Christmas Party Games for Preschoolers

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on December 21, 2012

in Christmas, Christmas Party Games, Holiday Ideas

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…

Christmas Party Games by Teach Preschool

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…

Christmas Party Games and Activities by Teach Preschool

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…

Christmas Party Games and Activities by Teach Preschool

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…

Christmas Party Games and Activities by Teach Preschool

This was an easy game for the children to stop by throughout the morning and play whenever they wished and pretty much any way they wished…

Christmas Party Games and Activities by Teach Preschool

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…

Christmas Party Games and Activities by Teach Preschool

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. 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 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!

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…

Christmas Party 109

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…

Christmas games and activities from Teach Preschool

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…

Christmas Party 028

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…

Christmas games and activities by Teach Preschool

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

Stocking Jounals

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….

Christmas games and activities by Teach Preschool

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…

Christmas games and activities by Teach Preschool

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

Christmas games and activities by Teach Preschool

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, this was a pajama and pancake party too 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.  We didn’t let the children do any more of the cooking part because the griddle was too hot…

Christmas games and activities by Teach Preschool

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…

Christmas games and activities by Teach Preschool

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

Christmas games and activities by Teach Preschool

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1 Trisha December 21, 2012 at 1:24 am

What fun! Those pancakes look like puffy paint:)

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Haha, some of my students did ask if it was puffy paint even though they helped mix up the batter:)

3 Tia December 21, 2012 at 6:39 am

What a great day, I will keep these ideas in mind for next year, thank you!

4 Roopa December 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

Such fun games! Love the ornament toss and bow pass game :)

5 Diane Postman December 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

Love the squeeze bottles for pancakes. Just wanted to share…. I taught for 31 years and made pancakes with my kids. I did let them cook. I placed a child between my legs and the table. I had the child put his non-dominate hand behind his back and he held a spatula in the other hand. I put 1 arm about the child’s body and one on the cooking hand so I could control every move. I did hand-over-hand so he could flip his pancake and kept him away from the pan as it cooked. Never a burn or even a near miss and I taught kids with disabilities from ages 2-5.

6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Oh the patience and dedication you have for your students is astonishing Dianne! I love it! We originally thought we would let the children do more of the cooking but it was so hectic and the children were so anxious to eat snack (the pancakes) that we felt perhaps on a day where we weren’t quite so excited that we could try this again.

7 Jeanette December 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

I love the ideas! Thanks for sharing. I just had our Winter Holiday party for my preschoolers yesterday. I wish I had seen this sooner. I would have incorporated some of your ideas!

Here were my student’s favorite activities of the day:

Candy Cane Limbo – Take an old wrapping paper tube and wrap with red and white ribbon to look like a candy cane. I lucked out and found the ribbon in a local dollar store.

Non-snow snowman – We used graham crackers, jumbo and mini marshmallows, M&M’s, mini chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, confectioners sugar, pretzel sticks, frosting and oreos. Place some white frosting in ziplock bags, cut off the ends and let the children use. The graham cracker is the base, pile on jumbo marshmallows and glue with frosting. Add an oreo for a hat, decorate with sprinkles, M&M’s, chocolate chips. Sprinkle mini marshmallows around the base to look like it is surrounded with snowballs. Sprinkle confectioners sugar over your creation to look like it snowed.

Pin the hat on the polar bear – I was going to do pin the buttons on the snowman (something I was going to draw on poster board) however I found the polar bear from Oriental Trading, it was super cheap so I decided to save myself some time.

Cold Ice – Like hot potato however we passed around a gel ice pack instead.

Happy Holidays!
=0)
Jeanette

8 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Oooh, that is a wonderful list of ideas too add here Jeanette! I may just have to borrow those for next year too!! That candy cane limbo idea Rocks! What a hoot!

9 Mary December 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Thank you so much for always sharing such great post. What a fun and creative ways of keeping the children engage, and learning so much. Happy HOLIDAYS! http://projectsbyMtetar.wordpress.com

10 María December 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

Thank you so much for all these wonderful things. I’ll use the box game at my child’s birthday next month.
Wishing you all the best for Christmas and the New Year, with love and best wishes, Maria

11 Day Care Centers in Yorba Linda December 27, 2012 at 5:10 am

Christmas can be used as a nice occasion to teach the young preschoolers a few things using some innovative ideas and activities.

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