Winter Card Exchange {A Holiday Activity for Primary Students}

One of my favorite wintertime activities is to facilitate a classroom card exchange.  It's always a hit with the students, and it makes for a great take home project.  More importantly, it's a fun way to build classroom community.

I like to host the card exchange close to winter break, when my students are most antsy and have the holidays on their mind.  In place of our regular homework, I task the students with creating a card to exchange with another student in class.

I always send home a note explaining the card exchange.  I also send home a blank card (construction paper folded in half).  The students are tasked with making a non-holiday specific card at home and returning it to school on the specified date for the exchange.

You can grab a copy of the letter {here}.

Before I send the materials home, we talk (a lot) about the expected quality of the cards.  I emphasize that their card will be like a gift for their classmate and that they should create something they would like to receive.  I show them this card as a sample.

Having that conversation and sharing the sample above is worth the effort (see below).  

How cute is this mug of cocoa with real marshmallows glued to it?  Love!

Love this one too!  I forgot to snap a pic of the inside, but the message urged the recipient not to let their light shine too closely to the snowmen and included a picture of melted snowmen.  Haha!

In years past I have let students facilitate their own exchange, that is, they get to decide who they exchange cards with.  But, in more recent years, I have assigned partners.  I do not tell them who they will exchange cards with until the day of the exchange. This is because seven year olds are terrible at keeping secrets.  Hehe.

After the exchanges are complete, I have the students give each other a compliment and say thank you.  Then, I let them mingle about the classroom and show off their newly acquired treasure to the rest of their friends.  

The exchange is always a low key event, but the kids love it.  You can see their eyes light up and they can barely wipe the smiles from their faces. 

Have you ever hosted a card exchange in your classroom?


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  1. What fun! I'm putting this in my plans for next year!

  2. I'm so glad you like the idea, Megan! I was so much fun, and so low key. I'm so glad you can use the idea!



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