Children's Christmas Party Ideas

Christmas party ideas for your children so they will be occupied and happy.

Christmas is a magical time for children: colored lights, yummy food, secrets, surprises and parties. Parties bridge the days until Christmas and are an outlet for children's excitement. Children find it hard to concentrate as the holidays draw near. Planning a party is a great way to get them focused and involved in creative activities.

Preschool and kindergarten classroom parties should be divided into four phases:

· Preparing for the party.

· Setting up the party.

· Party time.

· Clean up fun.

Begin preparation activities a week or two before the party. Set aside an hour the same time each day so the kids will look forward to the activity.

· Decorations

Make decorations for the classroom Christmas tree and one to take home. Here are a few ideas:

. Thumbprint reindeers

Cut paper doilies in circles and cut a hole in the center. Cut smaller circles out of white paper. Roll child's thumb across inkpad then onto the center of the small circle. After the ink dries add antlers, eyes and nose to create reindeer. Glue small circle to doily add a ribbon loop to complete the ornament.

. Construction paper garland

Cut 5-inch strips of construction paper. Add glitter to add sparkle to the tree. Loop each link through the next and glue. Make the garland colorful and as long as needed.

. Goodie bags

Design holiday bags for party day goodies. White lunch bags work best but you may use brown bags. Have each child draw a holiday design on each side of their bag and add their name.

· Cards for parents

Parents love to receive cards from their children. Fold sheets of construction paper in half and glue a sheet of white paper into the inside.. Use crayons to create a holiday design on the outside of the card. If the children know how to write they can add a message inside. If not, they can draw a second holiday picture. Older children may wish to make a "Twelve Days of Christmas" card for their parents: Fold three sheets of white paper in half and staple them into the fold of the construction paper. Have the children write a short story about each day of Christmas.

Setting up the party can be another fun activity for children. Plan your party for the afternoon so you will have plenty of time to decorate and prepare during the morning. Have each child add their decorations to the tree while the class sings Christmas songs. Prepare goody bags to take home, allowing each child who brought candy or trinkets to add them to each bag.

Party, party, party"¦

· Games

Classroom games add to childhood memories and holiday parties are a great time to include them. A classic is "Seven Up". Choose seven people to be "it" then have everyone close their eyes and put their heads down on the desk, thumb up in the air. Each of the seven moves quietly around the room and touch a thumb. The teacher announces heads up and everyone whose thumb was tagged must guess which person tagged them. If they guess correctly, they replace that person.

· Food

Keep food simple. Excited children rarely eat much and the food will only be thrown away. Serve cupcakes and punch. Send home goody bags if parents send candy, cookies or brownies.

· Presents

Make present exchange fun. Play musical presents: Gather in circles [circle of boys, circle of girls], play music while the presents go round. When the music stops, everyone opens the present they are holding. Or, number each present [boy/girl separately] and have each child draw a number.

Clean up doesn't have to be work. Make clean up a fun activity and the kids will look forward to the next party.

· Make a quick pass with the trashcan to collect empty cups, plates and napkins instead of having each child go to the trashcan.

· Finish clean up by spraying each desk or table with a foaming cleaner. Allow a few minutes for kids to finger paint a picture on their desk or table then let everyone take a quick look at each other's artwork. Use Wet Ones to finish polishing the desks and clean sticky fingers.

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