspire and inform children about cultures and religions from the countries of the world.
Why Do You Celebrate? Holidays and Festivals Around the World by Whitney Stewart
Across the globe, every country has its special holidays. From Brazilian carnival and Chinese New Year to France’s Bastille Day and our very own Fourth of July, What Do You Celebrate? presents 14 special occasions where people dance, dress up, eat yummy foods, and enjoy other fun traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.
A World of Cookies for Santa by M.E. Furman
A World of Cookies for Santa takes readers across the globe to see all the treats that await Santa on Christmas Eve. Head to the Philippines, where children leave out puto seko cookies and ginger tea for Santa; jet to Russia for a honey-spice cookie; then set out for Malawi for a sweet potato cookie!
Native American Night Before Christmas by Gary Robinson
An innovative retelling of the classic Christmas tale, this full-color book takes a whimsical look at what Christmas Eve might be like for a Native American family when Old Red Shirt (the Native American Santa Claus) comes a-calling with his team of flying white buffalo to deliver fry bread, commodities and other goodies.
Holidays with a Tail by Kelly Bouldin Darmofal
Young Alex is beyond excited when he gets a puppy for Christmas. But the puppy bounds out of the open door and Alex and his mom search the neighborhood for his runaway dog. They experience a lot of different winter holiday celebrations and traditions: the Hindu Diwali, the Jewish Hanukkah, the Latinx Las Posadas, and the African-American Kwanzaa during their search.
Manju’s Kerala Christmas by Ashley K. George
Christmas is a joyous holiday celebrated all around the world, and Kerala, a state on the Western coast of India, is no different. Come and explore the traditions, foods, and festivities surrounding this holiday with Manju and her family! While it may not snow in Kerala, there is no shortage of fun during Christmas!
The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert
Long ago, a brave little girl named Anja wanted to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis and heads out into the snowy landscape.
Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
When a leak ruins the sacristy wall in his father’s church, Jonathan Jefferson Weeks thinks Christmas Eve service will be ruined. Luckily he and his father find a beautiful tapestry, perfect for covering the damaged wall and giving the church a festive look! But then, an old Jewish woman recognizes the beautiful cloth. Her discovery leads to a real miracle on Christmas Eve.
Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis
In an African village live seven brothers who make family life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread. If they fail, they will be turned out as beggars. Using the Nguzo Saba, or “seven principles” of Kwanzaa, the author has created an unforgettable story that shows how family members can pull together, for their own good and the good of the entire community. Magnificent and inspiring linoleum block prints by Daniel Minter bring joy to this Kwanzaa celebration.
The Story of Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington
Light the candles on the kinara! Fly the bendera, and tell stories from Africa! The festival of Kwanzaa was originated by Dr. Maulana Karenga to honor the customs and history of African Americans. The seven principles of Kwanzaa, called the Nguzo Saba, serve to remind African Americans of the struggles of the past, and also focus on present-day achievements and goals for the future.
FREE Ultimate Holiday Guide for Teachers in Grades 2-5
Find all the printables for your Holidays Around the World party in this FREE Ultimate Holiday Guide for Teachers in Grades 2-5. Inside this 142-page guide, you’ll find five more amazing classroom party themes, plus tons of helpful tips, holiday activities, and freebies so you can celebrate the holidays in style without getting your tinsel in a tangle.
Inside, you’ll find:
- Helpful holiday tips to make planning and celebrating easy
- Easy holiday resources that will keep kids learning
- 6 classroom party themes with ideas for treats, crafts, and activities
- Family & student gift ideas
- Simple classroom decor ideas
- Our favorite holiday books and movies
- Reading, writing, and math activities
- Student printables, a family holiday survey, holiday & thank you cards, and gift tags
- And so much more!
Get your free holiday guide today!
Now you are ready for an amazing Holidays Around the World party!
Have a Not So Wimpy Day,