Christmas Brain Breaks!

Christmas: It’s not only the happiest time of year; it is also the most restless for many students. This holiday season, keep your students focused until the very last minute with these fun Christmas Brain Breaks!
Every student needs a brain break now and then, and these fun and festive brain breaks are the perfect way to let them shake off the cobwebs while doing a fun game or activity with a holiday theme!

Reindeer Names

Students stand. Each student decides which of Santa’s reindeer he or she will be (you may want to write the eight names on the board). Students then mill around the room quietly saying their reindeer names. When a student meets another student with the same name, they link arms and continue to search for more reindeer with the same name (now saying their reindeer name in unison). Continue until all reindeer are grouped. End the game by calling the reindeer names in order and having the students in each group sit down as you do.

Tip: Don’t use Rudolph – too many of the kids will choose him. Also, students should not be talking except to say their reindeer names.

Jingle Jump

Sing “Jingle Bells” and have students jump every time the sing the word, “jingle.” Tire them out by having them jog in place during the verses.

Snow Ball Fight

Each student gets a piece of paper from the recycle bin and balls it into a “snowball.” Allow students to have a snowball fight for about 20 seconds. Students each must return one snowball to the recycle bin before sitting down.

Variation: Have students write one thing they love about the holidays on their papers before balling them up. After the snowball fight, each student must pick up a snowball, unball it, and find the person to whom it originally belonged.

Presents under the Tree

Students mill around the classroom until the teacher calls out, “Three presents under the tree!” Student must then quickly get into groups of four with one student standing straight up with hands together over his head (like a tree) and the other three students crouching around him like presents. Play several rounds and change the number of presents for each round. You may also want to make a rule that you cannot be the tree twice in a row. For the last round, it is fun to have all of your students be presents (and interesting to see which student gets to be the tree).

Christmas Would You Rather

Students stand. Teacher asks a Christmas Would You Rather Question (you can find 20 free ones here). Students indicate their choice by moving to one end of the room or the other.

Santa Says

Same game, different name!

Best Present Ever!

Have students pantomime wrapping a present. Then, have each student trade his or her “present” with a partner. Partners then pantomime opening the gifts and responding as if it was exactly what they wanted: the best present ever!

Variation: Before wrapping the gift, have each student think of what the gift actually is. Students should really think about what their partners would want. When opening the present, students should also have something in mind. At the end partners can share what they gave and what they pretended to get.

Christmas Pretend

Students pretend to be each of these things for about 10 seconds each:

  • A snowflake falling from the sky
  • An elf making a toy
  • A prancing reindeer
  • A person decorating a Christmas tree
  • A melting snowman

Christmas Carol Dance Party

Play lively Christmas music and have a short dance party. Make it a freeze dance by turning off the music at random intervals.


You can get 60 more Brain Breaks to use all year long or make this beautiful 3-D Star ornament.

60 Brain Break Cards
If you try some of these with your students, please come back and tell us how it went!


Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published in December 2013 and has been recently updated and revamped.
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