Inside: Host a classroom holiday party in your kids’ classrooms or scout groups with low-prep, low-mess, low-cost games, activities, and crafts.
Most room parents are busy planning or scrambling to plan, the very best, most awesome holiday party for their kids’ classrooms.
And I was tasked with the same job, but for my kids’ whole school. Too many classes were getting magical parties and others were getting normal parties and others were getting something thrown together at the last second. Some parties cost hundreds of dollars, and some parties were low-budget (and rightfully so).
So to even the playing field, the PTA at my kids’ last school had one parent-me-create and prep the class parties. Every kid in Kindergarten-2nd grade got the same party and every kid in 3rd-5th got an older kid party.
And my budget was tight. Supplies for 500+ kids and I spent about $200.
So if you have a winter holiday party to plan for a classroom, for a scout troop, or for a family reunion, here are some of the best activities because they are:
- super fun,
- winter-themed activities (not Christmas)
- perfect for large groups.
Winter-themed Classroom Party Ideas Kids and Teachers Love:
Snowman Project Glyph Art
A glyph is made out of smaller pictures that tell a story, similar to hieroglyphics.
This is a following directions activity that is simple enough for a Kindergartener, but fun enough for fifth graders.
And there is no right or wrong way to create this snowman craft because kids are answering about themselves.
You’ll need a snowman template, glyph directions, and Name a Snowman sheet. Get the full directions and the 3 free printables for the Snowman Project here.
Winter-themed Holiday Games:
Toss the Marshmallow
Each kiddo playing gets 6 large marshmallows and toss the marshmallows into a large hot cocoa mug. Remind them to use gentle tosses and you can keep score if you’d like or just let them toss and try to make it in. Rotate kids until everyone has had a turn. Let kids have an extra turn as time allows.
Simon says game but with a winter twist. Have them all stand and remind them of the rules. If “Snowman says ____,” they do it. But if you just tell them to jump without saying “Snowman Says jump,” they have to freeze for 30 seconds.
Some ideas to call out: hop, hop on one leg, jump, sit, stand, spin, dance, freeze, be a snowman, be a robot, touch their arm, nose, head, toes, etc. As you call it, make sure you randomly throw in directions without the “Snowman says.”
On 6 styrofoam cups, draw 2 coal eyes, a carrot nose, and a coal smile.
Stack the 6 snowman cups up into a pyramid (3 on the bottom, 2 in the middle, 1 on top). Have the kids stand back and roll or toss a ping ball to try to knock over the most number of snowmen.
Have the kids count the number they knock down and then rebuild the snowman stack for the next person in line.
Blow the Snowball Races
Each student will need one straw and cotton balls. Students will blow a cotton ball across a desk to another student on the other side who will catch it in a cup. They can race each other or see how many they can catch in the cup in a short amount of time. Remind students to throw away their straw when they’re done.
Split your group into two teams and have each student put a ball between their legs (between their knees and ankles) so they waddle like a penguin. Have them put on one oven mitt (so they have a penguin wing) and have them use a large cooking spoon to carry a whiffle or styrofoam ball across the room and turn around. Then have them waddle back to the start line and pass off the ball, the oven mitt, the “snowball,” and the spoon to the next kid in line.
Save the Snowman
Set up a plastic cup and balance wooden dowel sticks or lollipop sticks across the top of the cup.
Place a snowman-decorated cup on top of the sticks. One by one, slowly and carefully remove a stick without toppling over the snowman. When the snowman falls, you can rebuild the game and play again.
Stack a Snowman
Give each child a stack of mini marshmallows. Remind them not to eat them! Have them try to build the tallest snowman they can without it toppling over. Have them spend the time trying new ways to balance the marshmallows to see who can make the tallest one.
Give each child a straw and a stack of marshmallows. They will take the straw, touch it to a marshmallow and suck in until they move the marshmallow over a cup. Once the marshmallow is over the cup, they can stop sucking in and the marshmallow will drop into the cup. Remind them not to eat the marshmallows and throw away the straw when their time is up.
Who Am I?
Tape a piece of paper to the back of every child’s back, near the neck of their shirt with one winter-themed word on each one.
They are going to go around the room asking their friends questions that will help them figure out what/who they are. Give them ideas by reminding them about the game 20 questions or HeadBandz: Am I a person? Am I a place? Am I a food? Am I an animal? Can you wear me?
They can ask anyone a yes/no question, but will also have to answer other people’s questions also. Once they figure out what/who they are, they can help by just answering questions. At the end of the time, ask if anyone knows what they are and then have them take off their sheets to check.
Some winter words to use: snowman, sled, mittens, icicle, snowboarding, hot cocoa, ice skates, scarf, snow boots, snowshoeing, tubing, etc.
Plan Extra Time Activities:
One of the hardest parts of hosting a party for a large group of kids is time management. Some things you think will take a few minutes can take forever and activities you assume will take a while will be done in minutes.
Always have a backup plan in your pocket you can pull out.
I usually bring a good winter-themed story to read like these:
And I have a few zero-prep games ready to go like these:
Snowman Freeze Dance
Bring in winter-themed music like Frosty the Snowman or Let it Snow or Jingle Bells and let the kids play freeze dance until the time runs out. Remind them to freeze like a snowman when the music stops.
Use any of the words from “Who Am I?” and have them act out the winter-themed words.
More great winter-themed ideas that might help you plan your classroom holiday party:
Are you looking for more ideas or do you need more quiet activities for kids who need some down time?
Do you want to build a snowman? This sweet invitation to craft a snowman from Fun With Mama will be a hit.
Teach kiddos how to fold a square white piece of paper into an origami Polar Bear from Red Ted Art.
Set up a coloring spot with these gorgeous and free winter-themed coloring pages from Kiddy Charts.
Help kids make Snowflake Crowns using doilies from Pink Stripey Socks.
Make snowflake ornaments out of puzzle pieces from A Dab of Glue Will Do (with the glitter, this is not low-mess, but if you cover the area well with a plastic table cloth, you can roll up the mess when you’re done).
With these fun games, crafts, and winter activities, the winter-themed classroom holiday party will be a success and you’ll be crowned room mom of the year.