Easy Ideas for Classroom Parties

cheers to winter

We’re working moms who also do our best to volunteer at our kids’ schools. Because we like games, obviously, we typically volunteer to help with the classroom parties. This involves scouring the internet for the best ideas that are also inclusive of everyone’s traditions, inexpensive, and easy to execute. We’ve compiled our favorite ideas into one post so you don’t have to do the internet scouring.

GAMES AND ACTIVITIES

Snowman Slam

snowman slam

Best For Grades 2 – 5

You will need:

  • White Styrofoam cups
  • Black and orange construction paper or craft foam
  • White socks or indoor snowballs like these
  • Scissors and glue

For each game, you will do the following:

  • Decorate six white cups like snowmen using the black and orange craft foam or construction paper.
  • Tightly ball up three white socks if making your own snowballs

How to play:

  • Be sure to make two or more sets of the game, depending on how many teams you will have.
  • Divide the class into teams of equal numbers.
  • Set the cups up the same distance from each team and mark the line where the students must throw from.
  • Each student throws snowballs until knocking down all cups. If the student doesn’t knock them down in three tries, the student retrieves the snowballs and keeps throwing. After knocking them all down, the student resets the cups, retrieves the snowballs, and hands the snowballs to the next student.
  • The last team member must knock the cups down, reset them, and return to the throw line with all three snowballs.

Idea from www.growingajeweledrose.com

Snowman, Snowman, Where Is Your Nose?

snowman

Best for Grades K – 2

You will need:

  • A fake carrot, small enough to hide in a child’s hand.

How to play:

  • Have the students sit or stand in a circle.
  • Choose one child to be the snowman and stand or sit in the center of the circle with his or her eyes covered.
  • Give the carrot to one child, who is to hide it behind his or her back. All other children also have their hands behind their backs.
  • All kids chant, “Snowman, Snowman, Where is Your Nose?”
  • The snowman uncovers his or her eyes and guesses who has the nose. The snowman has three guesses.
  • The child who was holding the nose becomes the next snowman.

Idea from www.kidactivities.net

Draw a Snowman on Your Head

Snowman chalk

Best for Grades 3 – 5

You will need:

  • White paper plates
  • Pens, pencils, crayons, or markers

How to play:

  • Everyone is given a pen, pencil, marker or crayon and a paper plate. They place the paper plate on their heads. The host gives a series of instructions. Without looking, the players draw what the host says onto their own plates, which remain on top of their heads. After all instructions have been followed, they share what they have drawn. Everyone votes for the best (or funniest).

Instructions for host to read:

  1. Draw a line for the ground.
  2. Draw a large snowball for the base.
  3. Draw a medium snowball on top of the base snowball.
  4. Draw a small snowball on top of the medium snowball – the small snowball is the head.
  5. Draw a carrot nose.
  6. Draw two eyes.
  7. Draw a mouth of dots.
  8. Draw a scarf at the neck.
  9. Draw two stick arms.
  10. Draw a top hat on top of the head.

Idea from www.simplefunkidparties.net

Dreidel

dreidel 2

You will need:

  • Dreidels – enough for however many groups will be playing at once
  • Gelt or other small items like chocolate chips, raisins, Skittles, M&M’s (10 – 15 items per player)
  • Printed instructions for how to read a Dreidel. The one above can be found and printed here.

How to play:

  • Any number of people can play, but it is easier if you keep the groups small if many have never played.
  • Each player begins with an equal number of game pieces (the gelt or other item) – 10 – 15 each
  • At the beginning of every round, all participants put one game piece into the center “pot.” Also, every time the pot is empty or has only one game piece left, every player puts one game piece into the pot.
  • Players take turns spinning the dreidel once. Depending on where it lands, the player gives/takes game pieces to/from the pot. Use the sheet above for instructions.
  • If a player runs out of game pieces, he or she is out.
  • When one person has won everything, the game is over.

Winter Dress Relay

winter relay race

 

Best for Grades 2 – 5

You will need:

  • 2 sets of winter clothes (coats, hats, scarves, mittens, boots, snow pants, etc.)

How to play:

  • Divide students into two teams and have each team form a single file line behind the starting line.
  • Matching piles of winter clothes are at the other end of the room.
  • The students race, one at a time, to the pile of clothing, and put on each item. Once all items are on, they must take them off again and then race back to tag the next person in line.
  • The team that finishes first wins.

Idea from www.culdesaccool.com

Bingo

bingo

Everyone knows how to play Bingo, but making the cards is time-consuming. We found this version at www.teacherspayteachers.com. It’s only $4 and has 30 unique cards. Even better, it includes items for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, so it’s an inclusive game that can teach the kids about all three.

