Christmas parties in the classroom are so much fun. I am here to give you ideas so they will also be stress-free. There is so much to do during the holidays that it’s important to keep classroom parties easy, low prep, and affordable for the teacher. Let me help you plan, prep, and have your Christmas class party with ease! My suggestions include using things you already have in your classroom or buying inexpensive items from the dollar store. Make sure you grab the ornament station FREEBIE later in this post. If you need Winter Party Ideas, check out THIS POST.
All teachers know behaviors are always crazy during classroom parties! It is very helpful the day of the party to reteach your behavior expectations using Green and Red Choices. During circle on the party day, read a holiday book like Llama Llama Holiday Drama or It’s Christmas, David!. As you read, talk about the choices the character is making, and if they are a green or a red choice. Talk about how that choice might make the character feel and how others would feel. Most importantly, discuss how the character might turn a red choice into a green choice. The holidays are HARD for kids because their home and school routines are different. It’s important to reteach behavior expectations using visuals and to give students a chance to change their choices for the better.
After the behavior refresher, my biggest tip is to eat FIRST! Have students wash their hands and clean the tables right before the party. Then place wrapping paper on the table and put out the snack.
Have parents sign up to bring in specific things. This avoids duplicates or too many sweet treats . You don’t want crazy sugar-filled kiddos! Since I own my own preschool, I include party snacks in the registration fee so I provide all the party snacks.
Do an easy trail mix with pretzels and a holiday cereal, a cookie, fruit pouch or fruit cup, and water. This plan works well for me. It is simple, inexpensive, and not a ton of sugar. Place a bow or holiday sticker on the fruit cup or pouch and make the trail mix ahead of time to make it quick to set out.
If you don’t want to mess with making gingerbread houses, make gingerbread trees with sugar ice cream cones, green icing, and some sweet treats. You can read all the details on how to make them on Fantastic Fun and Learning HERE. Since you know kiddos are going to lick the icing, make sure each child has their own cup of icing and treats.
It’s a fun addition to do a quick craft like these foam Christmas trees. Use trees (or any holiday foam shape) from the dollar store or Michaels and decorate them using foam stickers and permanent markers. My other favorite Christmas party craft is making bracelets using cut-up Christmas colored straws and pony beads on a pipe cleaner!
Quick tip: before the party begins, place each activity on a tray to make transitions quick. Organization like this makes set up/clean up easy too!
One of my favorite things to include during a classroom party is the ornament station. Families love it too because their children bring home a special keepsake they can enjoy on their tree year after year. It has signs and each step is on a separate tray to help families make the ornament easily. Throughout the party, each student goes over to the ornament station with their family, or teacher they do not have a family member attend the party. Students can easily navigate the steps to build their ornament by using clear, simple instructions and individual trays for each step. Both ornaments stations use plastic fillable ornaments that you can find at a craft store in bulk.
>> Grab the Ornament Station FREEBIE HERE <<
Building with cups is always a hit in my classroom so why not show families how smart their kiddos are with cup building STEM challenge. Students build a Christmas tree with green plastic cups and pom poms (aka ornaments).
Another fun game is Stick the Bow on the Present! It’s played just like pin the tail on the donkey except students stick a bow on the present. The present is just a piece of poster board wrapped with wrapping paper. To add to the fun, students wear a winter hat so they can’t see where they are sticking the bow.
You could also play this game with a Hanukkah twist … Pin the Candle on the Menorah!
Parachute Game! I used a plastic tablecloth in the photo, but the plastic was too thin that when we bounced the bows, it ripped. You can also use a real parachute or a sheet when you play. Place bows in the middle and make the bows bounce! Bounce it slow/fast, up high/down/low, calm/crazy, or other fun ways. This game also helps students develop self-regulation, teaches opposites, and uses tons of math vocabulary! I always have students pretend to put invisible glue on their hands to help them remember to hold on tight to the parachute. I remind them that teachers will get the bows if they bounce off.
If you think this would be hard for your students, play this game a few times BEFORE the party to review and give students extra support when it’s not party time. I always do!
You could also play this game with a Hanukkah twist … use a gold sheet and bounce plastic gelt coins!
A snowball toss can be fun at a party too! Take a circle laundry basket and clip a hat to the top with binder clips. Cut foam circles for eyes and mouth. Use a carrot from dramatic play for the nose. Place tape across the top (sticky side down) and attach the face pieces.
Students simply take turns tossing snowballs in the snowman. To help students wait in line, put a piece of tape on the ground as a visual so students know where to stand. Make a small “x” with the tape to show students where to stand when they throw. Visuals are a GAME CHANGER so students know what to do!
Go ice skating! Play the song “Let it Snow” or other wintery songs, and students can skate around the classroom on paper plates (aka ice skates). It’s simple, fun, and gives students an opportunity for everyone to move at once (no waiting involved).
Pick what activities you want to do at your classroom Christmas party and have fun! I hope you have an amazing time enjoying this fun season with your students!
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