Have some Fun with these Holiday Word Games!


Finish these seasonal phrases in teams to try to match what the opposing teams have written. After each team has completed the holiday phrase sheet, have them compare phrases.  Teams get a point for every phrase that matches with another team.  (As always, teachers will have to arbitrate disagreements.)


Climb the ladder to transform one word into another by changing one or two letters at a time.  In the example below, change WINTER into SPRING in only four steps!  

Click here to get the answer and download more Holiday Word Ladders, including one developed especially for HIP by Dr. Tim Rasinski.

Not challenging enough?  Remove the clues!  Better yet, have your students create their own Word Ladders.

Sample Holiday Word Ladder


Hinky-pinkies are riddles for which the answer is a pair of rhyming words.

What is a lone bell?  A SINGLE JINGLE!

A nice evergreen?  A FINE PINE!

And if that pine doesn’t cost anything?  Then it’s a FREE TREE!


Mad Libs are word games in which players insert original words into a story template.  The result is often nonsensical and usually comical!  And the bonus is that kids learn a few things about parts of speech, sentence structure, fluency and other language elements.

Holiday Reindeer

Here’s how to play: 

1.  Download this original MAD LIB based on the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

2.  Use the criteria provided (such as a two-syllable name or a past tense verb) to have students generate a word list,

3. Then provide each student with a copy of  the “cloze” variation of the song.   They are to insert the words from their list, in chronological order, into the blanks in the story (usually with resulting hilarity).

Of course, the best part is reading/singing their crazy pieces aloud to their friends. They won’t even realize how much they’ve learned!


Just like in the commercial Scattergories™ game, players are given a time limit to generate a word that starts with a designated letter for each category. Points are scored  only for words that no other player has given.

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