Everybody loves a good Christmas party, but school-age children are especially appreciative of merry times. The key for planning a great party is to have plenty of activities and treats to fill up the limited time. Here are some fun and economical ways to lift holiday spirits and entertain students in your classroom:
Photo: Little Pumpkin Grace
Send the kids home with a holiday photo of themselves. Set up a holiday photo booth at the party to take photos before the party starts. Put up a cheery red or green fabric, drape with holiday beads and snowflakes, and provide an empty frame. After you snap your shots, print out color copies for children to take home as gifts to their parents.
2. Holiday movie and reindeer popcorn
Photo: Crazy Little Projects
Pop in a holiday movie like “Elf” and provide students with everything they need to decorate and make reindeer water bottles and popcorn bags while they watch it. Paper lunch bags, clothes pins, tiny eyes, red pom-pom noses and brown pipe cleaners can make healthy snacks fun.
3. Snowman craft
This simple hands-on craft will keep students busy and delighted as they personalize a giant snowman with their name. Gather up white paper plates, poster board letters, construction paper, wiggly eyes, buttons, glue, staples, ribbon and streamers. Glue a letter from the child’s name to each paper plate. Cut out a snowman’s hat from construction paper and attach. Staple the snowman’s body on in order. Add the final touches: scarf, arms, boots, nose, eyes, etc.
4. Gingerbread dice game
Photo and how-to at Sweet Peas & Bubblebees
Provide a gingerbread man cutout marked with numbers and a red marker or crayon. Roll the dice and let the fun begin. The first student to color in all the numbers on their gingerbread wins. Serve gingerbread cookies alongside and let them decorate them with icing after the game!
5. Penguin relay race
Photo: Cul-de-sac Cool
Game on! Bring on the laughter when the kids waddle through a game where they look like penguins. All you need is two nerf footballs. Have the children partner-up. The first set of partners must place the ball between their lower legs. From a designated starting point, the two penguins must waddle to the finish line without losing their penguin “egg” that is placed between their calves. If they drop their egg before the finish line, then they must start over again. First person to the finish line wins and then the next group has a turn.
6. Christmas tree ornament balance game
Photo: On Cloud 8
This holiday game is played in pairs. Place an empty wrapping paper tube on a table or on the floor, and balance a yardstick on top of the tube. Each of the two players has five various sized Christmas tree ornaments. Standing on opposite sides of the yardstick, players must work together to rest all five ornaments on their side of the yardstick without toppling the structure. If the structure falls, the game is over.
7. Snowman slam
Photo: Growing a Jeweled Rose
This fun and simple game just requires a few supplies - white cups, construction paper, glue and scissors, and some rolled up socks.
Decorate each cup with a snowman face using black and orange construction paper. Then stack your snowman cups in a pyramid-shaped tower with three on the bottom, two in the middle, and one on top. The players then take turns throwing the rolled up socks to try and topple as many snowmen as they can.
8. Jingle bell toss
Photo: Playground Park Bench
To play "jingle bell toss," simply arrange 10 mini red cups like bowling pins on a board and hot glue them in place. You can prop the board up on an angle by gluing two cups to the top two corners of the board's underside. Kids stand behind the board on either side with a handful of jingle bells and try to toss them into the cups. The first person to sink all of their jingle bells in the cups wins!
9. Pin the nose on Rudolph
Photo: Fiona Carter
Everyone loves Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! For this game, cut out eyes, mouth, and antlers from black and brown construction paper and stick them in place on a cork board. Then cut red circles for the noses out of red construction paper, and write each student's name on one of them. While blindfolded, everyone gets a turn trying to pin Rudolph's nose to the corkboard using a tack.
10. Human Christmas tree game
Photo: Lewis Learning Library
This crafty game is sure to elicit lots of laughter! Divide your class into teams and give each time green tissue paper and ornaments. They now have to decorate one person from their team to look like a Christmas tree within a certain time frame. Stand back and watch the giggles ensue!