Holiday Rhythm Centers, Games, and Worksheets

What do I do after the December concert?

The Nutcracker is a holiday favorite.  Musicplayonline has lessons for teaching the story of the Nutcracker, and many of the movements.  These can be holiday performances OR they can be fun holiday lessons.  In the Wednesday webinar, I'll do many of them.

 Show a Composers Video

  • Musicplayonline-Units-Listening
  • The Composer special videos are 50 min. long and are a wonderful way to put the lives of composers into a historical context.  There are many worksheets available for each video!
    • Eg. "Handel's Last Chance" (50 min.), "Rossini's Ghost," "Bizet's Dream," "Beethoven Lives Upstairs," "Bach's Fight for Freedom"
  • Suggest you use with Gr 3-6

Review and Request

  • Any grade level - can take 1-2 or more classes.
    • invite students to request songs, games, activities they did in the fall, and would like to do again.
    • create a list for each class
    • if they need help remembering, pull up the song list on MusicplayOnline.
    • vote on favorites if time is short, but if you have enough time, review them all
  • I like to do this activity as a reward for 10 positive classes - kids love choosing their activities, and it's great teaching to review what you've done!

Orchestra Bingo

  • My 5th grade students had the option to go into band in 6th grade.  I always wanted them to know the instruments well - aurally and visually - before choosing what they would play.  Instrument Bingo was a lesson I'd do before every holiday, from about 3rd grade on.
  • Instrument Bingo is in the Games section of Choose the Orchestra Bingo option.
    • You can divide the class into 2 groups and play one side against the other.  Or, you can download the pdf bingo cards and have students work in pairs and play with bingo chips on the cards.


  • The games section of Musicplayonline has a wealth of interactive music games!

UNITS-Games, Centers 

  • If a game is print based rather than interactive, you'll find it in UNITS-Games, Centers.  Rhythm 4 Corners is found here, and at the end of every level of rhythm practice.
  • Staff games, Rhythm Race games are fun for learning note names - find them in UNITS-Games, Centers as well.

UNITS-Festivals and Holidays - Happy Holidays

  1. Concert Etiquette Rap
  2. Thanks for coming to Our show
  3. Holiday Song Parodies – FUN!!!
  4. Holiday Solfa & Rhythm Interactive Activities
  5. Jingle Bells Unit (Christmas Carnival). ** Needs
  6. Holiday Orff Arrangements
  7. Arrangements Orff des fêtes (français)
  8. Deck the Halls
  9. Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
  10. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  11. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  12. Carol of the Bells
  13. Holiday Playalong Activities
  14. Holiday Listening and Activities

UNITS - Listening Nutcracker

  • a WEALTH of fun ideas for classes!

Holiday Centers - NEW! 

  • Find new worksheets  in
    4. Holiday Solfa & Rhythm Interactive Activities
  • Worksheets - choose which version best suits your school community.
    • December Rhythm Sort
    • Santa Rhythm Sort
    • Christmas Rhythm Sort
    December Rhythms worksheet

santa rhythms worksheet
christmas rhythm worksheets

December words and games center 1

Class Memory Game
  • print and cut out all the cards
  • give each student in turn one try to make a match
  • to make a pair, the student must match the word rhythm with the rhythm notation card.
  • the student at the end of the game with the most matches is the winner

December words and games center 2

December words and games center 3

December words and games centers 4

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December words and games centers 7December words and games centers 8December words and games centers 9

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December words and games centers 13

Two beat rhythm cards are given on the last page. Use these as a composition center. Copy 2+ sets of cards. Invite students to choose 4-8 cards and create a rhythm. Then they choose body percussion or instruments to play it.

December words and games centers 14


Have students use the cards they’ve matched to make a rhythm composition using both word rhythms and rhythm cards.  Pair up students so each group has at least 4 cards.  Have the students choose instruments to play their compositions.

You could use this chant as the A section or theme of the composition.  

Holidays, holidays, holidays are here.
Holidays, holidays, the best time of the year.

Then use each student group as a B, C, D section.  
Decide on a final form and perform your piece.

Center Memory Game

Play as above.
Extension - have students create a word rhythm composition using the picture words or the rhythms.

Watch our webinar What Do I Do After The December Concert? Webinar with Denise Gagne and Stacy Werner and earn professional development here!

What Do I Do After The December Concert Cover

Programs Available on MusicplayOnline:

Star Bucks

By John Jacobson

Cold Snap

By John Jacobson

Christmas Cookies

By John Jacobson


By John Jacobson

Big Dreams

By John Jacobson

American Song

By John Jacobson

Just Sing

By John Jacobson

Survival Santa

By Denise Gagne

The Best Pet Show Ever

By Denise Gagne

The Smallest Christmas Star

By Denise Gagne

By Denise Gagne


Razzamajazz Cover

By John Jacobson

Additional Resources published by Themes & Variations

These are available as downloads (or print/ship) at

All are affordably priced ($20-40) and include perf/acc mp3s, piano/vocal scores, and musicals or reviews include scripts.

