In this blog post, you’ll find a Christmas word scramble. It’s a bit different than our recent Hanukkah word scramble printable worksheet…This one has a list where kids can unscramble Christmas words! Use this worksheet to work on visual processing skills and handwriting at a time of year when you may want to come up with fresh tools to building skills to keep kids motivated and learning…OR, use this as a desk activity for early work finishers in the classroom or as a holiday activity for the home. Let’s get this printable Christmas word scramble into your hands!
Christmas Word Scramble
Time to shuffle on to the Christmas season! I call it a season because it takes over December. Sometimes in November and October too. It seems people are anxious for Christmas to be here, or to extend the joy just a few more days. People were asking in our neighborhood if November one was too early to decorate for Christmas. Um, yes!
Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. What I don’t love is the change in expectations. Dr Phil once said, “what makes us upset is a change in our expectations.” A change in what we expect of ourselves and those around us. Do we live up to the expectations of others, or do they live up to ours? Children have expectations too. Is this Christmas going to be just like last year? Are they going to get everything they asked for?
My advice? Don’t set the bar too high. I did that. Last year I created stocking challenges, Minute to Win It games, unwrap the gifts with gloves on challenges, and pass the ball of cling plastic filled with holiday goodies and treats game. I set the bar very high. So high, everyone is expecting that level of awesomeness and more.
Because we create unrealistic expectations at home, don’t make yourself crazy at work. Use streamlined activities that can be modified for all of your learners. Create packets to use all week. I walk around with a booklet of worksheets and a bucket of crayons/markers/colored pencils to last me through the week. I can modify these to fit all the goals I need to accomplish.
This Christmas word scramble would fit in perfectly as a done-for-you worksheet that builds functional tasks!
The OT Toolbox has tons of cool activities to help you streamline your sessions. One of the latest is the Christmas Word Scramble. This is a great tool to work on unscrambling Christmas words, but it is so much more than just that.
Unscramble Christmas Words and Build Skills
Let’s break it down and see all the skills this works on:
The easy answer is that this is a handwriting task. But can you name seven other categories and fifty different skills it works on?
- Handwriting – letter formation, sizing, spacing, line placement, directionality, spelling
- Fine motor – grasping pattern, wrist stability, intrinsic hand muscle development
- Bilateral coordination – hand dominance, using “helper hand”, crossing midline
- Proprioception – pressure on paper, grip on pencil
- Strength – shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, core, head control
- Visual perception – scanning, figure ground, line placement, crossing midline, visual closure, seeing parts to whole
- Executive function – following directions, attention, focus, sequencing, planning, task completion
- Social function – working together in a group, problem solving, sharing materials and space, turn taking, talking about the activity,
There are several more goals that can be addressed while unscrambling Christmas words, but this is a great jumping off point.
How to Grade an Unscramble Worksheet
Therapy professionals are familiar with the term “grade” and the phrase “grading and activity”. But what does grade mean in the therapy world? When therapists say grade an activity, they are referring to adjusting the task slightly. Grade refers to modifying an activity to make it easier or more challenging. This is essential in goal development or progression.
How to grade this activity:
- Cut the word bank letters and glue in the correct spaces to eliminate handwriting.
- Use the word bank as for clues to the correct words.
- Try the page without a word bank, to encourage working memory and spelling.
How to modify this activity:
- Laminate the Christmas Unscramble page to make it reusable. This is efficient, plus learners** love markers! (Not all learners love reusable pages. Some feel it is important to be able to save their work and take it home).
- Project it onto a smart board to make it a group task or working on large letters and shoulder stability.
- Enlarge the task for beginning writers who need more writing space.
- Shrink the task for older learners who need to learn to write smaller.
- Try different writing utensils. This is not only motivating, but some learners work better with markers as they glide easier on paper. Did you know that golf sized pencils promote more of a tripod grasp than traditional long pencils?
- Use different colored paper for more or less visual contrast.
- Have learners write a sentence using each unscrambled word.
- Draw pictures of each of the words or create a picture containing all of the words.
More Christmas Worksheets
Did you love this Christmas unscramble activity? Wait! There is more…
The OT Toolbox has scores of PDF pages and kits for the holidays to make your lesson planning easier. Check this out:
Want all your Christmas OT therapy planning done for you so you can help learners develop fine motor skills?
While the holidays can be full of stressors and expectations, they can also be fun and magical. Follow the OT Toolbox for other Christmas printables and blog posts.
If you just can’t get enough of the OT Toolbox and all it has to offer, consider becoming a member.
The OT Toolbox Members’ Club is an online platform for occupational therapists, parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone seeking tools to help learners thrive.
Inside you will find therapy resources, handouts, themed activities, and tools to support your journey helping learners.
Try and enjoy the holiday season for what it is. Set realistic expectations for yourself and others. Say no to that extra holiday party or outing if it stresses you or your family out.
Free Christmas Word Scramble Worksheet
Want a copy of this Christmas word scramble activity? Enter your email address into the form below. The printable sheet will be delivered to your inbox. This printable is available inside the Member’s Club. Join today for easy access to this plus tons of other done-for-you activities and our Therapy Kits!
Victoria Wood, OTR/L
Victoria Wood, OTR/L 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.
**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.