Are you feeling festive?
Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali... Winter is the season for celebrations. From gorgeous decorations and yummy recipes to fun games and activities, find lots of ideas to help you enjoy the festivities!
We've gathered a selection of learning and activity resources from our partner museums, galleries and art collections that teachers can explore with their students or families can enjoy at home.
Decorations, cards and crackers
On the hunt for decorations, cards, crackers and wrapping paper? Look no further – be inspired by these wonderful ideas for making your own.
Get creative with the Hepworth Wakefield
Watch artist-led making videos and find inspiration for creating stunning decorations and cards for your home or classroom with these resources from The Hepworth Wakefield. The activities are suitable for all ages.
Feel festive with the Foundling Museum
What are you grateful for this Christmas? Make a paper chain with a difference and find some clever ideas for creating simple but effective Christmas wreaths from paper, with the Foundling Museum.
Create a winter wonderland with The New Art Gallery, Walsall
From a snow-globe landscape and shiny sculptures to brighten your December to winter wonderland decorations, The New Art Gallery, Walsall have festive craft ideas for all ages on its website.
Create sensory Christmas decorations and more with National Museum Wales / Amgueddfa Cymru
The Potteries, Museum and Art Gallery countdown to Christmas
The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery have all sorts of ideas to get you geared up for Christmas: there's an advent calendar of museum objects to countdown to Christmas, ideas for tree decorations and Christmas cards, and yummy festive recipes!
Christmas decoration ideas from The William Morris Society
Create stylish paper garlands, stained glass decorations and angel peg dolls with these resources from The William Morris Society.
Be inspired by Christmas crackers with the V&A
Discover the history of Christmas crackers on the V&A's website... and find out how to make your own!
Make a folded Christmas tree with Jupiter Artland
Have a go at paper-folding with Jupiter Artland, and make a stylish geometric tree to use as a decoration or on a Christmas card. (You might even be inspired to make a whole forest...)
Wrap it up!
Explore more winter festivals and activities
Celebrate winter festivals with the Museum of London
Communities across the UK celebrate many different festivals in the wintertime. Find out more about the festivals of Diwali, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Epiphany with these resources from the Museum of London.
Have a go at activities inspired by the festivals at school or at home.
Hanukkah and the festivals of the Jewish year
The Jewish Museum has lots of resources for schools and families to learn about the festivals celebrated in the Jewish year. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights and days from the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, occurring any time from late November to late December. It is often called The Festival of Lights and candles are lit in a candelabrum with nine branches called a menorah or hanukkiah.
Meet a family celebrating Hanukkah, learn about The Festival of Lights and discover a recipe for making your own delicious Latkes.
Diwali – Festival of Light
Diwali, celebrated by Hindus Sikhs and Jains across the world, is a five-day festival that is also often called the Festival of Lights. It usually takes place between October and November and is all about new beginnings, celebrating the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. For Diwali, houses, shops and streets are decorated with small lamps called diyas. Hindu people also often make elaborate patterns called rangoli on the floor or tabletops using materials such as powdered limestone, red ochre, dry rice flour, coloured sand, quartz powder, flower petals, and coloured rocks.
Explore the history of the festival and discover how to make a sensory diya lamp from salt dough and your own colourful rangoli design, with this blog resource from the V&A.
The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery invites you to join in the fun with their Diwali online feature. Browse photographs of Diwali celebrations shared by the local community and discover how to make a Diwali pot!
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of the new year in the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. The first day of the Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21st January and 20th February.
Explore objects related to the Chinese New Year in The Potteries collection, find out about the Chinese Zodiac and make animal zodiac masks and a dragon lantern.
Festive activities and games
Whatever you are celebrating, festivals are a time for families and friends to come together and share in activities. Find ideas and inspiration for activities and games to play at home or in the classroom.
Jupiter Artland's creative activities can be enjoyed in the classroom, at home – or in the garden! Celebrate Midwinter, a special time of year for many different cultures around the world, by making New Moon Spirals inspired by artist Andy Goldsworthy, go festive foraging to create an object self-portrait or get creative and give the birds a winter treat!
Keeping with the theme of nature, you could also go on a nature challenge Christmas scavenger hunt with this Horniman Museum resource.
From a winter treasure hunt and ideas for games to play at home or in the classroom, to festive-themed science experiments you are sure to find some festive fun with the Birmingham Museums' MiniBrum activity resources.
Or how about embarking on a Victorian Christmas adventure with this family activity from the Museum of London?
Voices from Christmas past
And finally, let's delve into the archives and discover some stories of past Christmases...
The Imperial War Museums have lots of fascinating resources that tell the stories of how we celebrated Christmas in years gone by. Find out what Christmas was like for children in the 1940s through objects and the voices of those who were there, and discover the moving story of the Christmas Truce during the First World War.
Are you planning to send any Christmas cards this year? Did you know, the very first Christmas card was sent in 1843?! See what it looked like, find out who sent it and explore more early Christmas cards in this feature on the V&A's website.
Enjoy the festivities...!
Make a festive Curation!