Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Party Prize Fun

If you read my blog about the classroom Christmas prize tree, you may have already thought of this idea, but, if on!

Students like to play Christmas games almost as much as they like to win a prize for winning the games. Instead of handing out prizes, create a Christmas tree out of paper lunch bags. Decorate them with Christmas stamps, stickers or bows. Inside of each bag, put prizes ranging from pencils and pens, cute erasers, Christmas candy, mini-staples, gift cards to a fast food restaurant-anything you can thing of that you can buy locally. (If you plan ahead, check out Oriental Trading for great prizes!) Tape the bags up on your wall or white board on the day of the party. You can make the tree as big as you need it to be.

Play a game. If you need ideas, check here or here or here! Let the winner choose her own bag or start at the bottom and move up the tree. Make sure the prizes have variety to keep the winners and the to-be-winners guessing!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Free or Inexpensive Classroom Party Ideas

The classic, last day of school Christmas party can be a lot of fun without a lot of money. In fact, the games can be full of fun and free!  Here are a few ideas:

1) Talent Show-Tell your students to group together or go it alone and do a talent show. Let the kids sing, do skits or tell funny jokes. Tell them they have to register with you. Set a time limit, like 3 minutes, on the performance. Encourage them to clap and encourage their classmates.

2) Candy Cane Hunt-Before the kids get to school, hid a bunch of candy canes around the classroom or the school yard. This activity works the same way an Easter egg hunt works; the kids fan out and try to find as many candy canes as they can. Save a few back in case some kids don't find any. If candy canes are too big to hide in your room, use Hershey Kisses instead.

3) Musical Chairs-Push the desks over to the wall. Put on the Christmas music and play the traditional musical chairs. If you have a large class, run two musical chairs circles at the same time. Remove one chair each time the music stops.

4) Giant cards for helpers-Use large construction paper. Working in groups, have students make cards for school workers who do not always feel appreciated. Examples would be the school cafeteria workers, office workers and janitorial staff.

5) Draw the Christmas Ornament-Put several unusual Christmas ornaments in a bag. Have a student (or the teacher) draw out one ornament; make sure no one sees it. Give detailed directions on how to draw the ornament. Compare pictures to the actual item.

6) Guess the tune-Give students a numbered paper. Play snippets of Christmas songs. As the student guesses the song, they write their choice on the correct number. Check the answers at the end to see who had the most correct answers.

Dollar Store Christmas Craft for Kids-Snowmen

Who doesn't love the dollar store when it comes to holiday crafting? Classroom teachers who supplement their classroom budgets are always looking for a deal and this one provides up to 12 crafts for little more than one dollar!

You are going to need to buy bright, single-color Christmas balls, white acrylic paint, a sponge brush and a black fine-point marker. Make sure you also have soap, water and towels on hand.

This is a great project to do when you have a parent or two who really wants to help out in the classroom available. Here's how to make your snowman ornament:

1) Get white acrylic paint on the sponge brush and paint the palm and fingers of a child.

2) Have them wrap the child fingers around the bulb with his fingers pointing up.

3) Wash off the child's hands and let the ornament dry.

4) Use a thin-point marker to draw buttons, hat, mouth and eyes on the snowmen. Then add some stick hands. Use a thin orange marker to add the snowman's carrot nose.

5) Add a colorful Christmas string to hang it on the tree.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Party Game for Groups

Christmas party fun will include school activities like spelling and cooperative learning if you play this fun Christmas party game. All you need are teams with at least one good speller on each time and one card for each letter of the words CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY-one set for each team. It will also help to have a little list of possible clues-so keep reading until you get to the end.

I cut 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch card stock in half because there are 16 letters. I spelled out the words by putting one letter on each card. It looked like this:

At our party, I will give the groups the same clue at the same time. The winning team is the team that spells a work that works first. Here are some examples:

1) What does almost every child hope to get for Christmas?

is what the correct answer would look like-but allow for others answers that work!

2) What do people send to each other?             Cards

3) What are Christmas songs called?                 Carols

4) What shines in the sky?                                Stars

5) What do people do to the tree?                    Trim

6) We all look forward to Christmas____.        Day

These will get you started....think of more if you need them. For my group, 6 is about all they can handle before they will be ready to the next game.  For more classroom Christmas game ideas, check out my other blog posts. 


Easy Classroom Christmas Games Based on Santa and Crew

Christmas party games for kids need to be simple and fast-paced to keep the wiggliest of students engaged. Try some of these fun Christmas games for your class party this year.

Santa Says is based on the old game, "Simon Says," the person who is it tells everyone what to do by saying, "Santa says to..." The leader tries to trick the others by not including "Santa says" but following through with the action his or herself. Elimination games can be fun, but those who are out early miss out on the fun. If you have a large class, allow the person who is the leader to be leader for a specific time. Then, choose the next leader from those who remain standing. Make the game fun by letting "Santa" where a hat!

Candy Cane Toss: See the directions for making and playing the game at Classroom Christmas Party Game from the Dollar Store.

