5 Christmas Activities for the Indonesian Classroom

5 Christmas Activities for the Indonesian Classroom

It’s nearing that time of year folks, the end of the year, the 1st of December has officially ticked over and that means it’s LESS THAN three weeks till Christmas! Wah! Don’t panic, as that also means it’s less than that till end of year school holidays! The light at the end of the tunnel. And I have some fun Christmas activities for the Indonesian classroom! So, grab yourself a kopi and settle in for a little read and let your imagine go wild with some new ideas for celebrating the end of the year with some fun Christmas activities.

From my many years of teaching in primary schools, I know that the end of the year can be a very tiring time for all, for both students and teachers alike. It’s that awkward time when final assessments have been completed, reports have been written and you have a few weeks to fill in until that beloved final day of school for the year. It’s a great time to invest in some fun hands-on activities where you can incorporate Indonesian language and cultural activities into the end of year Christmas holiday theme.

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of discussion on social media from Indonesian teachers about whether or not to include Christmas activities in the Indonesian classroom and if so, what Christmas activities are teachers incorporating into their Indonesian Languages Program?

So, today I’ve got you covered with some fun Christmas activities for you to use in your Indonesian classroom.

Firstly, it’s important to make sure your students {and possibly other staff members and the wider school community members too!} understand that although they are possibly aware that Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, they should also be aware that Indonesia has a large Christian population too. About 7% of Indonesians identify as Protestants and another 3% identify as Roman Catholics – that’s over 23.5 million people! That’s a lot of people!

*To find out more about Christianity in Indonesia, check out this link.

Therefore, Christmas is widely celebrated in Indonesia, especially in urban areas, where the population is more diverse. Naturally, the 25th of December is a national public holiday in Indonesia. Also, Indonesian Christians will usually go to church services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas trees in Indonesia are normally artificial ones made of plastic. Although less common, some people have real Pine trees, which can be purchased from the biggest producer of  real pine trees located in Puncak, West Java. Another more unusual type of Christmas tree is one found in the homes of Christians in Bali, which is made of chicken feathers.

The Christmas shopping season in Indonesia is every bit as commercialised as it is in the West. If you find yourself in Indonesia during Christmas time, expect to see huge Christmas trees with colourful decorations found in most shopping malls in big cities all over Indonesia.

Santa Claus or Sinterklass as he is known in Indonesia {a word derived from the Dutch} is also very popular. Sinterklass brings presents to children on Christmas Day {just as he does all over the world!}. You’ll also spot Santa in big shopping malls.

So, once you’ve discussed the Indonesian Christmas scene with your students and perhaps looked at some images of Christmas in Indonesia then you can delve into some fun Christmas activities to get you through to the end of the term.

5 Christmas Activities for the Indonesian Classroom

1. Kartu Natal – Christmas card

A must at Christmas time for people all over the world is giving Christmas cards to loved ones. Making Christmas cards written in Indonesian is a great way for students to share their Indonesian language learning with their family, friends or even other teachers. Choose various Christmas phrases and discuss their meanings with students and allow time for students to practise saying the phrases too.

Possible phrases could be:

  • Selamat Natal! / Selamat Hari Natal!
  • Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru!
  • Damai di bumi, Damai di hati! Selamat hari Natal!
  • Damai dan bahagia untukmu! Selamat hari Natal!
  • Semoga sukses di tahun baru!
  • Selamat tahun baru! Semoga bahagia selalu!
  • Selamat liburan!

Students choose one phrase and use it as the base text for their Christmas card. Christmas cards can be made by hand or made on the computer/iPad.

For a sample template for an Indonesian Christmas card as seen in the pic below, click here.

Kartu Natal

2. Lagu-lagu Natal + Angklung – Christmas songs + Angklung

Popular Christmas carols and songs in Indonesia include ‘Malam Kudus’ {Silent Night} and of course the infamous ‘Selamat hari Natal dan Tahun Baru’ {We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’ amongst many others. Choose an Indonesian Christmas carol to teach your students. Students will obviously feel more comfortable with a song that they already know the tune of. When doing singing in the Indonesian classroom, I love to add angklung. So, why not add angklung as a music accompaniment to your Christmas songs, this will also provide a different element for students who perhaps are not so into singing. A Christmas song sung in Indonesian with angklung music accompaniment will make the perfect ensemble for a whole school assembly item, which would be perfect for end of year celebrations.

