Lesson planning

1 December 2022

Four ways to teach about winter religious events in EYFS and KS1

Katie Marl

Primary Curriculum Design Lead

The end of autumn term is nearing, and you may be searching for fun and inclusive winter religious activities to teach your early years and key stage 1 children about different festive traditions.

During the festive season, children can enjoy lots of activities centred around arts and crafts, but there’s myrrh to Christmas learning than time-filling activities.

In this article, we share four tree-mendous ways to teach EYFS and key stage 1 children about winter religious events in a fun and engaging way, with the help of our lessons and teaching resources.

Four ways to teach about winter religious events in EYFS and KS1

There are lots of different activities you and your class can explore in the build-up to the Christmas break; it can be difficult to choose resources that are both educationally enriching and fun.

We have collated four ways to learn about different religious traditions in the run-up to the holidays, saving you time searching for high-quality resources and sharing a little festive inspiration.

  1. Makaton hymn exploration for Christianity
    Hymns are frequently sung during Christian church services during Christmas time; many refer to the nativity story as well as the core values of the faith.

    Avoid reinventing the wheel; consider adapting and adding to our lesson slides and using sections of the video in our key stage 1 religious education lesson, What might Christians do at church at Christmas, to help explain the meaning of the hymns. Make your festive lessons even more inclusive with the introduction of Makaton for some Christian favourites like, It was on a starry night.
  2. Religious food across traditions for EYFS
    During winter religious events, food is a large part of the festive celebrations. Explore the different types of food found in different cultures with your class; you can use the resources in our EYFS understanding the world lesson on Hanukkah.

    Using a paper plate as a canvas, encourage the children to draw, paint or make with playdough the food they associate with their festive celebrations (or another they have learnt about).
  3. Stained glass window from a church
    Many religious buildings have amazing architecture and design features; share the slides from our key stage 1 religious education lesson on The Nativity to discover stained glass windows and the religious images they represent.

    Encourage the children to create their own stained-glass masterpiece (individually or as a table group) using a mixture of coloured tissue paper, paints and felt tip pens.
  4. Rangoli patterns for the Early Years
    Diwali is celebrated in October, at the beginning of the winter festive season. Share the meaning of Diwali and why people celebrate it using our EYFS understanding the world lesson about Diwali and create Rangoli patterns using loose parts play or dried foods such as rice or pasta, and pair learning about winter religious events in EYFS with gross and fine motor skill development.

    Try extending Diwali learning and performing traditional music using our Diwali Box Zither lesson.

How can Oak help with engaging resources for EYFS?

We have hundreds of lesson slides, videos and worksheets for all seven areas of learning in the early years foundation stage and key stage 1 that you can download and adapt to make your own.

Created by teachers for teachers, Oak has immediate access to inspiring ideas providing the foundation to build outstanding lessons across all subjects, saving you valuable time to devote to tailoring the content and creating additional support for your pupils.