Freeze Dance or Musical Chairs

Looking for a way to get kids to the food line without causing a backup? Play a game like freeze dance or musical chairs – whenever someone gets out, he or she goes and gets food. This will help keep kids active, keep the line moving, and prevent upset when kids get out. You could also add a book exchange – all kids bring a book and, whenever they get out, they pick a book and then get in the food line.

CRAFTS

I frequently buy the easy packs of foam crafts from the store, because they are easy and not very expensive. If you are looking for something a little more crafty, here are a few ideas.

Melting Snowman Ornament

Melted Snowman Ornament

Because of the hot glue, a parent will need to help if doing this in the classroom. Otherwise, this can be made ahead as an item for the kids to take home. Alternatively, you can try it with regular glue; we aren’t sure if that will work, though.

You will need:

  • White felt – can be scrap pieces
  • Small scrap pieces of felt in blue or black for eyes
  • Small scrap pieces of felt in orange for nose
  • Black permanent marker (used for mouth)
  • Brown pipe cleaner
  • Floral wire and ribbon or twine
  • Hot glue
  • Small Styrofoam balls

Instructions

  • Cut out a white piece of felt into a puddle like shape.
  • Hot glue the Styrofoam ball to the felt.
  • Hot glue the eyes and nose to the ball.
  • Using a marker, draw on the mouth.
  • Using pipe cleaner, make stick arms and hot glue it to the felt.
  • Make a “U” shape with the floral wire and stick it into the Styrofoam ball head. Use twine or ribbon to make a loop for hanging.

Idea from www.bacontimewiththehungryhype.com

Beaded Candy Cane Ornament

Beaded candy cane ornament

You will need:

  • 1 package (25 pc.) green chenille pipe cleaners, 12″ x 6mm
  • 1 package pony beads — red, 6×9 mm – enough for 11 per student
  • 1 package pony beads — white, 6×9 mm – enough for 11 per student

Instructions:

  • Cut the pipe cleaners in half using wire cutters or old scissors (do this in advance).
  • Slide one bead to the end of a pipe cleaner; turn the pipe cleaner end around the bead to keep it in place.
  • Alternate red and white beads until the pipe cleaner is full. Turn the pipe cleaner end around the last bead.
  • Bend it into a candy cane shape and hang on your tree or use as a gift wrapping decoration.

Idea from www.fountainavenuekitchen.com

Kwanzaa Bracelet

Kwanzaa-Bracelet

This Kwanzaa bracelet can be made and worn as a reminder to observe the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.

You will need:

  • Pipe cleaner, leather strip, or other item that can be used as a bracelet
  • 3 red, 3 green, and 2 black pony beads per bracelet

Instructions:

  • If using a pipe cleaner, place 3 green, 1 black, and 3 red beads on the pipe cleaner, in that order. Turn the ends of the pipe cleaner together to make a circle – be sure the child’s hand can slide in and out of the circle.
  • If using a leather strip, place 3 green, 1 black, and 3 red beads on the pipe cleaner, in that order. Run both ends of the strip through the other black bead, then tie the ends so the bead won’t fall off.

Learn more about Kwanzaa at www.123playandlearn.com

Jingle Bells

Jingle-Bell

What you need:

  • Fuzzy sticks
  • Jingle Bells

Instructions:

  • Thread the jingle bells onto the fuzzy sticks (however many you want).
  • Once done, twist the ends until secure, to make a circle (you may need to cut excess wires off).
  • Tie another fuzzy stick at the top to make a bow.

Idea from www.thejoysofboys.com

FOOD IDEAS

Brownies are my go to item for school parties. I make them in muffin pans lined with silicone cupcake holders so there is nothing to cut (remove the silicone holders before taking them to school – they are reusable). Sometimes I go crazy and make half brownie, half chocolate chip cookie. Sometimes I put a dob of icing on each and top the icing with candy. But, some people like to be craftier with food, so here are a few food ideas, with links to the websites with instructions.

String Cheese Snowmanstring cheese snowman

Mini Strawberry Santas

strawberry santas

Grinch Pretzels and other Grinch Snacks

Grinch Pretzel Bites

Snowman Popcorn Cups

snowman popcorn cups

Melting Snowman Cookies

melting snowman cookies

FOR THE ADULTS

If you’ve ever put on a classroom party, you know that you need some adult time afterword to both reflect on how awesome teachers are and to recover your sanity!

We recommend playing One Up This. Your first round can be stories about who had the craziest class party! Get your copy here

 

 

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