Our preschool Christmas pajama party…

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on December 23, 2011

in Pajama/Christmas Party, Special Occasions

One thing that I am really not that good at is planning special events and parties for the children. I tend to use a very specific approach in the classroom and all have some sort of teaching or developmental goal so planning games or activities just for the fun of it is actually quite a challenge for me….

I am not complaining, just commenting on an area that I either need to hand over to my parents or really work on improving.  I felt so disorganized for this day, but I don’t think the children really noticed – but I felt it. It really wasn’t all that bad – I just wanted to do better.  Moving on – here are a few highlights of what we did today….

Searching under the tree for a present..

Each of the children brought in one gift and set it under the tree.  I also added a gift for each child under the tree. We just had to start off our day opening those gifts – the children were too excited to possibly do anything else until they got to open some gifts!

Filling up candy canes…

I set out candy and empty candy cane tubes for the children to fill up and put in their stockings. Once the children had filled their tubes, we used clear packing tape to seal them and send them home…

Completing our cards for mom and dad…

We had previously made Christmas cards for our parents and I saved the completed cards for today (if you didn’t see our parent cards, you can view them by clicking here)

Today, we colored a picture on the inside of the cards and folded them in half to prepare them for our parent gifts which we had also previously made (if you didn’t see our parent gift, you can view them by clicking here)

Wrapping up the parent Christmas gifts…

The children also wrapped their own parent gift to take home

Once the children wrapped up the parent gift, they decorated the white wrapping (butcher) paper with markers and added a bow to the top…

The parent gifts and cards were now all ready to take home…

Stories, Songs, and Games

We read two books today – “The Polar Express” and “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bell.”  Before reading “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bell,” I gave each child a Christmas bell. Each time I said the word “bell” the children rang their bells. We also sang some Christmas songs including “Ring Those Bells” which I previously shared with you.

We also played musical stocking. The children passed the stocking around the circle while we played some lively Christmas music.  Then when the music stopped, the child holding the stocking picked a gift out of the stocking.  All the gifts in the stocking were the same and we played until each child had a gift from the stocking…

Snack and a movie…

Since this was a pajama party, we had donuts and milk for snack (breakfast) and we set back to watch a short movie in our “classroom theatre”…

We watched “The Gruffalo” narrated by Helena Bonham Carter.  The children and I had never seen this movie before and we all LOVED it.  The movie lasts about 30 minutes long and the children chose to sit in chairs:)

Watching the movie on our classroom wall, using my laptop and projector, was a very big deal!!   This was a 3D movie so the animation and graphics were outstanding. This movie was also told in story book form – it was extremely well done. We had never watched a movie in our class before and so this was a very fun treat for us all…

So that covers all the highlights of our Christmas pajama party – if you have ever had a pajama party or a holiday party, I would love to hear your ideas in the comment below so please share!

The books we read today and the Gruffalo movie…

      

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1 Miss Eileen December 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a hard time with special events! They stress me out and I dislike the interruption of the daily routine. I do realize that celebrations are a good part of life though : )
We’re having our pj party next week. I like your incorporation of finishing parent gifts as part of your day – I might have to move our party up a week or 2 next year!

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I am going to move our party up earlier next year too Eileen! I think that because the daily routine is off and I am trying to doing something out of the ordinary, my mind goes blank as to what I can do:)

3 Pam December 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm

We watched the Polar Express (um….fast forwarded through some parts…way too long :) We enjoyed pretending to “sleep” on bean bag chairs with blankets, making a “train” with our chairs, punching our “train tickets”, drinking hot cocoa and painting with bells! (I paused the movie and we took breaks.) This was the first time I had tried this with the movie and it worked wonderfully! The children LOVED it! Here’s link to see some of our fun :) http://cricketcornerclassroom.blogspot.com/2011/12/polar-express.html

4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Yay – thanks for sharing Pam. I need to see other ideas for future reference. I know the movie I chose had nothing to do with Christmas or the holidays but I liked that it was short and a very intriguing movie to see.

5 Little Wonders' Days December 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm

It certainly looks like you did just fine! It looks like a lot of fun. I’ll tell you from a mom’s perspective, I love helping the teachers with simple celebrations like this one. I want the kids’ teachers to be able to focus on what their experts at doing in addition to not taking away from their personal time trying to organize even more for the kids. I bet you have moms that would support you with “events”.

6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 24, 2011 at 12:51 am

Oh, for sure I do have moms that are more than willing to help me – I just need to be better about asking and letting them just run with things:) I am quite certain the parents of my students are far more creative than I am at this sort of thing!!

7 Jessica December 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Sounds like you had a fabulous time! We had our Christmas/Holiday Celebration on Thursday, which was our last day before break. I teach all day 4 year old preschool and we only had class until noon so we basically partied ALL DAY! We had worked hard most of the week making our parent gifts and decorating the bags to put them in so Thursday we bagged them up. We made rudolph hats and got out the musical instruments to play along while we sang Jingle Bells. We even took our band and went over to another classroom and performed our song! The kids LOVED this! Then we made popcorn and homemade hot chocolate in the crockpot and watched Garfield Christmas! And before we knew it class was over! A good time was had by all!!

8 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 24, 2011 at 1:01 am

Don’t you just love days like that!

9 joyce December 24, 2011 at 10:34 am

We played pin the nose on rudolph, christmas Bingo and we made riendeer food to sprinkle on the lawn so Santa could find there house on Christmas Eve and another day we made candy buckeyes kids had a blast on both days

10 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm

What great ideas!! Gonna add them to my part idea list for next year:)

11 Trisha December 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm

It sounds like your activities that were “just for the fun of it” were really good learning and fine motor activities as well! Filling candy canes, wrapping presents, learning patience with musical stocking, reading stories and having them ring a bell when they heard you say “bell,” singing, etc. Wow! Your Christmas party sounds like a success all around. Fun learning:)

12 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 26, 2011 at 8:40 am

Thank you Trisha:) I think building in learning goals into every activity is innate for me any more:)

13 Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas December 26, 2011 at 8:37 am

sounds like a great time was had by all. I am the opposite of you – I LOVE party days so I tend to go overboard :) Your day sounds perfect for preschool and they got lots of great skills practice in while having fun.

14 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 8, 2012 at 9:52 am

Next time, I better give you a shout for ideas:)

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