Santa's Helper Relay: Divide the room up into teams. If there are uneven teams, have a player go twice. You will need Christmas wrapping paper, tape, scissors and bows. At the sound of "go," the first student in each group rushes to the other side of the room where a box and all the necessary wrapping supplies are located. He wraps the present, puts on the bow and rushes back to his group. The second student rushes to the table, unwraps the present and then wraps it again. The winning team is the first team to have everyone wrap the present and return to their group.

Pin the Nose of Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer is a simple-to-make game based on Pin the Tail on the Donkey. On a piece of white foam board, project and trace a picture of Rudolph. Click here for a template that is free. Color it with markers. Cut out a strip of sticky adhesive Velcro and color it red with a marker. Stick it on Rudolph's nose. Make red nosed from cardstock or felt. Add the soft side of the Velcro to the noses. Color and add more sticky Velcro to Rudolph's body. Blind-fold each child and let them try to pin the nose in the correct place.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Inexpensive Christmas Craft

Never let an end of the year sale at a craft store get away from you. Because I went to a Michael's at the end of the season, I was able to purchase molds for Plaster of Paris Christmas ornaments, but the truth is, they weren't very expensive full-price! Those little molds help make a great, inexpensive Christmas craft!

Buy the molds and a box of Plaster of Paris. Mix it according to the directions on the box. Because I pour so many individual ornaments, I usually mix my plaster in Styrofoam cups. (If you mix plaster on top of plaster, it hardens too fast. I switch cups each time.) This time, I used an empty Almond Breeze box.

Carefully pour the mold and tap it gently to work out the air bubbles. Set it so it is flat-not at a slant.Let it set for about 10 minutes; then poke it with a toothpick to make an opening for the hook if you want to hang them on the tree. (Skip that step if you plan to turn them into magnets.) Let them set for about one hour. Carefully pop the ornament out of the mold and let it continue drying in a warm place for at least two days. In the meantime, with a free mold, you can make even more projects.

Buy both traditional Christmas paint and more modern colors, like purple and blue. Using smaller brushes, let the kids paint the ornaments any way they wish. Let them dry overnight and spary them with a coat of shellac. After they air dry, they are ready to be hung on the tree.

Monday, December 9, 2013

10 Minute Christmas Tree for the 10 Days Before School Break

Kids love advent calendars and there is an easy way you can incorporate one into your classroom. It is easy, fun and motivating all at once! The wonderful fact about the 10 minute, 10 day Christmas tree is that it truly only takes 10 minutes and doesn't have to be expensive.

To create the tree, all you need is a package of paper lunch sacks. You can use brown or white. Bows, stickers and/or Christmas stamps and tape finish the tree. Then, you will need goodies for the inside. This can be anything from Christmas candy to pencils. You decide what you want to put in it.

Open up 10 sacks and fill them with your goodies. You can draw one name a day or draw multiple names each day. For my tree, I put enough for two students in each bag because I have 20 students.

Then, fold over the top of the bag. Tape them shut. Add stickers and bows. (If you use stamps, you will want to stamp the design on the bags before you fill them.) Now you are ready to attach them to the wall. I used tape to hold my bags on the wall.

Decide what motivating factor you will use. For my students, two things we are working on is completing homework and being at school on time. Both requirements must be met the day your name is drawn. If the student didn't qualify, another name is drawn, but the original name is returned to the pot as a motivation for the next day. Others I know are using memorization work or homework for their motivation. Explain the advent calendar to the kids and begin opening a bag each day.

A special thank you to Suzy and Sandy, two of my greatest inspirations!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Classroom Christmas Party Game from the Dollar Store

If you are looking for ideas for classroom games, crafts and presents kids can make, you might want to become a follower because I will be adding several ideas this month. I say this for a reason!!!!!

Every year, I look all over for Christmas ideas for my classroom. This year, I decided to make up some of my own using items I actually bought at the 99 cent Store, but most, if not all are also available at The Dollar Tree. Christmas party games make the party more interactive than watching a I like playing games. This year, we are going to play a game that is simple to make, easy to play, but fun. 

The game is:


First, you will need to visit your local dollar store and buy the following items, unless you have them on hand:

1) Hard plastic candy canes
2) Votive candles (I bought vanilla scented
3) Holiday colored crafting pipe cleaners

Then, follow these steps and you will be ready to play!

STEP ONE: Remove the wick from the candle and hollow out a hole. I used a paint brush tip to hollow out mine. Test and make sure your hard plastic candy cane will fit inside. 

STEP TWO: Put a few drops of white school glue into the candle and press the candy cane into place. Set it aside and let it dry.

STEP THREE: Use three different colors of pipe cleaners to make the rings. Twist two pipe cleaners together by laying one color halfway up a second color and begin twisting. When you reach the end, hook a third color to the short pipe cleaner and continue twisting it with the remaining long piece. At the end of the shorter pipe cleaner, twist all three pieces together. Fluff it out into a circle. Now, make more. 

Once the glue is dry and the rings are made, your game is ready for action. My idea is to make five candy cane stands and give each child three rings. The winner is the one who get the most rings. Candy canes, in my mind, are the perfect prizes.