Christmas Games for your ESL class

Looking for Christmas games to play with you class? Look no further! These games work well with beginning learners with virtually no English ability to more advanced students. IF you have a mixed group, try to put different levels in each group so they can work together to win.

Living Christmas Tree Game

Make a living Christmas tree in teams of 3-5 people. Each team chooses a member to turn into a Christmas tree. The person portraying the tree should hold his/her arms out and team members will decorate him/her using the supplies. Don't forget to make a star for the top of the tree. You can give teams a time limit of 5, 10, or 15 minutes to make the game more exciting.


  • pegs
  • tinsel
  • ornaments
  • strips of colored paper to make chains
  • sticky tape
  • scissors
  • other craft supplies

 Choose someone to pick a winner at the end of the game. You may give out awards for best decorations, best star, tallest, widest, and other attributes.

Wrap a Present Game

  1. Place students into teams of 2-3 people and challenge them to wrap a present together before time runs out. You can have them link their arms in a unique way, stand side by side, or get in other hilarious positions.
  2. Needs:
  • box
  • wrapping paper
  • scissors
  • tape

Choose the winner based on the best-wrapped present.

Balloon Game

Two teams line up at one end of the room. One team receives a green balloon while the other receives a red balloon, the traditional Christmas colours. Each team also gets a ruler.

Using only one hand/ruler, the first player in each team must bat the balloon to the other end of the room, around a chair and back to the starting line.

Players continue the relay until one team finishes.


  • 1 balloon for each time
  • 1 ruler for each team

Santa Sack Guess

Put all kinds of objects into a sock or pillowslip (ornaments, a candy cane, holly, pinecones, bells, cups, shoes, pens, screw drivers, etc.). It's best if you put around 15 - 20 different items in the sack. Important: Put a very small item such as a button in the sack as this will probably be the decider of the winner! Then tie a rope or ribbon around the top of the sack so that no one can see what’s inside.

Pass the sack around and give each person a small amount of time to feel the sack and make their guesses about what’s inside. Give them paper and pen or a Christmas Card to write down their guesses in English.

Ppay this as a team game with various levels of English in each team. The more advanced students teach the beginners new words during the game.


  • large sock or pillowslip (one for each 6-7 people)
  • 15-20 items for each sack (including a small item like a button)
  • rubber bands or ribbon to tie the sacks mostly shut
  • paper and pens


Santa Sacks (I usually use pillowslips) – we use 6 sacks for teams of 6-7 people

                15 – 20 items including a small item like a button


The first person to guess all of the items wins.


Secret Santa Present Game

Everyone brings a small, wrapped gift.  Then, everyone is given a question with a number on it. People must pair up and ask/answer the questions then when finished, swap with each other and find a new partner.

Repeat until time  isup (approx. 10 mins). Retain question/number and sit down. Teacher will call out numbers “1”, “2” etc  and presents will be given as students identify number on their question.


  • Questions and numbers
  • Small presents

Christmas Jumble Game

The letters of "Merry Christmas" are written on fifteen pieces of cardboard and mixed in a box. Each team is timed to see how long it takes to assemble the phrase in the right order.

Alternatively, you can challenge teams to see how many words they can come up with using the letters in "Merry Christmas."
  • cardboard letters
  • box/bag

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