It’s that time of year when classroom parents will soon be scrambling for winter or holiday party ideas.Students, parents and teachers look forward to this fun and festive classroom party and the upcoming holiday (and break). This is also a time for parents to think about teacher gift ideas, whether it’s something from your child personally or the class as a whole. Here’s a few hints, tips and tricks for organizing a winter or holiday themed classroom party.
Party Planning Checklist
Schedule and Coordinate
Make sure everybody knows what day and time the party is scheduled for. If you are the room parent you will also need to coordinate all the party essentials (parent volunteers, snacks, crafts, supplies, etc). Check out our Fall Themed Classroom Party blog post for specific organizing tips.
Verify the Party Theme
With a winter party you will want to be sure to check school policy and with your classroom teacher about party holiday guidelines. You will want to find out what holidays are allowed or not allowed to be represented. To be safe you can always go with a winter theme and incorporate snowflakes, snowmen, polar bears, penguins, etc. into activities.
Eat a Snack
The holiday season is chock-full of sweets and sugar, but the class party doesn’t have to be! You don’t have to be a Grinch and not serve any sweets, but it doesn’t hurt to have some festive healthy snacks available too. You will also need to double check the school snack policy and be aware of any food allergies in the classroom.
Hot Cocoa Bar
Ingredients: Hot Chocolate, Chocolate Syrup, Caramel Syrup, Marshmallows, Sprinkles, Chocolate Chips and Whip Cream. Pour the kiddos a cup of hot chocolate and let them add their own toppings.
Ingredients: Popcorn. You can either serve popcorn or popcorn balls.
Ingredients: Strawberry, Sliced Bananas, Green Grape, Marshmallow and Toothpicks. Pre-make the kabobs and serve at the party.
Make a Craft
Winter parties are the best for easy, fun crafts kids love. You can also incorporate making a gift for student’s parents into a craft activity. Some fun winter themed crafts:
This would fall into the craft and gift category and there are hundreds of ideas on-line.
Make Snowmen or Snowflakes
These snowmen names are cute. For younger kids, you could pre-cut the circles, and then have kids write their first or last name and then glue onto blue construction paper. Snowflakes are also fun for kids to make. For older kids, you can make them fancier by cutting the flakes out of coffee filters and adding glitter or other decorations.
Play a Game
Get kids in on the wintry fun with an indoor game that gets them moving. Some fun winter themed games:
Guess How Many Snowballs are in the Jar?
Fill a jar with cotton balls and then have the kids guess how many are inside. You can give away a small prize, like a $5 gift card for a DQ Blizzard.
Use either small styrofoam balls, white pom poms or large marshmallows and have kids toss them into a bucket. To make the game more challenging for older kids, have somebody hold a wreath up and they have to throw the ball through the wreath and then into the bucket.
Get the whole class into the spirit of the season by incorporating a service project into the classroom celebration. You can ask students to bring non-perishable food items on the day of the party or have the kids donate socks, pajamas, hats or gloves to kids residing at homeless shelters or in transitional housing.
Some parties have a “goody bag” or provide prizes at the Game station for kids to take home. You will want to find out if this is something that is typically done at classroom parties at your school. The prizes do not need to be elaborate, think fun, but useful school supplies like pencils, stickers, erasers, notepads, etc.
Don’t forget the teacher – the winter class party is a great time to share a class group gift or class card with the teacher. If you are the classroom parent you may want to coordinate a class gift or have parents donate items for a group gift basket. Teacher gift ideas:
Gift Certificates to:
- Teacher Supply Store
- Big Box Stores (Target, Amazon, Wal-Mart)
- Favorite Restaurant or Coffee Shop
- Gas or Convenience Store
- Book Store
- Home Improvement Store
Individual Gift Ideas:
- Thank You Note From Your Child
- Classroom Supplies (Tissues, Cleaning Wipes, Hand Sanitizer, Pencils, etc.)
- Books for the Classroom
- Stationary or Note Cards
- Chocolates or Other Snack
- Favorite Beverage (coffee, tea, soda, etc.)
What are your tips for hosting a winter themed classroom party?