*Sorry for the really daggy old-school hand-made posters, but you get the idea! 😉

Angklung music notes

3. Warnailah oleh nomor-nomor – Colour by Number

The old school colour by number worksheet may seem like “busy work” to some however, colouring is the new found form of mindfulness, which is perfect for busy minds at this time of year, a moment for students to slow down and be calm. Colour by number worksheet activities are also a great way for students to revise previously learnt language including; numbers and colours. So, put on some Indonesian music and let your students enjoy a mindful colouring in class. You teachers should join in too! 😉

*Older students could create their own colour by number design, which could be given to other students to complete. You could even make a booklet of compiling your student’s colour by number worksheets, for students to take home over the holidays to complete.

To download and save a pdf copy of the indospired ‘Christmas Colour by Number worksheet’, click here.

4. Wayang Natal – Christmas wayang

Any excuse to include some Wayang kulit into your Indonesian Languages Program, right? So, why not design and create some Christmassy wayang; which I like to call ‘wayang Natal’. {This is a thing you know, just search #wayangnatal or #wayangsanta.} This could include Christmas characters such as; Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, and the Snowman, amongst many others.

There are lots of ideas all over the internet; check out this website for a catalogue of religious wayang kulit including, nativity scenes and Jesus on the cross. And check out this website for images of a variety of wayang kulit Christmas tree decorations. So cute! {*I think I need some of these!} Another great idea for students to create wayang kulit Christmas tree decorations.

I’ve created a batik inspired wayang Santa, you can find the link for the template below, I hope you like him!

Students could create short stories and write scripts for a Christmas themed shadow puppet performance to perform to other classes and the wider school community.

Students could also design a Christmas city-scene for the backdrop of their ‘wayang natal’ performance.

  • Students can use the indospired templates or older students could design their own wayang templates.
  • Templates can be enlarged to A3 size.
  • Use black card or a manilla folder for puppet template design.
  • Cut out along the outside of the design.
  • Use a safety pin or something similar to make dot patterns and cut out the eyes and other details.
  • Use split pins to attach the arms.
  • Students may choose to colour in their Santa if they like.

*See this older post I wrote on Wayang kulit for more detailed information on making a wayang kulit.

To download and save a pdf copy of the indospired Wayang Natal templates, please find the links below.

  • Silhouette Christmas scene  + Santa and his sleigh template, click here.
  • Wayang Santa, click here.

5. Gantungan buku – Bookmark

We all know that hand-made gifts are the best kinds of gifts, right? So, why not give your students some time to create some Indonesian inspired bookmarks that they can give to family and friends for Christmas. Book marks may include images of Indonesia, batik designs, Indonesian motifs or even some basic Indonesian phrases.

Students can use the indospired bookmark templates {link below} or they can design their own. Designs can be printed on card or pasted on card, cut out, coloured in, laminated and a small pole can be made in the top to thread ribbon through.

To download and save a pdf copy of the indospired bookmark template, click here.

And there you have it folks, I hope that through reading this post, it has sparked some new Indonesian inspired Christmas ideas and activities for you to incorporate into your Indonesian Languages Program, especially for this end of year time. And hopefully these ideas will help get you through unscaved to the end of the finish line {so to speak}!

Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru teman-teman! Semoga liburannya menyenangkan!

How do you fill in the last couple of weeks of school before the end of year?

Do you incorporate Christmas activities into your Indonesian Languages Program?

Do you have some other Christmas activities that have been successful? 

If so, please share. 🙂


  1. Jane Shearwood says

    You are soooo awesome!!! Thank you so so much. Fantastic resources and so very kind to share free of charge with other teachers. You are a credit to the profession.

    • indospired says

      Sama-sama Kasenya! That’s also a great idea, to get your students to make a feather Christmas tree! Google Bali feather Christmas trees and you’ll find some examples.;)

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