Holiday Practice Band Scavenger Hunt

It is the most anticipated and dreaded time of year for anyone teaching beginning band: Winter break. 

The kids are on a roll and really developing into players, when suddenly, the holidays have arrived. They are left to their own devices to not practice and/or ignore the things they’ve been told to practice in exchange for pie, video games, and Grandpa’s request that they play the Pink Panther on the Saxophone… “I just love the Pink Panther.”

Holiday Scavenger hunts and this Ornament Challenge  combine silly with practical, and most of all, they keep the instruments on their faces until you see them again. 


  • Include lines/pieces from upcoming performances.
  • Encourage exploration… but MONITORED exploration.
  • Use social media/technology to record and send/upload proof.
  • Include “getting together” to practice with other band kids, because we all know they are bored within a day of vacation.
  • Include things for your own personal amusement/the amusement of their parents.
    • Examples: Perform “Ode to Turkey” for your turkey, get a group and play somewhere during busy holiday shopping, etc.

Other fun activities included in the samples below are:

  • Record line 2.13 and email it to a band director
  • Send a video playing Up on the Housetop with a group from class.
  • Use the internet to find sheet music for a Holiday 
  • Play all the even lines in your book
  • Write a thank you note to your parents for providing your instrument
  • Put on a Santa hat and sit by the Christmas tree and count your counting sheet.

Please feel free to take our “Scavenger Hunts” and make them your own:








Download the Thanksgiving Break Scavenger Hunt here.
Download the Winter Break Scavenger Hunt  here.

Here are additional samples of holiday fun activities from other readers/contributors.

Band Scavenger Hunt







Download the Fun Activities for Winter Break here.

Days of Christmas band







Download the 18 Days of Christmas here.

Meghann Zenteno is the Band Director at Lake Highlands Junior High School, a part of the Richardson Independent School District.  She is a graduate of West Texas A&M University and is currently in her 9th year of teaching.

Want a printable version – ready to go or edit slightly…Fun Christmas Activities for beginning band to keep kids practicing over the winter break!

Related Reading:
 Band Directing Lessons from Almost a Half Century of Teaching
Strategies for Retention in Your Band Program
Performance Day

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