Holidays Around the World (Free Download)

The month of December is the perfect time to introduce students to the history, geography, and different cultures from around the world! A great way to do that is through a holidays around the world unit, and there are so many benefits to incorporating this unit into your lesson plans. I’ve listed some of them below:

Students can share about themselves

All students have their own culture. Celebrating cultures and holidays gives students opportunities to explore and share information about their own heritage. Allow your students to become the conversation starters, storytellers, and teachers. This is a wonderful way to include students in the curriculum. Step back and watch the magic happen!

Holidays around the world unit resource for kids

Students can learn how we are all similar and different

Exploring different holidays and cultures will broaden students’ awareness and understanding of the world around them. We are all similar and different in many ways. Learning about these different celebrations allows us to recognize and respect those similarities and differences!

Students can learn about geography

Not all countries have four seasons. Some holidays aren’t even celebrated in wintertime. Places in the world don’t look the same. Many students are fascinated and shocked to learn this information! Learning about how other countries celebrate their holiday is the perfect opportunity to learn this concept. My favorite tool to use is Google Earth. It’s a free and easy-to-use tool that allows your class to explore the geography of the different countries you “visit.” Are you thinking about incorporating a holidays around the world unit into your December lesson plans? If so, you’ve come to the right place for inspiration! There’s also a free download ahead—so keep reading!

Holidays around the world unit for kids

A few years ago I was teaching in a diverse classroom in Baltimore, MD. Often my students naturally shared about the different traditions and holidays they celebrated. They frequently brought in photographs and trinkets and shared words from their home language. This natural occurrence led us to learn so much about one another. One day, after a particularly fascinating Show and Share experience (a student of mine had just spent Hanukkah in Israel with his family) I thought, “What can I do so more students have learning experiences like this?” And that is how Globe Trot Scott was born!

Who is Globe Trot Scott?

Globe Trot Scott is a magical fictional character (shhh – that’s a secret) I created. He travels around the world celebrating different holiday traditions. As he visits each location, he sends the class a special package. A letter about his journey and a souvenir are included in the package. The souvenir is either a fun craft or a tasty treat that represents each holiday and country. Students watch a special video I made to introduce Globe Trot Scott to the class. It’s the perfect hook or motivator to begin your own celebrations unit. I like to read it aloud to my students as they watch. Trust me when I say, your students will remember Globe Trot Scott and this unit for the rest of their lives! It will stay locked inside their hearts forever and ever. It’s that special!

What countries does Globe Trot Scott visit?

Globe Trot Scott visits sixteen different countries during his holidays around the world journey.

16 different countries to visit

I’ve listed each country below and the souvenir he sends back. You can find more details about each souvenir below.

  • France (Buche De Noel treat)
  • Uganda (small African drum craft)
  • Italy (little secret napkin notes, Santa vs. La Befana)
  • Germany (gingerbread man cookie craft and writing activity)
  • Mexico (tissue paper poinsettia craft) – FREE! Click below to download
  • Sweden (paper roll Tomten craft and writing activity)
  • Israel (Hanukkah; dreidel craft and instructions on how to play Dreidel)
  • England (holiday card and decorate the “perfect” tree writing activity)
  • Australia (sandman craft – instead of a snowman!)
  • China (Chinese New Year; red envelope with “lucky coins” writing activity)
  • Russia (Russian nesting doll ornament craft)
  • India (Diwali; festival lantern craft)
  • Jordan (Muslim; Eid ma’mool cookie and Kindness Bingo Challenge)
  • USA (Kwanzaa; unity chain craft)
  • USA (My Family’s Traditions writing activity)
  • Canada (same as the USA)

All that's included in the unit

Is it required that we explore all of the holidays around the world?

Not at all! You can do as many or as few countries as you wish. I know sometimes it’s difficult to fit everything in (especially when you already have a jam-packed schedule). The number of countries you do with your students is 100% up to you. You can pick and choose which countries you think your students would be most interested in learning about. You can do one or two countries or all sixteen. It’s 100% flexible!

How long do you spend in each country?

That’s totally up to you. I know some teachers spend just one day in each country while others spend a whole week (but cover fewer countries). Because time is tight in December, I’ve only ever spent 1-2 days in each country.

Can my students come along on the journey with Globe Trot Scott?

