Looking to avoid all the stress that comes with parties this time of year and embrace the FUN instead? Then you definitely need to read these holiday party tips for kindergarten teachers. Help create a more manageable classroom celebration so you can focus on engaging activities with these teacher-tested and approved tips and tricks! Keep reading for help with prep, food, games, sign-ups, and more!
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Stress-Free Holiday Party
Did this holiday season kind of sneak up on you? After the crafts, candy, themed days, music, gifts, presentations, and more, you’re probably looking forward to starting your break. There’s one last thing to think about though- your class holiday party! Parties can be super stressful, but with a bit of prep ahead of time, they don’t have to be! Here are some holiday party tips for kindergarten teachers that will make the day enjoyable for you AND your class.
Tip #1: Create a Sign-Up
Having parents sign up to bring in treats and materials for your party will take a huge stress off you. You can make it as simple or detailed as you like. The example shared kept it simple so parents can choose their own ideas in that category. Don’t forget to add paper plates and napkins so you don’t have to provide those! Using a free service like Sign-Up Genius where you can send emails or share the link on Class Dojo will help keep track of who has signed up for what item.
Tip #2: Invite Families
Some teachers prefer not to have families at the school during parties, and that’s perfectly ok! However, we like to suggest inviting parents to come so they can help you run stations/centers! They can also be in charge of handing out food, cleaning up, and packing up the students. Many hands make light work on this day!
Tip #3: Plan Activities Ahead Of Time
The best way to cut down on chaos, disorganization, and noise is to have timed centers. Students can be split into small groups and rotate around to each spot, with adult volunteers at each. You’ll want to have engaging activities but not something brand new to introduce. If you’ve never played BINGO in class, too much time will be spent explaining the rules and not actually playing. Some great station/center ideas are:
- Food: Have all the food set up at one table so students can eat during this station. Your parent volunteers can have plates ready to hand out when they sit down. With the signup, keep it simple by saying salty snacks, sweet snacks, and drinks. This gives families the freedom to choose what they want. If you would like specific snacks, you can detail them with cupcakes, chips, string cheese, applesauce, etc. If you want each station to be short, try avoiding foods that are time-consuming to eat or messy.
- Coloring/Drawing: Check out these super fun Winter Directed Drawings for a fun-themed drawing they can color afterward. Or you can print out a variety of coloring pages for them to choose from.
- Game: Minute to Win It games are always a huge hit with students! Check out some of these Christmas/Winter ones that are perfect for a class party! Some other suggestions are “Pin the Nose on the Snowman” which can be made easily with construction paper. Holiday bowling is where you draw snowmen on plastic cups and stack them up to roll small bowls to knock them over. Or try this adorable Reindeer Games Activity Book if you want the students to be sitting down.
- Craft: Plan a fun, but easy craft that students can bring home with them as a keepsake. These plastic cup ornaments are easy to start in class at a station, and the free printable includes all the directions for families to finish the process at home. Or make this sweet card with their fingerprints that look like Christmas lights. Have “love printed” out ahead of time with an example. THen parent volunteers can help students paint their fingers and wipe them off with baby wipes.
- Read-Aloud: Have a parent sit in a comfy spot in the classroom and read a fun holiday book to the students for this station. “Pete the Cat Saves Christmas”, “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bell”, and “The Littlest Elf” are some class favorites! You should also check out this article with a list of some amazing multicultural books about different holiday traditions around the world.
The MOST IMPORTANT Holiday Party Tip
The last, and most important tip, is to HAVE FUN! With all of these tricks and plans ahead of time, your party is bound to be fun and memorable. Don’t forget, you’ve worked really hard and deserve to have a great day, too. You’re creating memories that your students are going to remember forever. Thanks for taking the effort, time, and heart to create such wonderful memories! If you have any other suggestions, please share them in our Simply Kinder Teacher Group on Facebook.
This post was written by Johanna, an experienced early elementary teacher who loves learning about new teaching ideas for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!