Crackers and Creativity : Festive Activities for the Classroom


With one week to go till Christmas, we wanted to share some fun and festive Artis activities for those last few days of term before the winter break.

So turn off the Christmas film, move the chairs and tables out the way, and get moving.


Rhythmic percussion piece

  • Talk about Christmas food – turkey, mince pies, sage and onion, Christmas cake, or decorations – Christmas cracker, tinsel, mistletoe, tree
  • Make up some word rhythm patterns with different lengths e.g

Sage and onion
Christmas cake

  • Try tapping a steady pulse and adding the word rhythm patterns one by one over it. Try them in a whisper, clapping or with untuned instruments.
  • Decide on structure and dynamics to compose a piece.



  • Imagine you are going to give someone in the class a gift. What would it be and why? Describe it and show how big it is with your hands. Talk about the gifts you have had.


Pass the (imaginary) parcel

  • Sit in a circle
  • Like pass the imaginary ball, each time the music stops the children must rip open the paper and mime what they find.
  • They then need to pass the imaginary object to their neighbour. Other children transform the parcel as they pass to something different, even if they don’t open it.


Compose a “Starry Night” piece.

  • Talk about a cold, starry winter’s night. Explore some “twinkling” sounds with Indian bells or triangles.
  • How could you make a meteor sound – a cabasa or shaker?
  • Some quiet humming with low voices could add a feeling of space.


Star Dance

  • Use movement to explore star shapes with hands – opening and closing. Change the speed.
  • Try making the body into a star which starts closed and inward, then explodes outwards.
  • Use twisting, turning, spinning with the whole body traveling. Try turning on the floor using backs or bottoms; try turning on one leg or legs and hands.
  • Create an orbit by moving in a circle. Move to “Mare Imbrium” and create a dance piece to it using the movements explored above.


Make up a story about the Christmas tree

  • How big is it?
  • Carry it to the car
  • Take it inside the house
  • Decorate it – tinsel/lights/baubles/fairy or star on top
  • Put your gifts underneath – how big are they?
  • Use movement to tell your story and accompany with some bright exciting Christmas music


For more ideas for creative sessions, take a look at our Teaching Resources. If you would be interested in having Artis at your school, please click here for more information or contact us via or call 0207 324 9880.


18 Dec 2018

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