How to Throw a Successful Classroom Party this Holiday Season
Kids look forward to classroom holiday parties almost as much as winter break; make the 'holly and jolly' extra special with VolunteerSpot's party planning hints and tips!
1. Plan it
Organize the class party into 'stations' with small groups of kids rotating through activities to keep the pace moving for the kids and the group-size manageable for parent volunteers. Have age appropriate game, snack, and craft stations to keep faces smiling, tummies full, and little hands busy; consider making it extra special with a gift-exchange or community giving opportunity. Towards the end of the party, everyone can come together for the final station, story time.
Tip: Ask the teacher about the school's holiday policy. Will you be planning for nondenominational 'winter' and snow themes, or are Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza themes welcome and expected?
*Get creative with your games and activities this year! Some of our favorites are:
- Used Book Exchange: Reading Addiction!
- Compliment 'Gift' Card: You're Amazing!
Draw a package on card-stock paper and top it with a colorful ribbon. Label one for each child in the classroom then help 5 classmates write a compliment about the student in the package. (e.g. You make me smile. I like your Amazon project. You’re fun to play with at recess. You’re awesome at math!)
- Pin the face on the Snowman: Look at Frosty Go!
A few simple cut-outs including three large white circles, an orange nose, black coal eyes and mouth pieces (and even a scarf, top hat, and buttons) makes for a super-fun wintry take on this traditional game kids love!
- Canned Food or Coat Drive: Giving Back While Having Fun!
Make a request for kids to bring in non-perishable food items, and/or a gently used coat which a volunteer can take for donation to a local organization. For extra cheer, have kids decorate holiday greeting cards to be delivered with the donations.
Tip: Consider space limitations when choosing party games.
*For snacks, consider hot cocoa, snowman cookie crafts, gingerbread cookies, red and green apple slices, popcorn balls and 'reindeer food' (trail mix of cereal squares, pretzels, dried fruit and mini marshmallows).
Tip: Ask the teacher if any kids have food allergies and if the school has policies limiting sugary treats.
*Stories about polar bears, penguins, snowmen, gingerbread men, Rudolph, winter, are sure to please! Ask your children's librarian to recommend festive holiday and winter stories they know kids enjoy.
Tip: Check out VolunteerSpot's free Classroom Party Guide for more fun winter craft and game ideas!
2. Get help!
Ask class parents (and grandparents) to pitch in and volunteer either during the party or by contributing supplies and food. Remember to plan for craft and game supplies, snacks, paper ware, and simple decorations (think plastic table cloths and paper snowflakes).
Tip: Free online signup sheets from VolunteerSpot.com make it easy to coordinate parent helpers. With the click of a mouse or a tap on a smartphone, parents can quickly choose when to help and what to bring. Automated reminders keep everyone on track.
3. Have fun!
Be ready for joyful chaos! When things don't go exactly as planned, don't stress. Instead, put on a big smile and know that the kids will have a great time no matter what. Be sure to take lots of pictures, party day is a very special day at school.