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Hosting a Christmas Book Exchange in the Classroom

Organizing a Christmas book exchange is one of my favorite classroom holiday activities! I love watching the kids open their presents and seeing the joy they get from owning a brand new book. I also love how easy it was to organize!

Reasons to do a book exchange

  • It’s inexpensive for you and the parents.
  • Minimal prep work is required on your part
  • It’s a fun way to celebrate without sugary treats.
  • Kids get new books for their home library!

How I organize the exchange

When we come back from Fall break I send out the parent letter below. Fill out the information below to grab a copy:

I send out reminder e-mails about once a week until the date of the party. Give the parents suggestions about where to find inexpensive books like Target or Wal-mart. Also, remind them to buy gender-neutral books because the gifts will be handed out at random.

Some parents bring in the books right away and some (of course) wait until the last minute. I always buy a couple of books myself and wrap them just in case someone forgets to bring one in. Thankfully, I’ve never had that happen, and just add those books to my library after the party.

Handing out the books

I put all the books into a big bag (usually a giant trash bag, don’t judge me : )

I pass the books out one by one, and the students go back to their desks and patiently wait for everyone to get a present. We open them all at the same time, and it’s like Christmas morning! I love their excitement over new books.

Here’s a super old picture of the madness:

I love this classroom tradition, and I know you will too! Don’t forget to grab the parent letter to send home if this is something you’d like to try in your classroom!

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