World War Two: Christmas On The Home Front

Discover what life was like for families during the war at Christmas Time. Learn what people ate for their Christmas dinner during a time of rationing, and find out what presents people gave and received. Understand that the dangers of wartime didn’t cease during the festive period and investigate artefacts to discover how people on the home front protected themselves from such dangers.

This 2hr session will give pupils the opportunity to hear the sounds of an air raid, and take part in one. They will gain an understanding of how people coped during raids, and sing a Christmas wartime song. Pupils will then learn about how people decorated their Anderson shelters.

Pupils will take part in two group activities:

Christmas gifts box                                                                                                                                           Each group will be given a box containing typical wartime Christmas presents for a member of a family. Each group will have a box that contains presents for one of the following:  The mother, the father, the son, or the daughter. Before looking in their box, each group must discuss what they think their box contains. Pupils will have the opportunity to share their findings with the rest of the class.

Ration Christmas pudding quiz                                                                                                                      Each group will look at some ingredients and work out what they are. They will learn how women became resourceful, finding food substitutes for rationed food.

To end the workshop pupils will handle artefacts to reinforce that despite Christmas, the dangers of war still continued.  


The workshop will focus on

  • How families coped with air raids and how they tried make their shelters look festive.
  • The fact that the dangers of war did not cease during the Christmas period.
  • How women coped with food rationing whilst trying to produce festive meals.
  • What presents were given during the festive period.