No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Seasonal solutions: Training exercises with a festive focus


With Christmas almost upon us, we have trawled the Any Answers forum for the community pick of the best seasonal training exercises.

The Christmas Panto

'Annah' suggested a fun panto exercise she has used on a project management course as a team building activity:
“My aunt had the whole family around one Boxing Day and got us to run a panto - with a rather fun script (needless to say I didn't actually attend when I realised we were being asked to do this!) I've used these in a Project Management course (held just before Christmas) and it worked really well.  I've also used this theme for a company exercise a few years back when I gave each department an hour or so to put on a 10 minute panto explaining what the department does, to the rest of the company - with some props (wigs, face paint, fairy wings etc) and a few themes to choose from. It went down really well with most people and was an excellent team building exercise.

Christmas Carol

Graham O’Connell suggested a great exercise for teambuilding is to get smaller groups - say 5-10 - to write and perform a one verse carol suitable for their company. Here are two other exercises also from Graham:

Seasonal activities for creativity and innovation

1. In small groups to list all the songs they can think of that contain either the word snow or reindeer. Any song that is mentioned by two or more groups has to be sung (one verse will do).

2. Tell the group that the government is after a new seasonal celebration to bridge the gap from Xmas to new year so that we can have one long holiday. The group (or small groups) have to come up with an idea and an advert to promote it.

These activities are suitable where you have individuals who do not celebrate Christmas, which may be a factor worth considering.

Christmas tips and a festive ice-breaker

Barbara Leslie had some super excercises with a seasonal theme:

Sound - Christmas Music
Sight - Christmas Decorations
Smell - Oil burners/ cinnamon pens/ oranges
Touch - Bendy Santa Claus or Reindeers for your table toppers
Taste - Oranges, Mince Pies, Nuts and Dates

Christmas icebreakers

When people introduce themselves get them to also say the 'worst' and
'best' Christmas presents they have ever received.

Get delegates to introduce themselves by designing a large Christmas
card (on flipchart paper) incorporating something from each of their

Get delegates to introduce themselves by answering the question: If
you were a Christmas object what would you be? (e.g. turkey,
Christmas tree, decoration)

Into Groups:

Select Christmas cards with different themes (Christmas trees, snow
scenes, Father Christmas, Christmas pudding) and get delegates to form
syndicate groups according to the themes on their cards.


Write the word CHRISTMAS on the flipchart and ask the entire group to
build a mnemonic based on the letters relating to the content of the
workshop. For example a workshop on Supervisory Skills could be:

C - Communication
H - Hourly
R - Reassures
I - Individuals -
S - Satisfies
T - The
M - Manager
A - and Assists
S - Skills

12 Days of Christmas

Get your delegates to develop a rhyme based on the 12 Days of Christmas to remember the key learning points from your course.

Word association

Throw a Koosh ball at random around the group getting each person in turn to quickly think of a Christmas word associated to the previous one - this can be used to encourage to creative thinking and speed of response.

Creative thinking

Split delegates into 2 teams and get each team to think up 10 uses for a Koosh ball at Christmas. Award points based on number of ideas and innovation.

Non-verbal communication/presentation skills

Get your delegates to jot down one present they hope they'll get on a piece of paper, fold it up
and place it in a box. Get each member of the group to pick out a piece of paper in turn and act out the object (to demonstrate non-verbal skills). This energiser can be expanded to include verbal skills/ sales skills by then asking each delegate to sell the features and benefits of this particular present to the rest of the group.

Christmas-themed project management exercise

This exercise was posted by Richard Pate and came via Liz Bourne:

Having seen the exercise, it looks like great fun for this time of year whilst still engaging the brains of delegates. The exercise involves planning the Christmas delivery schedule for Santa, and looks like it will involve a fair amount of teamwork, resource management and communication.

Snowball fight ice-breaker

Another great one from Rich:

Have your delegate write three things about themselves on a bit of paper and scrunch it up, then for about a minute (or less) everyone has a "snowball fight" with these piece of paper. At the end everyone picks up a scrunched up paper, unravels it and reads whats on it and the person that is makes themselves known!

Christmas quiz

A couple of tried and tested ideas from j1colette:

1. Get people to tell the group about the worst/funniest Christmas present they ever received.

2. Run a Christmas quiz (in teams) with Christmas related questions.

Christmas wish-list

Abottm's exercise is a great one to get delegates into a festive frame of mind!

Get everyone present to write something related to the event or a Christmas wish in a card without writing their name, seal it in an envelope and put it into a 'post-box'. Each person then selects a card, opens it and reads out the message in turn, everybody then tries to guess who the writer is. There is the chance they will select their own, but this just adds to the fun.

Seasonal exercise

Angela offered a ‘seasonalised’ team building exercise – available on her website: 

Thanks to all the members who have contributed ideas - we hope you find these useful and of course please add your own suggestions to this thread!


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!