Bring the excitement of Christmas into your classroom with these fun and simple activities!

We had our annual Christmas party today and it was a whirlwind of activity, wrapping paper, pajamas, pancakes and a few simple games that I thought I would pass along to you – just in case you are in need of a couple of last minute ideas…

Ornament Toss

I made an ornament toss game out of a big box (found at the local recycle center). I painted a Christmas tree on the box with liquid tempera paint and cut a few holes in the box large enough for our unbreakable ornaments to fall through…

The back of the box was left open so the children could lift the box to take the ornaments back out and play again.  I put a soft sheet of foam on the ground to keep the ornaments from making a loud crashing sound every time one dropped through the box and landed on the hard tile. The foam sheet also helped mark where to place the box when the children set it back down to play again…

I also had an easel that was left standing just in front of the ornament game for the children to keep “score”.  They could place a mark next to their name each time an ornament went into the hole. The children however, didn’t actually keep close track – they just put as many marks next to their name as they liked…

This was an easy game for the children to stop by throughout the morning and play whenever they wished and they enjoyed inventing new rules to the game, playing as they wished…

Gift Box Game

The gift box game was played as a large group.  I wrapped a large box (also picked up from the recycle center) so it looked like a really big gift. The children found the box sitting with gifts on top of it when they came into the classroom.  The children were anxious to find out what was in that box…

Before playing our game, I let the children guess what they thought might be in the box.  We had some great guesses including a television, a computer, and a new kitchen for our housekeeping center. But when I lifted up the box, the children discovered it was actually a big empty box.

How to play

To play the game, one child left the group to hide his or her eyes then we chose someone from the group to hide under the box.  Then the first child came back and had to guess who was missing from the group…

The children loved taking a turn to hide under the box and it was quite challenging trying to figure out who was missing from our group.  We gave lots of hints as to who might be in the box (and often even mentioned the name of who was under the box – just to help out a little of course). I let each child choose if they would like to hide inside the box or not just in case someone didn’t feel comfortable but everyone wanted a turn.  I also kept the game moving along so no one stayed under the box too long…

For independent play, the children liked to hide objects under the box and some of the children just wanted to hide inside the box on their own.  The only rules were that no one could pound on the box or hold the box down while someone was inside the box.  We didn’t have any problems but just to be on the safe side, I did make those two rules…

Pass the Bow

We used this game to help the children pick a present from our gift exchange under the tree. To play the game, the children passed the bows around the circle while we all sang (well mostly I sang) Jingle Bells.  When the singing stopped, whoever was holding a bow went to pick a present under the tree then brought it back to the circle and put it in their lap…

I used two bows so I didn’t end up with just one child still waiting to pick a present and so the children didn’t have to wait so long to get a gift.  I stopped singing systematically so that the bow would always land on someone who didn’t yet have a gift in their lap…

Once the children all had a gift – they jumped right in opening them up! Oh the excitement of it all!

Stocking Journals

At the table, the children found construction paper stockings, glue, scissors, cotton balls, scraps of gift wrap, and crayons to decorate and use as a stocking journal….

The children were invited to draw pictures of things that go into a stocking.  Not every child chose to make a stocking journal because we had so many things going on all day and some children chose to take a journal home to decorate and draw in instead…

Some of the children asked the teachers to label their objects in their journal as well…

Christmas Cooking Experiences

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, this was also a pajama and pancake party, so we definitely had to make our own pancakes! The children helped mix up a batch of pancake batter then Mrs. Courtney put the pancake batter into squeeze bottles for the children to squeeze out their own pancakes on the griddle.  For safety reasons, we didn’t let the children do any more of the cooking part because the griddle was too hot…

The children were curious  if the pancakes would taste different because of the different colors but they soon discovered that the pancakes all tasted the same…

Enjoy the Christmas Celebration!

These were just a few highlights of our Christmas/Pajama/Pancake party that I thought might be helpful in your own planning!

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