Celebrate Holidays Around the World through the Magic of Art

Celebrate Holidays Around the World through the Magic of Art Pin

Celebrate Holidays Around the World through the Magic of Art

The amount of time students are using their artistic abilities in school has sadly and dramatically decreased over the last 15 years. 

With so much focus on standardized testing and new initiatives, arts education has taken a hit. 

That’s why I try to naturally incorporate as much art exposure as possible throughout the traditional school day. 

Reading and social studies easily lend their hand to cross-curricular connections with art. 

That’s why I created 5 fun and engaging art projects to pair with the Holidays Around the World Unit. In my class, we complete this unit each year during the month of December. 

Holidays Around the World Art Projects Freebie from The Teacher Next Door


The Holidays Around the World Unit integrates social studies and literacy concepts. In addition, students learn about cultural traditions from around the world! (Yay!)  

What better way to embrace the beautiful rituals and customs from across the globe than to incorporate hands-on, engaging art projects! 

These projects will bring cheer and meaningful connection to your classroom during an otherwise hectic month. 

 By the way, did I mention that these Holiday Around the World Art Projects are totally FREE

By Incorporating the Holidays Around the World Art Projects in Your Classroom, You Will: 

  • Help students think creatively & outside of the box
  • Increase students’ critical thinking skills
  • Improve student decision-making skills
  • Helps students express their feelings
  • Build student confidence
  • Allows students who struggle academically to excel in another area & more!

5 Projects Included in this FREE Resource:

Painted Paper Menorahs to Celebrate Hanukkah in Israel

This is project is an Eric Carle-inspired painting activity which will take two sessions to complete. 

Typically, Carle used acrylic paint and tissue paper to create his beautiful art. However, we’re going to stick with tempera paint and construction paper for elementary students to keep it simple. 

The painted paper will be cut to make the candles and the menorah base. 

Remember, full instructions are included within the Holidays Around the World Art Projects for Upper Elementary. 

Here’s a photo of the completed project. 

Holidays Around the World Art Project Hanukkah

Romero Britto Inspired Pop Art Christmas Trees to Celebrate Christmas Around the World

Romero Britto is a Brazilian-born artist who was inspired by Picasso and Matisse. Britto’s art is considered Pop Art which became extremely popular in the 1950s. 

Pop Art attracts the eye with its bright colors and thick black outlines. 

You’ll want to make sure to show students examples of Britto’s art and fellow Pop Artists, like Andy Warhol’s art as a source of inspiration! 

Keep in mind, all directions for creating the Pop Art trees are included within the Holidays Around the World Art Projects for Upper Elementary Students. 

Here’s a photo of the completed project. 

Holidays Around the World Christmas Tree Art Project

Sponge-Painted Rangoli to Celebrate Diwali in India

Well, there’s not much to say about sponge painting except that I absolutely love it! 

Conveniently, sponge painting has all the perks! It’s a fast,  easy entry activity, and simple to set up and clean up! 

I highly suggest teaching about rangoli, the materials used in this beautiful art, and the meaning behind it. 

Then, be sure to view several examples of rangoli art from India. 

Here’s an example of how the beautiful rangoli sponge paintings turned out! 

Holidays Around the World Art Project Rangoli India

By the way, if you are in need of resources to teach about any of the holidays mentioned thus far, you’ll want to check out my Holidays Around the World for Older Kids Unit. Conveniently, this comprehensive unit includes: 

  • 20 Holiday Passages
  • Paired Holiday Questions
  • Engaging Social Studies & Geography Activities
  • Keepsake Scrapbook Pages (Makes a great bulletin board!) 
  • An Enriching Research Project

Holidays Around the World for Upper Elementary

Moon and Star Mobile to Celebrate Ramadan in Saudi Arabia 

This Wassily Kandinsky-inspired mobile incorporates warm and cool watercolors to create abstract art. 

These mobiles turn out beautifully and teach students about Kandinsky’s very famous concentric circles in squares art. 

In my opinion, Watercolors are a great choice to use in the classroom because they’re significantly less messy than other alternatives. 

Here’s an image of how they might turn out! 

HOlidays around the world art project ramadan

Lanterns to Celebrate Lunar New Year in China 

These lanterns are a nice and simple project that incorporates watercolors, crayons, and tissue paper.

 Additionally, it’s also fun to teach the meaning of different colors in traditional Chinese culture. 

  • Red = Happiness, Success, Good luck – the most common lantern color
  • Pink = Good Luck, Joy – a shade of red
  • Green = Wealth, Health, Nature, Growth, Hope
  • Blue = Harmony, Long Life
  • Purple = Love, Romance
  • Orange = Change, Adaptability
  • Gold = Wealth

Students can choose to incorporate these colors into their lanterns to make each project special and unique. 

Here’s a photo of the finished project! 

Holidays Around the World Art Projects Lanterns


If you teach 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade, the no-prep Print & Digital Holidays Around the World for Older Kids Unit has everything you need (and then some) to cover 20 holidays celebrated globally. 

In addition to these beautiful art projects, students will learn about cultures and traditions through plenty of engaging, hands-on activities to promote an appreciation of the beauty and traditions celebrated globally. 

Don’t miss adding this special resource to your teaching plans this year! 


Looking for more? Here are some additional holiday-based posts that you’ll love: 

Happy teaching!

Jenn – The Teacher Next Door 

The Teacher Next Door - Creating upper elementary resources that target standards for busy teachers


You might also like...

The Teacher Next Door - Creating upper elementary resources that target standards for busy teachers

Hi, I’m Jenn, CEO and owner of The Teacher Next Door!

I know that you strive to be an effective upper elementary teacher while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

In order to do that, you need resources that are impactful,
yet simple.

The problem is that most resources and curriculums out there are far from simple. The pages upon pages of daily lesson plans are just plain overwhelming.

At TTND, we believe teachers should be living their lives outside of the classroom, and not spend hours lesson planning and searching for resources.

We understand that now, more than ever, teachers need space to be themselves which is why we create and support teachers with timesaving tips and standards-aligned resources.

Want access to TTND's Free Resource Library? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll email you the exclusive password!





* Please note: If your school has strong email filters, you may wish to use your personal email to ensure access.

Cookie Consent Banner by Real Cookie Banner