So What Are You Doing On Party Day? 1-2-3 Come Play Some Classroom Christmas Party Games With Me
Planning games for your Christmas party is no easy task. Young children are still learning the life skill of fair play and tears often happen when they don’t win or they are out of a game.
I try to head problems off at the pass before they happen. I also like to set the stage ahead of time. I've rarely had a problem. Here’s the scenario:
“Everyone’s a winner in this class! OK. If you’re a winner raise your hand! If you want to play some games and have fun raise your hand! If you’re a good sport raise your hand.” "Wonderful. We are going to play games for the sheer fun of playing games. Sometimes we win; sometimes we don't; but we can always have a good time when we play together, so no poor sports right? Great; let’s start the fun!”
Even tho’ it’s party day and we are playing games, I try to keep things geared towards some intellectual activities and report card standards.
I’m also trying to teach all sorts of cooperative life skills such as sportsmanship, waiting their turn, working as a team, showing self-control, having patience etc. so games in themselves are a wonderful way to practice these things.
SPEED: I start out games with some paper table top and “Speed” games. “I Spy” a number or letter are great for reinforcing letter and number identification. I run off a “Paper Packet” and staple it. Students put their name on the cover and wait for directions.
The I Spy sheet is on the top. I’ll call on a quiet child to spy a number or letter. Children spy and trace the called out number/letter and then I’ll call on another child until the paper is complete. Students select a specific color crayon hold it in the air and I’ll explain the directions for the next page.
They’ll turn it as soon as I say: “Ready-Set-Snow!” The first student done raises their hand. I go over and check their paper, if it’s correct they get a sticker on their paper, and then I explain the next page etc. I have room helpers checking and starring the other student’s work as well.
Click on the link to print a set of speed games. To make more simply buy a Christmas coloring book and adapt the pages to fit your needs. Christmas Speed Games
Hot Present: Wrap the cover and bottom of a box in cute wrapping paper. Fill the box with tiny candy canes. Children sit in a circle. Put on Jazzy Christmas Music like Jingle Bell Rock or something festive.
Have a parent run the boom box . They are not looking at the children. Children pass the box and when the music stops the person holding the box is out. So that this is still fun, they dance with the adults on the side line. The adult playing the music plays it for 5-15 seconds and then hits the pause button. The last child left gets to take the lid off the box and passes out the candy canes, stickers or whatever little treat you want to put in it.
What’s Missing? Children sit in a circle. Explain to them that they must not peek and that peeking is cheating and that is not honest and that if they’re caught they will not get to play. Ahead of time gather some things that are Christmas related. I have a jingle bell, candy cane, ball ornament, gingerbread man, Christmas cookie, tiny wreath, tiny stocking, Santa (ornament), sleigh (ornament), tiny Christmas tree. I got most of the miniature things I was looking for in the miniature ornament section at Hobby Lobby. Start out with 5 things.
Put them in the middle of the carpet in a circle. Say them in order: bell, candy cane, ornament, gingerbread, cookie. Tell the children to close their eyes as tight as they can. Have parents check. Cover the things with a tag board circle, slip your hand under the circle and take one of the objects out. Say “OK open your eyes.” Then remove the circle. The first one to yell out what’s missing is the winner. Replace the object and add another one. Say them in the exact order again adding the new object. Play as before and then add another object until you have added all ten objects. My students absolutely LOVE this game. I play it for every season.
Shapely Presents: This is my Christmas version of “Four Corners” Cut out a triangle, rectangle, circle and square from tag board. Wrap them in Christmas foil wrap or aluminum foil and put a bow in the middle. Hang the presents from the ceiling so that they dangle from each corner of your room.
Choose a child to be Santa to start. Cover Santa’s eyes. The rest of the children (elves) scurry around and must end up in a shapely package corner before you and Santa blast off in your sleigh counting backwards from 10-0. Any elf not getting into a corner or who is caught moving and has not frozen when Santa has blasted off and yelled “Freeze!” is out of the game and must sit on the carpet by teacher who is covering Santa’s eyes. Santa’s eyes are covered and he chooses a package to be delivered to the North Pole with those elves who will load those shaped presents on the sleigh. He chooses a rectangle.
"OK all those elves in the rectangle package corner are out and sit on the carpet. They help Santa blast off by counting with him." The first Santa gets to join the “free” elves. Teacher chooses a new Santa from the “Out elves” and play continues ‘til only one elf is left and is the winner. My students also LOVE LOVE LOVE this game so I change it for every holiday. It's a wonderful way for them to get the wiggles out too!
Christmas Card Pick Up: Ask friends, relatives and parents of your students to save Christmas cards for you. Cut off the covers and then scatter them all over the floor. Have your students tip toe around them as they come in from recess. On your signal of “Ready-Set-Snow!” they scoot around gathering cards. As soon as they are all picked up have them make a circle and count their cards. The one with the most cards is the winner. Who had the next most?
You can also cut the cards in half and have them put the cards together. If they don't have the match they can "steal" it from a friend who has the other half. The one who spotted the missing half first, gets the card.
