Hi everyone! It's me Colleen! Happy to be back and ready to talk winter party time!!!
I know what you are thinking? Didn't we just have a Halloween Party and now you want to talk about Winter Parties - we haven't even started eating our Thanksgiving Turkey yet? Yep, I am ready to pull out the snowman and the candy canes! I wanted to give you some classroom party ideas that have worked from both a former room mom prospective as well as the teacher prospective. Let me throw some tips and ideas at you! Get your ideas now and be stress free when planning for the Holidays. So grab a mug of hot chocolate and let's get this party started. There are two free printable games in this post that will make you shine, so read on...
One of the first things that either the room mom or the teacher should get ready is the party bag. Often kids will bring in treats for their classmates and this is an awesome way to be ready to store those treats quickly on a high energy day. Go to you local grocery store and ask for enough brown bags for each child in your classroom and one for the teacher. You could either have the kiddos decorate them or you could simply print, cut, and glue a snowman to the bag. Have an adult write the name of each child on the outside of the bag. I am sure the kiddos could write their own name, but having an adult write it ensures the name on the bag will be easy to read. On the day of the party, line up all the grocery bags along a wall. Have each child that brought a treat to share, drop the item in each bag. The teacher can also stick their treat for the kiddos in the bags. When the party is over, staple the bags shut and the kiddos can carry them home on the bus. It's like Christmas when they get home and get to go through their party bags.
The best way to run a party is to break the kids up into four groups. Each group will visit four activities (which will be run by an adult - so you will need three volunteers, plus the teacher) for a total of 10 minutes each. Each of the four groups of students will rotate to the different activities. That is around 45 min. of activity time. After all activities are completed, one of the volunteers should read a winter story to the classroom while the other volunteers prepare a small snack of Ho-Ho's and a bottle of water! Or check out Craft and Things, Polar Express Snack. Snack and Story is about a total of 20 minutes - Making total party time around an hour.
Decide in advance three games and one craft activity for the class to do (I will give you some ideas below). It is a good idea to assign one volunteer per game and one volunteer to run the craft station. The room mom or the teacher should keep track of the time and make sure they announce when the kids should rotate to the next activity. Also, it is a great idea to give each station volunteer a winter book to read to their group in case they find they finish their activity before the allotted time. So you may want to check out a few winter books at the school library before your party day.
Now that you have the general set-up of the party planned, let's talk games. You want them to be age appropriate and FUN! Try not to make them difficult. This is a time for all the kids to come together and just enjoy the classroom community.
Here are some fun game ideas that would be great for PREK-3 (choose three):
-Pass the hot chocolate- get a box of hot chocolate packets from a local store. Play the song from the Polar Express movie, Hot Chocolate and have the kids pass around the box. When the music stops, whoever is holding the box gets a hot chocolate packet. The winner stays in the game and play continues until "conveniently" everyone in the group has won a hot chocolate packet. Have the kiddos stick their winning in their brown party bag before moving onto the next station.
-Play the Snow Globe Game - This is a free printable you will need to assemble before play. You will also need small white pom-poms (Get these at a craft store). Print enough board games (Page 1 - there are two on a page) for each child in your group. Print a set of cards (Print page 2 twice to make a set). Hand each child a playing board. Put the pom-poms (snowballs) in the middle of the table. The adult holds the playing cards. Students take turns taking a playing card and adding the number of snowballs given on the card to their card. First person to get eight snowballs and fills their globe is the winner. Be careful, you may draw a card that asks you to put a snowball back.
-Play Snow Bingo. You can download six cards here. Print the cards and play like regular bingo. The nice thing about this bingo is that for each call every student will have something to cover up. The winner is the first to get four in a row.
-Do a Snowman Relay - Check this snowman relay at Huie Elementary School.
Cute, right? Looks like they used Pillowcases as the body. For an easy Snowman Relay with Hula Hoops visit Physical Education Update.
-Disney Family Fun has a very cute game to print for free called, Jack Frost is Not Lost. If you are allowed to have food as manipulatives this would be tons of fun!
Let's talk Winter Party Crafts! I think one of the things parents planning classroom parties forget is that the craft must be ready to go home with the child and must be age appropriate. Don't forget time either. They must be easy to finish. Since the craft will go right into the child's winter party bag, no paint or globs of glue that must dry. Keep it simple. Michael's Craft store sells sets of crafts. Target and Walmart often have cute craft sets that are perfect for classrooms. We have done door knob hangers in the past that are decorated with foam stickers. Start shopping now because these fly off the shelves. My favorite craft for a party is a sticker scene craft. You can buy cute sticker scenes with a winter theme in bulk from Oriental Trading. Basically each crafter gets a background and a sheet of stickers to place on the background to create their own scene. Kiddos from PreK to third love these and they are mess free.
I hope this winter party post has got your wheels turning in your head with ideas for your classroom party!!! Have a wonderful time planning! Planning parties is always so much fun. Seeing the kiddos happy faces the day of the party is even better!