Lots of teachers use holidays to create thematic materials for their students. The Trip Clip has some free packets you can print right now:
These packets are great for free time in the classroom, or for kids to take home over break. Coloring is good for handwriting and hand-eye coordination, picture crossword and word search puzzles are good spelling practice, and cryptograms can teach problem solving and intro computer programming skills along with spelling and letter combinations. The best part is the kids will be having fun and not realizing that they’re learning.
If you like the free packets and want to make more, all of these activities can be customized to make them easier or harder depending on what your kids need.
- Coloring: There are over 800 pictures to choose from, and you can make your own themed coloring book.
- Picture Crossword Puzzles: These unique crossword puzzles are great for young kids. The simplest ones are completely filled in except for the first letter, so kids will be practicing their first letter sounds. Slightly more advanced puzzles still use picture clues, which make them mostly about spelling practice. The hardest ones have word clues like a traditional crossword puzzle, but they’re simple enough for kids who are learning to spell.
- Word Search Puzzles: Searching for the words on the list is a great way for kids to internalize letter combinations and spelling. Each of the free holiday packets has 2 word search puzzles, one easy one and one hard one. If you purchase this activity, you can generate an unlimited number of word search puzzles at any size (5×5, 7×7, 9×9, 11×11, 15×15, or 20×20), and on any theme you want because you can enter a custom word list. When my oldest was in 1st grade I made a word search puzzle for the Valentine’s Day party that had the names of all the kids in the classroom on it. It was a huge hit!
- Cryptogram Puzzles: These are great for spelling and problem solving. Each free packet has one easy and one harder puzzle, but if you purchase the cryptogram activity, you can generate an unlimited supply of puzzles starting with beginner puzzles and advancing all the way up to difficult ones.