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Help! I Need Interactive Holiday Activities and Ideas

Do you need interactive holiday activities and ideas?

interactive holiday activities ideasOf all the months in the teaching year, December is my favorite.  Unfortunately, there is so much to do and so little time to plan memorable activities for our students.  Here are six of my favorite kid-tested interactive holiday activities and ideas for the music classroom.
Sharing is caring, and there is great joy in helping each other, especially through this month.

funky number 1“March” from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky

In addition to moving to the steady beat in the Nutcracker March, it’s fun to play along with our StickStations using Artie Almedia’s Kidstix book. This interactive holiday activity is easy to reproduce using whatever instruments you might have available.


funky number 2Snowflake Music and Math SMARTBoard Activity

You can read the original post here and download this Snowflake Music and Math SMARTBoard Activity from my TpT store here. If you watch the video, you can see the fun the children are having and the way they are completely engaged in this interactive Holiday activities, even though they are taking turns. On the “Fun Scale” of 1 – 10, the kids rated this interactive holiday activity an 11!

  • Music + Math – In this activity, students must add and/ or subtract note values to reach a specific sum.
  • Touch a snowflake on the home page.
  • Get an assignment. Linked snowflakes take students to a random page with an assignment to find a note value or a sum.
  • When the student is ready, they press, “GO.”
  • The next link is a page of spinning snowflakes. The students touch snowflakes to complete the assignment. Touched snowflakes stop spinning.
  • When the student completes the task, they touch the HOME link and the flakes reset for the next student.
  • There is an occasional SPLAT page linked just for fun. SPLAT = Brain Break!

funky number 3Music Theory with a Snow Ball Fight

We’re right in the middle of preparing songs and dances for the upcoming Holiday performance next week. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to focus only on the songs and stress out over the readiness of each selection. There are many ways to disguise learning during the Holiday season – even in the middle of preparing for the upcoming concert. Here’s  how we learned Music Theory with a Snow Ball Fight!  Read the rest of the original post and other ideas here.  The order I have found that works best for this activity is: A – Ice Skating, B – Learn about Form, C – Snowball fight. It is possible to squeeze these activities into one lesson, but two lessons work best.

If you would like the SMARTNotebook file that I created to use during the Ice Skating, Form Lesson, and SnowBall Fight,  you may download it at the bottom of this post. In addition to pages used for teaching the verse-chorus form of many of the Christmas songs, this file has a separate section for teaching the form of “Sleigh Ride.” In fact, I used “Sleigh Ride” this year for the SNOWBALL fight and for teaching this form: Introduction A B A C C’ interlude A B A CODA. Each section has the sound snip attached to aid in identifying the sections. I’ve included a page of suggested rhythm instruments to use as  accompaniment as well. This  interactive holiday activity is all about the snowball fight, but the kids will focus on learning anything just for the fun to begin. Milk that power for all it’s worth!!

funky number 4Ice Skating Activity

There is a section in the downloadable file for teaching the ice skating activity. Here is the PDF image of the Ice Skate that the children tapped on and colored while listening to “Winter Wonderland.” This PDF includes one large skate for the children to color, and a pointing page for keeping the steady beat while listening. These two pieces of paper become the ice skates, but another easy way to create the ice skates is to use cheap paper plates instead. I use the paper for the skates because it easily turns into snowballs. If you are a visual learner… have a look.


funky number 5Snowman Even or Odd

This activity is included in the “5 SMART Holiday Activities for the Music Classroom”  Oftentimes, we just need a little filler for music class during the holiday season and these five stand-alone SMARTBoard Holiday activities for the music classroom are perfect for those times. Used separately, they can be a filler; used all together, they make an awesome lesson: listening for high/low sounds, vocal exploration, musical map/ listening activity, and two music+math addition, subtraction, even, odd games.

Of the five activities in this file, the favorite of my need interactive activities ideasstudents this year has been the Snowman note value math: Students add/subtract note values to reach a total. If the total is odd, they put a blue hat on the snowman, if the total is even, they put a red hat on the snowman. The correct hat will spin and the incorrect hat will bounce back.  The kids love the card game and interacting with the SMARTBoard. Here is the original post. 

funky number 6Magic  Stem Race

My students can’t wait to use the fading ink Magic Pen in this fun activity as they race to draw the stems correctly on the ornaments before the ink begins to fade. In this short video, just watch the interaction and engagement of the students. These three Holiday Activities can be found via this link.  and you can view the original post here. 

I can’t wait until the sun comes up and it’s time for school! Believe it or not, I want the school days this week to be looooong – in the nicest sort of way.

I hope you can use these lesson ideas to bring joy and learning in your music class this season.

  1. StickStations: March from the Nutcracker (Artie Almedia)
  2. Snowflake Music and Math SMARTBoard Activity Snowflake Music and Math
  3. Music Theory with a Snowball Fight and Ice Skating
  4. Snowman Even or Odd SMARTBoard Activity and Manipulative game “5 SMART Holiday Activities for the Music Classroom”
  5. Magic Stem Race – SMARTBoard Activity  – Three IWB Musical Activities for Elf-ry One

I would love to hear what new twists you’ve put on the Holiday activities in your classroom this year.

Happy everything!

Cherie+Signature+small4_edited-1

Form: Ice Skating and a Snow Ball Fight
Form: Ice Skating and a Snow Ball Fight
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Cherie Herring

Music/Technology Integration at Hammond School
I teach elementary music, am passionate about integrating technology into my teaching, am obsessed with my SMARTBoard and iPad, and enjoy creating lessons and sharing ideas. I love technology almost as much as I love cheesecake, and with more energy and ideas than I know what to do with, I can't wait for the sun to come up each morning! I'm wife to Prince Charming and mom to three incredible girls who keep me balanced. . . sort of!

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