Looking for a Christmas word match worksheet that offers a chance to work on handwriting skills this holiday season? In this post, you’ll find how to address specific visual perceptual skills that impact handwriting legibility using a fun Christmas word matching worksheet. You can grab that free printable at the bottom of this post. First, let’s cover a few ways to use this printable this Christmas when planning Christmas occupational therapy activities.
Christmas Word Match
Christmas time means family, presents, eating great food, baking, celebrations, traditions, and so much more. For therapy professionals and teachers, it also means therapy sessions and lesson plans.
What better way to get through the holidays than fun worksheets? Teachers, therapists, and their students need a little extra motivation to get through the long cold days leading up to the holidays. For some reason, the last two weeks before winter break feels like an eternity. Probably the anticipation of time off, time with family, and all that the holidays have to offer makes this time crawl.
Holidays can be stressful as well. Changes in routine in the classroom are a big trigger for sensory outbursts. It is important to keep a steady lesson plan as well as a predictable schedule. On the surface, movie and pajama day is an exciting way to spend a day leading up to a holiday. In reality it can cause mayhem, emotional outbursts, and chaos in an otherwise calm classroom.
When my children were young I found I had to downplay the holidays at home due to all the building excitement. I delayed decorating by a few days, did not mention Santa as often as I might have, and did not talk about presents very often. Luckily my girls grew up before the whole “Elf of a Shelf” thing. That would have added daily to the madness. I know it sounds like a lot of fun (and it is for some), but too much of a good thing led to a daughter with an upset stomach on Christmas day for years, until I figured out the secret.
Check out this article from Through the Fibro Fog on “How to Cope with Sensory Overload at the Holidays”
Where is the balance between fun and chaos?
Add small things daily to the lesson plan to add to the fun of the season. Talk about traditions, the history of the holidays, and family celebrations. Add small worksheets to the daily seatwork time or therapy sessions, spread out over the weeks leading up until the holidays.
Christmas Handwriting Letter Boxes
An easy printable for grade school students (approximate ages 5-10) is a great way to add necessary academic and therapeutic skills to the plan.
Below, you can grab a great holiday printable from the OT Toolbox that asks users to fill in Chrstmas words into the handwriting letter boxes. The Christmas Word Match includes fun Christmas words to work on handwriting, letter sizing, and copying skills.
A simple worksheet such as the Christmas Word Match, can address many skills and goals at once. This worksheet can be adapted to different levels of students, or shift the focus to work on different goals.
What skills can I work on with Christmas Word Match?
- Handwriting – this is obvious
- Letter formation – correctly forming the letters top to bottom
- Letter sizing – correctly fitting the letters into the size boxes
- Copying – copying words from a model, transferring the letters from one place to another
- Visual perception – using context clues to decode which words fit in each space. Students will need to attend to how many boxes there are, as well as the different sizes of the boxes. Scanning the page for the correct answers, while maintaining focus as each letter is transferred into the boxes.
- Sequencing – will your learner do the words in order? Will they look for the easy and/or obvious answers first? Will they go in a haphazard pattern all over the page?
- Bilateral coordination – remembering to use their “helper hand” to hold the paper while writing. Using one hand for a dominant hand instead of switching back and forth is encouraged once a child is in grade school or demonstrates a significant strength in one or the other.
- Strength – core strength, shoulder and wrist stability, head control, balance, and hand strength are all needed for upright sitting posture and writing tasks.
This is just a few of the skills that can be addressed using this ONE worksheet!
Grade the Christmas Word Match to Meet different needs
The nice thing about a word shape worksheet is that you can grade the activity to meet a variety of skill areas and needs.
How do I grade this activity?
When I use the word “grade,” I mean make it easier or harder, not give it a letter grade or score it.
- Laminate the page for using markers and wipes. This can be useful for reusability as well as the enjoyment markers bring.
- Different colored paper may make it more or less challenging for your learner
- Enlarging the font may be necessary to beginning handwriting students who need bigger space to write.
- Review skills first such as scanning, decoding, and copying if you need to make the task easier.
- Project this page onto a smart board for students to come to the board and write in big letters.
- Higher level learners can write sentences with these words on the back of the page for more practice, or draw these items on a paper.
- More or less prompting may be needed to grade the activity to make it easier or harder.
Here is a post from the OT Toolbox on letter formation if you need some hints and reminders:
Or check out this handwriting paper pack available to add to your holiday lesson plan!
Take time to enjoy the season with your learners while working on those important skills. Adding fun christmas words can make a daunting task much more motivating to even the most reluctant learners.
Pair this Christmas word shapes worksheet with our recent Christmas Lights Tracing Numbers for more fun holiday worksheet PDFs, as well as important holiday tips for lesson planning this time of year!
*The term, “learner” is used throughout this post for readability, however this information is relevant for students, patients, clients, children of all ages, etc. The term “they” is used instead of he/she to be inclusive.
Free Christmas Word Match Worksheet
Victoria Wood, OTR/L is a contributor to The OT Toolbox and has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.
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