I love all things holiday and am always looking for ways to engage my students and keep them motivated to behave and work during the months leading up to a major holiday. Even though my students are fifth graders, I still want them to enjoy a bit of the magic of Christmas. On this post, I will share a super engaging Christmas mystery bag activity that works well for a Christmas writing activity, a behavior incentive, a Christmas party activity or a combination of all three.
- Non-translucent Christmas bags or paper bags decorated with Christmas stickers
- Bowls small enough to fit inside the bags
- Labeled table tent cards — Click here to download the Christmas Mystery Bags labels on this post.
- Brown pudding (snowman poop)
- Round, brown candy (reindeer noses)
- Cotton candy (Santa’s beard)
- Green Jell-O (Grinch snot)
- Raisins (elf earwax)
- Round, chocolate cereal (Christmas mouse droppings)
- Orange jelly candy (nutcracker tongues)
- Canned corn (gingerbread eyeballs)
Setting Up the Christmas Mystery Bags
- Print and cut the labeled table tent cards.
- Prepare the items by putting them in the bowls. Be sure to make the “Grinch snot” the night before to make sure it has a chance to solidify in the refrigerator.
- Carefully place each bowl into a bag and set the bags and their corresponding labels on a table.
Christmas Mystery Bags in the Classroom
Here are some ideas for incorporating this Christmas activity in your classroom:
- Have the activity as part of a Christmas party . Call the students over a few at a time to feel the items. While you are calling students over, the rest of the class can be working on other Christmas activities.
- Incorporate this as a seasonal writing activity. After calling all of the students over to feel the items, have them write about the activity. Writing about an experience is a great way to calm students down after a high-engagement activity. They can choose one item to describe in depth using their five senses, choose a couple of items to compare and contrast, or write inferences about what each item is based on clues (how it smelled, what it felt like, etc.).
- Use this as a Christmas party activity with other holiday games and activities as part of a holiday rotation. This activity can be manned by you, another teacher, or a parent volunteer.
If you choose to use this as a writing activity, click here or on the image to grab some themed printables that work well with the three different writing activities described above.
Want More Christmas Resources and Activities?
Christmas Activities and Ideas for Upper Elementary – Roundup of all of my Christmas posts!
Christmas Read Alouds for Upper Elementary
Christmas Tree of Inventions: STEM-Inspired Christmas Craft
Christmas Behavior Management Ideas
Christmas STEM Challenge: Build a Gumdrop Christmas Tree
This post was created in collaboration with A Stults.
Love this idea! Can you tell me what the decorative cellophane bags are for. I can’t seem to find how to use them in the activity, but they are listed as a supply. Thanks so much!
Lindsay Warchala says
I love the mystery bag Christmas theme however I can not seem to find the link for the tag labels
Hi! Love this activity, where can I download the mystery bag labels? They are not a part of the downloaded worksheets. Thank you!
Love this! Would love the printable tent cards!
Becky Nicholas says
Ditto the last 3 comments! I’d love the tent card download if you still have it. They’re so cute and I’m hoping to do this in my daughter’s 5th grade class for her Christmas party.
Rachel Kay says
Love this! I too am looking for the tent labels!