12 Go-To Counseling Games for the Holiday Season

The countdown to winter break has begun! With Thanksgiving break that felt too short and Christmas break still a couple of weeks away, being a school counselor in this busy season can feel overwhelming sometimes. One of the ways I like to bring in the holiday spirit is by using holiday-themed games in my classroom lessons and counseling sessions.

Here are some go-to Winter/Christmas-themed counseling resources that you could use as part of your program too.

1. Countdown to Winter Break

Are you a fan of advent calendars? Do students just pop into your office out of the blue? Finding ways to connect with these kids? Currently, running any small groups? This engaging winter-themed activity pack covers 20 elementary school counseling topics. Think of it as an interactive countdown to Winter Break, similar to a Christmas advent calendar. When a student or a small group visits, they open a day on the calendar for a surprise SEL activity.

The countdown includes various winter-themed counseling games and activities, covering everything from anger management, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution to empathy, bullying prevention, stress management, and self-esteem. Under this countdown, there's a range of activities students can explore by lifting flaps or opening foldable shapes. They get to dive into a snowman anger management board game, a gingerbread man growth mindset sorting activity, a penguin social skills story and dice game, a hot cocoa guided meditation, and more. All these activities have a delightful touch of the holiday season!

2. Anger Management Chill Zone Activities

Teach students to 'cool down' during the chilly season! This resource consists of games that assist students in identifying calming strategies for anger. With winter-themed scoot, dice, matching, "I Have, Who Has" games, and a board game, it's ideal for anger management or self-regulation groups or when working individually with students needing targeted intervention.

3. Dress an Elf with I-Statements Activity

With friendship issues typically arising this time of year, it's a great opportunity to teach conflict resolution strategies like I-Statements. Students "dress" elves with these statements through a hands-on activity or opt for the digital version for a paperless experience.

4. s-Elf Control Christmas Games

Helping students with self-control individually or in groups? This Christmas Elf-themed game aids in practicing self-control and learning coping skills. It includes 40 cards for conflict resolution strategies, a board game with scenarios, and discussion cards. There's even a digital version available via Google Slides if you prefer that instead.

5. Christmas Boom Cards

Boom Cards take on a festive vibe! While the Christmas sElf-Control Boom Cards help students learn the importance of self-control, the Dress an Elf with I-Statements Boom Card Activity aims at teaching students conflict resolution strategies and how to use I-Statements These games are perfect to use in a virtual school counseling individual or group setting.

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