5 Gift-Themed Activities

5 Gift-Themed Activities that Students will Love | Remedia Publications
‘Tis the seasons for celebrations and gift giving! It's easy to make this generous season part of your math, writing, science, and thinking lessons with these tips. Plus students will love giving and receiving these gift-themed activities.

Gift Stations ~ Math
Fill several different size boxes with random dollar store gifts and wrap them or use the dollar store gift boxes--no wrapping necessary. Then, put the gifts at different gift stations: one station for measuring, one for weighing, and one for word problems. Split students into groups and rotate them through each gift station. Have students work together to answer the questions you’ve left at each gift station.

Word Problems Gift Station: Tape a word problem to the bottom of each gift. Ask students solve one or all of the problems on each gift. Or to further challenge your students, ask them to determine which gift is the largest or heaviest, and then have them only answer the word problem on the bottom of that gift.

Measurement Gift Station: Ask students to measure each box’s width, height, length and determine which is the largest, smallest, and tallest gift.

Weight Gift Station: Do the same as the Measurement Stations with weight related questions.

Celebrity Gift ~ Writing
Because gift giving is so special, it should take a lot of thought and planning. Ask students to think about what they might give to their favorite celebrity or character from a book. They can pick the celebrity or have students pick one person from list. Then have write about the gift they would give. Ask student to describe the gift and why they chose it for that person.

Celebrity Suggestions: Santa Clause, the President, Walter Payton, J.K. Rowling, Miley Cyrus, One Direction, Bart Simpson, Justin Timberlake, Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games).

For more inspiration and mini biographies to help students know what to choose as a gift, have students read any one of our Celebrity Readers stories.

Name that Gift ~ Critical Thinking
Capitalize on your students’ love of riddles (and gifts) to promote critical thinking. Start by downloading our template of gift boxes <free download>. Write a gift riddle on each gift and ask students to solve the riddle to find out what is inside the box. Once students get the hang of it, have them write their own riddles to exchange with their classmates. To get your started, we’ve even included our own riddles. For instance: I am warm and furry. I like to lick your hands and play. I have a cold wet nose. What am I?

Show & Tell ~ Speaking & Listening
Have each student wrap a “gift” they want to show and tell about to the class.  Have each student present and give clues to what is inside their box without telling what is actually inside the box (much like the Name that Gift, above).  Then allow the class to make three guesses. If someone guesses correctly, they get to open the present. If no one guesses correctly, have the presenter open the gift.

Sensory Gifts ~ Science
You will need:
- 4 of the same item Suggestions: candy cane, cookies, thin mints, loose chocolate chips.
- 4 shoe boxes with lids or holiday gift boxes from the dollar store (no wrapping paper needed)
- Scissors to cut holes in each box
- Wrapping paper to make the activity more festive and “gift-like”
- Tape
- Santa hat to cover students eyes or any kind of blindfold

1. Put a gift in each of the boxes (and wrap the gifts with wrapping paper) and label them:

Smell – Poke small holes in this box so that the students can smell the contents, but not see inside the box
Touch – Cut a hand-sized hole in this box. Have the children put their hands in the box and feel the gift
Sound – No holes necessary on this box. Tape the lid onto this box extra tight. Instruct the students to rattle and shake the box.
Taste – Add the edible gift to this box. Cut a hand-sized hole in the box. Blindfold students and hand them a gift to taste on a spoon so they are not also "touching". Know your students’ allergies before allowing them to participate in this box.
Sight – Students will all get to use sight when the gifts are opened in Step 6.

2. Have students sense only one box each. And/or allow a handful of students to sense all four boxes. This will add to your discussion later and improve students' understanding of their senses.

3. After each student senses their assigned box, have them return to their desk and write down their guesses. Even have them draw a picture of their guess.

4. When the students have made their guesses, discuss what they felt, smelled, tasted, and heard. Encourage them to use descriptive words—soft, cold, salty, crunchy, rattle, etc.

5. Ask students why they guessed what they guessed. Use this opportunity to dive into a deeper discussion on the five senses.

6. Lastly (the best part) opening the presents! Once presents are opened. Have students compare what they described and drew to what was actually inside the box.

How will you make gift-giving apart of your lessons this winter?