“Balance out” is a term all kids need to know, but during the holidays it becomes especially critical! This game will help students remember to slow down and actually appreciate the real meaning of Christmas in the midst of all its hustle and bustle.

christmas sort and balance


  • A bag of M&Ms for each child
  • Six bathroom cups (small disposable cups) for each child


Children will have to test their speed and concentration skills as they sort their M&Ms.


At Christmastime, it isn’t hard to get wrapped up in all things “Christmas-y.” It doesn’t get its nickname as the busiest time of year for nothing. Christmas is the season of shopping and cooking and parties. There are people to see and things to do! We barely have any time to relax and actually enjoy Christmas. This game will help us remember what all of the running around is for.


1. Have everyone wash their hands well.

2. If possible, divide the children into pairs.

3. Have pairs form two lines in front of a table.

4. Set up six cups in front of each child.

5. Have the first two children sit in front of their cups.

6. Give each child a bag of M&Ms and have them carefully dump the contents of their bag in front of them; be sure they do not mix their piles!

7. When you say “Go!” the two players will then have to sort their M&Ms as fast as they can.

8. All M&Ms must go in their own cup: i.e. all reds in one, all green in another, all yellow in a third, etc.

9. If there is a “mixed” cup, that child will have to start over.

10. They must only use one hand.

11. The first player to successfully sort all of their M&Ms wins.

12. Rotate players as many times as needed.

13. Children can keep M&Ms as their reward!


Matthew 1:20-21 says, "But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name of Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’"

Joseph and Mary had a lot to sort out during that first Christmas. They had to arrive in Bethlehem for a census. They had to find the means to get there. They had to keep in mind that Mary was very pregnant and couldn’t do as much walking as usual. They had to find a place to stay. It was a lot to sort out.

The need to sort at Christmastime remains 2,000 years later. We need to balance all the fun activities with quiet reflection so we don’t forget and leave Jesus out of the celebrations. We need to remember whose birthday it is when presents are being given to us. We need to accept love from many people while remembering to give love at this time of year. It’s a lot like sorting these M&Ms. It’s much easier to do if we go slowly and give pause, see where God will lead us each day, and do our best to follow his voice.

Do you have other fun games that you like to play with your kids, to inspire them to remember the true meanings of Christmas?  Share them below!

Copyright 2013 Mary Kate Warner