Christmas Card Puzzle Dice Game: I laminate a class set of Christmas cards and cut them into 1/6ths giving each piece a number, making them into puzzles. Children choose a partner and roll a dice; whatever number they roll they put that numbered card down eventually putting their Christmas card puzzle together.
Where’s Santa’s Hat: While my students are out at recess I hide a Santa hat. When they come in I tell them to go look for it. I make it a bit difficult and then I’ll give them “Hot” and “Cold” clues. i.e., “Jenna is ice cold, but Conrad is red hot.” So they know what part of the room they should be in.
Guess-timation Station: On party day I’ll have several “Guess how many?" In our “Guess-timation Station math area. How many “snowballs” in the box? These are cotton balls. How many Rudolph noses in the baby food jar? (Red pom poms?) and how many peppermints in the candy tin? The first two are worth prizes the 3rd winner of the candy tin, gets to take the tin of peppermints home. Children write their name and guesses on the entry form. At the end of the day I announce the answers and winners.
Reindeer Pokey: To get the wiggles out before game time and get everyone giggling. We do the Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Pokey. We put our red noses in, also our hooves, antlers and our wagging tails; and that’s what it’s all about!
All I Want For Christmas ABC’s: Children sit in a circle. I start them out. All I want for Christmas is an A-Airplane. The next child says B-Bear or whatever, the next child says, C-Crayons. If you really want to make it hard, especially if you have older children, they have to repeat the letters that came before and then add theirs.
Remember Doggy Doggy Where’s Your Bone? You can play this with a PRESENT and play "Kelli Kelli where’s your present?" Or with a HAT and play "Santa, Santa where’s your hat?" or with a red ball, clown nose, or red pom pom and play "Rudolph, Rudolph where’s your nose?" Anyway, the game is played with your students sitting in a circle. Put a chair in the middle with the present, hat, or nose under the chair. A child is chosen to sit in the chair and cover their eyes.
Teacher points to a child to QUIETLY take the object under the chair. Everyone puts their hands behind their back and teacher says "OK you can peek."“ _________, _____________ where’s your _________?” The rest of the children chant. Fill in the blanks with whatever game you decide to play.
Pin The... Nose on Rudolph, Pin the Hat on Santa, Pin the Star on the Christmas Tree. You decide and then make whatever it is that you’ve decided upon. For me Rudolph was the easiest. I bought a placemat with a reindeer on it. You could also make one out of construction paper. I wrote each child’s name on a red sticker dot (Rudoph's nose).
Students got into two lines. My room-mommy/daddy helpers gave the child their “nose”, covered their eyes with their hands, and walked them over to the placemat that another mom was holding up to their level. They stuck it on. There was no need to twirl them around; they could barely walk straight as it was. The name on the dot allowed me to see who was closest at the end of the game. The rest of the children sat on the floor until their name was called via the mom holding the noses.
Who is Santa? Children are sitting in a circle. Tell students they will either get a turn to be Rudolph or Santa. Assign a mom to keep track, so that everyone gets a turn. You choose a child to be Rudolph. They go out of the room into the hallway, with an adult helper. Choose a Santa. Most children do not know how to wink so before hand, find out who can wink and make those Santa’s if not enough with this skill, then tell them that they can blink twice hard and then you demonstrate. Inform the children that they must make eye contact and be paying attention.
How to play the game: When Santa winks/blinks at you, you say “Ho-Ho-Ho.” As soon as someone says that, Rudolph guesses who Santa is. Santa winks/blinks two more times. Rudolph has 2 more guesses or one minute to figure out who Santa is by trying to catch him wink-blinking.
What Elf is Missing? Children are sitting in a circle. Put a chair in a section of the circle. Tell children that they will either get a turn to be Santa OR an Elf. Assign a parent to keep track, so that everyone gets a turn. Send Santa out in the hallway with a parent.
Choose an elf to sit in the chair and cover them with a sheet and put a bow on top of the sheet. Santa comes in. Remind the children not to say anything or they will not get their turn. Children ask. “Santa which of your elves is gone?” Santa has 1 minute to look around the room to see who is missing, and then guess that child's name. When everyone has had a turn teacher should take a turn. You’ll be surprised at the results. Every year, my little Y5 elves did not realize I was missing!
Play Santa Says Instead of Simon Says.
Who Am I? Write a Christmas character’s name on an index card and pin it to the back of each child. They have all day to ask yes and no questions of anyone to see if they can guess who they are. When they guess they get a sticker on their index card. Ideas for characters: Rudolph, The gingerbread man, The Grinch, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman, The Little Engine That Could (Tillie was a Christmas Train) Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, (A partridge in a pear tree or any of the other 12 days of Christmas things). A Shepherd, one of the 3 Wise Men etc.
Gingerbread Bowling: Save 10 water bottles and cut out brown construction paper gingerbread men. Tape them on the front of the bottles. Set them up in a triangle so they look like the pins in a bowling alley. Give each child 2 chances to bowl down as many gingerbread pins as they can with 2 large Styrofoam "snowballs".
What ever games you decide on, I hope you have a jolly holly time filled with giggles galore! The next article is all about Relay Races and Team Games that promote cooperation! Scroll down to read it! Thanks for visiting. Wishing you a very merry day.