These include permissions to perform, and permissions to reproduce vocal scores or lyrics for your students.


Celebrate Around the World Cover Art

Celebrate Around the World
This collection includes traditional and composed songs from many different cultures. You could use this as your winter concert, or you could teach the songs any time of year as part of a multicultural study


Festivals and Holidays

Festival and Holidays

Festivals and Holidays is a musical revue exploring celebrations around the world. The songs are unison or easy two-part suitable for classroom or choir, and staging is simple.



Snowtastic Cover Art


This is a fantastic musical about our favourite season!  Includes lyrics, script, performance/accompaniment tracks, and PDF to project. Use it as your holiday concert 



Is Santa Smarter Cover Art

Is Santa Smarter?

Is Santa smarter than the kids in your school? It’s a Christmas musical/revue featuring your school’s fifth graders on a game show with Santa as a celebrity contestant trying to win enough money to pay for the high cost of gas to power his sleigh. 


The Best Gift Ever Cover Art

The Best Gift Ever

The Buymore Shopping Mall has a contest - tell what the best Christmas gift is, and WIN that gift! The shoppers have many unique gift ideas - toys, candy, new teeth, slippers, and baking. But it’s the Charity Bell ringer that has the best gift idea - a Christmas meal for the homeless.


Slapshot Santa Cover Art

Slapshot Santa Scores Again!
Santa dreams that he’s scored a goal in the NHL and decides that he’s going to practice hockey until he can play with his favorite hockey star.
Production on the Christmas toys falls further and further behind while Santa is out practicing his slapshot. The elves make some hasty phone calls and Santa’s favorite hockey team flies to the North Pole to have an exhibition game.


Christmas Favorites Cover Art

Christmas Favorites
Thirteen songs for your class or choir that will be sure to be student favorites! The teacher's guide includes the piano/vocal arrangements for 10 songs, choreography suggestions for some, and reproducible student pages for 7 songs.
Includes Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer


The Christmas Concert Idea Book Cover Art

The Christmas Concert Idea Book

Would you like some drama in your Christmas concert without producing a full length musical? The ‘Christmas Concert Idea Book’ is a collection of skits and songs, each of which is suitable for a K-6 class (or choir) to perform at a Christmas concert. 


Kinder Music Christmas Collection

Kinder Christmas Collection

Here is a collection of songs ready for your next Christmas concert! Your students will enjoy performing them, and their parents will love watching! This collection includes traditional favorites and original songs. You'll find something for everyone!


K-3 Christmas Concert Ideas Cover ArtK-3 Christmas Concert Ideas

Do you need an idea for your K-3 class for a Christmas assembly or concert?
Here are 20+ ideas: Songs, plays, poems, reader’s theatre, dances - each of which is suitable for a K-3 class to perform at a Christmas concert.


Happy Holidays Cover Art

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays is a collection of Christmas and Holiday songs. Not only have we given several traditional carols a fresh new sound by weaving together interesting medleys but there are also new carols to help you and your singers rejoice in a festive spirit this holiday season.

Chants de Noël Cover ArtChants de Noël

Each year teachers request music materials for French Immersion classes. This publication has wonderful unison or 2 part arrangements of seven Christmas songs for your French Immersion classes or your English school choir!


Holiday Songs for Guitar and Ukulele Cover Art

Holiday Songs for Guitar and Ukulele

This collection of holiday songs for Guitar and Ukulele includes arrangements of 40 Holiday, Christmas, and Hanukkah songs. Many of the arrangements are given in alternate keys, so they are all playable on both the guitar or ukulele and in appropriate ranges for children’s voices!


We Remember Cover Art

We Remember

Your Remembrance Day/Veterans Day assembly will be easy to plan when you use the songs, poems, and quotes in this collection. The entire collection is beautiful and very singable for young classes or choirs. The songs will be a moving tribute to all veterans. 

Holiday Songs for Recorder Cover ArtHoliday Songs for Recorder

14 traditional and multicultural songs for unison, 2-part and 3-part soprano recorder. Includes 30 reproducible student pages in regular and “kid note” notation. This is an excellent way for you to incorporate recorders into your Christmas or winter concert.


Holiday Orff Source Cover Art

Holiday Orff Source

NEW!!!  The Holiday Orff Source includes 14 lessons using the Orff process and instruments that vary from simple songs for PreK-K-1 to accompany a storybook, to interesting instrumental arrangements for older students. The students will have opportunities in the lessons to sing, play, move, listen and improvise. 



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