Christmas can be a busy time of year in the classroom. With so many festive activities taking place in school it can be difficult to keep students focused and learning, especially as the countdown to the holidays draws near. So, how can you, as a busy teacher, keep students engaged and focused during the festive season? A Christmas escape room classroom activity is the perfect solution! By incorporating Christmas magic, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, this interactive activity will not only captivate your students but also enhance their critical thinking skills.
Benefits of using escape room activities in the classroom
Classroom escape rooms serve as the perfect review activity for any topic on your curriculum. They are easily adaptable to fit any learning objective. As well as reinforcing curriculum content, escape rooms also help students develop problem solving and critical thinking. Not only that, but escape rooms foster collaboration and communication among your students, creating a positive classroom environment. They stand out from the usual lesson and create a sense of excitement as students unravel clues and solve puzzles to unlock the mystery. They create a fun-filled adventure that will leave everyone with a sense of accomplishment.
Christmas escape room activity
In this fun Christmas Escape Room activity, students help Santa find five missing gifts from his sleigh as he prepare to deliver them on Christmas Eve! Packed full of fun, this Math Escape Room reviews 2nd Grade Operations and algebraic thinking. Aligned to 2nd Grade Math CCSS, you can be sure students are learning whilst having festive fun! With each successfully completed math puzzle, students discover a missing gift for Santa’s sleigh. Once all five missing gifts are found, students use the code on the gifts to locate the magic fairy dust to start Santa’s sleigh, so he can begin his journey from the North Pole!
2nd Grade CCSS Math skills covered
Operations and algebraic math skills covered in this Christmas Escape Room include:
- One step addition and subtraction word problems within 100 including regrouping
- Mentally add and subtract within 20
- Identify odd and even numbers up to 20
- Pair even numbers within 20
- Match arrays to equations of sums of equal addends
Students will also carefully follow directions, crack codes and solve riddles!
Setting up the Christmas escape room in your classroom
This escape room can be played as a printed paper version (with the option for a scavenger-hunt style game). Alternatively it can also be played as a digital activity using Google Forms. Students work in teams of 3-4 to complete the activity.
You will need one set of envelopes to add the clues, gifts and covers to for each team completing the escape room. If you have several groups playing the scavenger hunt-style game at the same time, five sets of color-coded clues are included. For each team, the clues are in a different order which prevents several teams looking for their gift in the same location at the same time. There is an answer sheet provided for the teacher to use to track the answers of each team.
Step-by-step guide to running the Christmas escape room activity
The Christmas escape room is simple to set up and full instructions are included.
- To set up you will need seven envelopes (size 6″x9″). Print the clue cards, envelope cover cards, gift cards and location cards. Place the corresponding clue card and gifts into the correct envelopes.
- Location posters are included. These indicate places in the North Pole where the next clue may be hidden. i.e. the candy cane, the Christmas tree etc. These locations are the answers to the clues and the next puzzle should be hidden nearby the poster. Display the location cards around the classroom, for example on doors, cupboards, bookcases etc. Not all locations will be used as some are ‘red herrings’. Students should be able to clearly view these location cards throughout the activity and choose the correct one as the solution to each puzzle in order to locate the gift and next clue.
- Place each envelope close to its corresponding location card (the image on the font of the envelope should match the image on the location card).
How to play
- Students work in groups of 3-4. To begin, hand students ‘Clue 1’. If completing as a scavenger hunt-style game, once students have solved the first clue and identified the location of the next clue, they search near the correct location card to find their clue envelope. They must answer the clues in order and not search for the next clue until they have solved the challenge. Students will need something to write down their calculations on such as paper or journals.
- If you prefer students to remain seated, once a group has solved the first clue, they raise their hand to let you know. If they identify the correct location of the next clue, hand them the next clue envelope.
- Students continue to solve the puzzles and locate the gifts until they eventually help Santa start his sleigh and ‘escape’ the North Pole and find the ‘congratulations’ card.
Playing the Google Forms Christmas escape Room
Students complete the escape room challenges, entering the locations into Google Forms to collect the gifts and begin their next challenge. Students can work individually or in teams. This is a great way to have multiple groups completing the escape room at the same time and requires very little prep. If you are completing this activity in the classroom, I would advise displaying the location cards around the room. This will help students reach their challenge location answers.
The digital version can be played without the location cards, but it will be slightly more challenging as students will not have options to choose their answers from.
Find out more about this fantastic Christmas Escape Room here. Download the preview to see all the activities included.