6 Digital Ways for Children to Celebrate December Holidays

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!” ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

The holiday season is here, and for many children, this is their favorite time of year. Their families gather together to celebrate (Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa) with special foods, symbolic decorations, music, and the practice of various customs. This is the time when children can share their traditions and discover how others celebrate worldwide. Below are a few suggestions on how you can integrate free web tools and apps to make this holiday season magical for children.

Send a Holiday Greeting

With digital tools and apps, children can create greetings within minutes. These tools integrate audio, video, backgrounds, characters, and more to make the message meaningful. Before your students create the greeting, have them write it down and check it for errors.

Animoto - Upload images, choose a creative commons soundtrack from their music library (many nice holiday tunes to choose from), choose a holiday template, and click a button to make a free 30-second video. Create your greeting online or use their free mobile app for IOS and Android. Here is a holiday greeting from Rosco, my pug!

Fotobabble - Quickly create and easily share talking photos. Snap or select a photo, and speak into the microphone to record audio and post on their site. Choose from various holiday-themed backgrounds. You can create your greeting online or use their free mobile app for the iPhone. Here is a holiday greeting by Rosco!

Buncee - Students can use this free web tool and iPod/iPad app to create multimedia and animated greetings. Buncee has a large library of stickers, backgrounds, audio, images, animation, and video to choose from. Students can also draw on this blank canvas and add audio.

Holiday Video by Vlix (IOS app) – Students can create a personalized video greeting up to 60 seconds long. Choose from many holiday video effects, holiday music tracks, and various fonts and colors. Upload your own photos, and share on Facebook, YouTube, email, or your vlix feed.

RedStamp - With this mobile app for IOS and Android, your students can send cards with various free holiday templates in the spirit of Hanukkah and Christmas as well as upload their photos or drawings.

Create a Calendar

Students can create digital calendars for their loved ones with their own drawings or photos. Make these desktop calendars if you decide to print them.

Google - Create a calendar with one of Google’s templates or use my example. I also provide instructions on how to copy, paste, and edit my template.

Frame Artist - Free IOS app with templates for creating calendars, newspapers, magazines, and more.

Make a Digital Book

StoryBird is a great way for students to choose beautiful, creative, common artwork for an online book they create. There are many holiday-themed illustrations to choose from. This book can be embedded on a blog or emailed. Try any of these story ideas: illustrate their holiday traditions, describe Santa’s adventure delivering gifts, or share their favorite holiday moment.

Children can upload their own drawings and narrate the stories using Little Bird Tales, ZooBurst, and the Book Creator iPad mobile app.

Connect with Another Class

Find various classes to Skype with and sing carols, exchange traditions, read stories, and more.

Communicate with Santa

Santabot.com is a site where students can instant message Santa.

Students can send Santa an email at this site and this site. He will respond.

Play Holiday Games

Students will enjoy learning while playing games related to the holidays. The Digital Play site lists 10 Christmas games with lesson ideas.

How will you celebrate with your students?

Don’t forget to check out Sprout English’s Christmas Vocabulary lesson in the Word Bank and Christmas Bingo in the Games Room!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is the author of Learning To Go and The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators. She is also an adjunct professor, teacher trainer, and international speaker. She has trained teachers in over 25 countries and is a founder of the Bammy Award-winning #Edchat, the ELTON-nominated ELTChat, and The Reform Symposium E-Conference. She is the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars and shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/shellyterrell, and Google.com/+ShellySanchezTerrell. She has taught toddlers to adults English in various countries including the US, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, and Greece.

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