Absolutely! I know some teachers want their students to “travel” to each location along with Globe Trot Scott. If you want to have students travel along with him on his great adventures, passport templates are provided for you. I also include passport stamps so students can get each country “stamped” as they visit. You’ll also find a travel journal and boarding pass included too. To make this unit really come to life, I love to put all of the student chairs in rows (like airplane seating). Before we “fly” to a new location, students board the plane and hand me their plane ticket and passport. It takes the magic to a whole different level.

Okay, I want to do this with my students! What do I need to get started?

I’ve got you covered! Everything you need is included below:

All that's included in the unit

You will need:

  • a medium-sized box covered in brown paper, address it to your class (you can draw some stamps on it to make it extra authentic)
  • Teacher To-Do sheets for each country (included)
  • the letters from Globe Trot Scott about each country (included)
  • a PowerPoint presentation about each country (included)
  • photographs of each country (included)
  • the souvenirs for each country (included)
  • books about each country (see FREE list below)
  • Passports (included)
  • plane tickets (included)
  • a travel journal (included)
  • map of the world (included)
  • Google Earth (free here)

And here’s a closer look at some of the countries and crafts included:

Israel – Hanukkah – Dreidel game (materials, instructions, and song lyrics)

All that's included in the unit

Mexico – Poinsettia tissue papercraft (download for FREE by clicking below) Click here to subscribe

Mexico holiday around the world activity

Germany – Gingerbread craft, Gingerbread Cookies & Make Your Own Market 

Germany holiday around the world activity

Italy – Secret Napkin Note and La Befana vs. Santa Claus

Italy holiday around the world activity

Australia – Sandman craft (instead of a snowman)

Australia holiday around the world actvity

Jordan – Eid Ma’mamool cookies and Kindness Bingo Activity

Jordan holiday around the world activity

USA – Kwanzaa – Unity Chain craft

USA holiday around the world activity

Click here to subscribe

China – Chinese New Year Lucky Coins – My One Wish Activity

China holiday around the world activity

Uganda – African drum craft

Uganda holiday around the world activity

France – Buche de Noel /Swiss Cake roll treat

France holiday around the world activity

Russia – Russian Doll Craft

Russia holiday around the world activity

India – Diwali – Festival Lantern Craft – Perfect Sibling Activity

India holiday around the world activity

England – Happy Holidays Card – My Very Own Tree Activity

England holiday around the world activity

Sweden – Tomten Paper roll craft –  Santa’s Cookies vs. Tomten’s Porridge

Sweden holiday around the world activity

Holidays Around the World PowerPoint (all countries)

I’ve also included a PowerPoint presentation about each country. You can view a video of some of the PowerPoint slides below. For the full version, download the file at my shop. The PowerPoint includes facts about each country, how to say hello in each country, and beautiful, vivid photographs of each country.









Holidays Around the World Books List

Holidays around the world kid books Click here to subscribe

Are you ready to join the thousands of other classrooms on this magical journey as we explore new holidays, cultures, and traditions with Globe Trot Scott? Your students will remember this experience for the rest of their lives (and you will too, trust me)!

Click here to snag the Holidays Around the World bundle. Enjoy!

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Leave a Comment

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Onita May 15, 2018, 4:18 am

    Having read this I thought it was very informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put
    this information together. I once again find myself
    personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments.

    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  • Ramona December 7, 2018, 11:43 pm

    Hi Lyndsey! I am super excited to start this program with my First Graders! I thought I saw a parent info letter to send home but I don’t see anything like that now, either on this site or in the tpt packet I purchased. Did I imagine that? If you have a letter that’s easy to print off and send home, would you mind sharing it? I’d so appreciate it!
    Thanks for this wonderful resource! We can’t wait to get started!!!

  • Screen Favs Blog December 14, 2018, 5:53 pm

    Love your content. Keep doing a great job!

  • Kimberly DeMille December 23, 2018, 11:29 pm

    Oh my GOODNESS!!! This unit was AMAZING!!! My students (and parents) LOVED it! They learned so much and were so engaged every step of the way! Thank you for creating such a great resource!

  • Diane November 17, 2019, 9:37 pm

    I got this unit several years ago – highly recommend! Kids were engaged throughout.

  • Deanne November 17, 2019, 9:44 pm

    This is absolutely phenomenal! I do Holidays around the world similar to this but not with so much detail! I teach multiage with another teacher and we were wondering how we could get research into what we already do. This is it!!! I love the idea of the packages being delivered. You are amazing!

  • Doris Stiene-Adebanjo December 6, 2019, 1:15 pm

    Thanks! This is great for my class.