If you celebrate Christmas, you may have joked at one time or another that when the Christmas songs go live on the radio, we seem to only hear the same top 20 Christmas songs and their variations (or so it seems). But there are so many Christmas songs to be enjoyed.
Every year I am always surprised when a student who celebrates Christmas, is not familiar with what I would consider a common Christmas carol. I then remind myself that part of my job as a music teacher is to expose my students to all the wonderful music out there. (Side note: This also includes other holiday pieces of course, but this post is specifically about Christmas songs.)
One way we can do this besides learning how to play the piece, is to play Christmas Song activities. Below I share some fun Christmas Song activities you can try with your students. If you are looking for ideas for a Christmas party or group class activities during the holiday season, you will enjoy these. Better yet, you can combine them all into a Christmas camp which is one of my favorite things to do each December. You can read more about Christmas camp here if you haven’t heard about it before. So much fun!
Christmas Song Bingo
How well can your students recognize the Christmas songs when they hear them? Find out in Christmas song bingo! You can play the pieces on an instrument or simply create a playlist! I have done this activity the last couple of years with my students, and they love it!
Christmas Song Caroling and Sing-a-Longs
Why not take your students caroling? If you teach in a classroom, wouldn’t it be so fun to go around singing to the other classes? If you are an independent teacher like I am, you can set a day/time for students to go caroling around the neighborhood or a group home.
Of course a good old-fashioned sing-a-long is fun too! Gather around the piano, grab some bells and rhythm instruments and enjoy the music being shared.
Christmas Song Charades
How about a game of Charades? Students can act out a Christmas song title!
Need some Christmas Song titles? Grab this set of 48 cards that I made for Giving Tuesday for free! (I use these for several games as they come in very handy when students are stumped on what Christmas song to choose)
Christmas Song Kazoos
Hum Christmas songs with kazoos! This year I passed around kazoos, and we guessed the Christmas song students were humming. They LOVED this activity! Kazoos are great when you have students who are hesitant to sing. I bought these kazoos in bulk and have been extremely happy with the quality. (Amazon affiliate)
My students kept their kazoos, but you can wash them for re-use. (From the company… “You can take a bit of dish washing soap and some warm water and run it through the kazoo until the water runs clean. Finally, set it on a small paper towel to dry.“)
Christmas Song Mixed Up Rhythms
An activity that is fun to do with students is to mix up the rhythms of Christmas songs. I love this because it also provides a wonderful teaching moment how the correct rhythm is so important. My favorite example is to play the descending C Major scale and ask if anyone recognized that Christmas piece? Of course, nobody does. But then I will play it with the correct rhythm, and they instantly recognize Joy to the World!
I created a True/False digital game of Christmas Carol mixed up rhythms if you are interested. You can have students play it independently or answer as a group. You can have them split into teams, ring a bell or use eggspert to answer… have fun!
Christmas Song Lyrics Game
This one is super fun! See how well your students know the words to Christmas Songs as they finish the missing lyric! Warning – you may have students break out in song while they figure it out!
Christmas Song Name That Tune
Name that tune is an oldie but goodie. You can play the songs on the piano (or another instrument) and have them guess. Or if you don’t have an instrument available, it’s easy to create a playlist on Spotify, YouTube, etc. Another thing I have done is to have students perform a Christmas song for the other students to guess!
Christmas Song Name that Tune Board Game
How about turning Name that Tune into a board game for another variation? You can grab this one for free!
Christmas Song Pictionary
Students love Christmas song pictionary. I like to use the cards from our Christmas Song bingo mentioned above because it gives them ideas on how they can draw the name of the song too. They work great for those who get stuck on a visual idea.
Christmas Song Scramble
Scramble games are always fun for students to play. Students unscramble the name of the Christmas song!
I hope you enjoyed these ideas. As you can see, there are so many activities that we can do with Christmas songs to help our students become more familiar with them. Another big bonus to these activities is that most can be used with family and friend gatherings too!
Tell me, which Christmas song activities are you most excited about?