Christmas Party Ideas
Here's a really fun idea for a Christmas party that takes a bit of preparation, but is well worth it! To pull this one off, you'll need someone who doesn't mind walking around your town dressed like Santa, someone to film them, and someone who can do some basic video editing. It's actually a LOT of fun to make the video. People young and old are all so excited to see Santa!
A few days (or weeks) before the party, shoot a video of Santa coming to the Christmas party. Film Santa arriving at the wrong location, and then film Santa going all over the neighborhood looking for the party. Film Santa in a lot of places that will be familiar to the students (the local park, shops near your school, the bank, the post office, the local kindergartens or elementary schools, the bus stop/train station, etc.). Then film Santa arriving in front of the building where your party will be.
After you have filmed all of this footage of Santa around town, edit the video into 4 or 5 different segments, and separate the segments with some static fuzz (an effect you can add with some basic video editing software). When you show the video at the party, you will act as if this is live footage of Santa looking for the party.
At the party, you will need to set up some way to view the video. You can burn it to a DVD and show it on a TV, or run your computer through a projector onto a big screen.
Here's how you will use the video at the party:
Santa Claus is coming!
1) Mingling and Pictures - 10 minutes
We always like to leave a little time at the beginning of parties to talk with all of the students and their families, and to take pictures. Many our students like to wear special holiday outfits, so it's a lot of fun for them to show their friends and have pictures taken.
2) Greeting and Hello Song - 5 minutes
To quickly gather everyone together, we like to sing "Please Sit Down (And Storytime Music)" from Super Simple Songs One. When our students hear that, they know it's time to have a seat and listen up. Welcome everyone with a big "Merry Christmas!" and then sing "Hello, Reindeer" together.
3) Santa video segment #1 - 5 minutes
Tell the children, "I heard Santa Claus is coming to the party! Do you want to meet Santa?! Let's see where he is. Santa...! Oh, Santa...!" Turn on the video and show Santa arriving at the wrong location. Tell the kids, "Oh no! Santa is at the wrong place! Santa!!!! We're over here!" Watch the video until the end of that first segment and say, "Oh no, I hope Santa can find us! I have a good idea! Maybe if we sing REALLY loud, he'll hear us! Can you sing really loud? Let's sing!"
4) Song - 5 minutes
Sing one of your favorite Christmas songs. It's always great to start off a Christmas party with "Jingle Bells.” The Super Simple Songs - Christmas version is in a call-and-response format so everyone will be able to sing along. If possible, practice the song during class time in the weeks leading up to the party.
5) Santa video segment #2 - 5 minutes
Tell everyone, "Let's check back and see where Santa is, okay? Can you help me call him? Santa! Santa!!" Turn on the video and show segment #2. As the video is playing, narrate it to add useful language for the students. "No, Santa! Don't go to the park! Oh no, he's going on the slide! Look, Santa is on the swings."
You can add little touches to the video to make it even more fun. For example, when filming the video, have Santa answer a mobile phone. Then, when you watch the video during your party, pretend to call Santa at one point and tell him to hurry up ^_^.
6) Song - 5 minutes
Tell everyone, "I don't think Santa heard us. Maybe we need to sing another song?" Try "I'm A Little Snowman" from Super Simple Songs - Christmas. (Any song is okay here, but we like to choose one that ties together with a craft we'll be making later in the party.)
7) Santa video segment #3 - 5 minutes
Check back with Santa on the video. He should be getting closer now!
8) Make Christmas Tree ornaments - 15 minutes
Tell everyone, "Maybe if we decorate the Christmas tree, Santa will be able to find us easier. Let's make some Christmas tree ornaments!" There are a lot of simple Christmas crafts you can make. If you have a large party with a lot of young kids, you'll want to keep the craft very simple. Before our party starts, we set up craft tables with all of the necessary materials all ready to go. Then, when it is time to make the ornaments, we pull out the tables and have all of the students take a seat.
Sticking with the snowman theme, a snowman ornament is very easy to make. You'll need white and black construction paper, glue sticks, a hole punch, stickers and/or crayons, and twist ties. You can also take an extra step and prepare some small scarves made of yarn ^_^. Since we usually have large parties, we like to keep it as simple as possible by doing all of the cutting beforehand. But if you have a smaller party and a little more time, you can let the students do the cutting and hole-punching.
a) Before the party, for each student, cut one large circle and one medium circle from white construction paper, and cut a top hat from the black construction paper. (If you like, you can cut out some small carrot noses from orange construction paper.) If you'd like the snowman to have three circles, cut out one more small white circle for each student. Be sure to cut out plenty of extras. Make several demonstration snowman crafts to use as examples.
b) Set up craft areas for all of the students. Put all of the materials in the center of the table. Show the students your example snowman and then let them make their own! You can provide basic instructions ("Everybody take two white circles. Glue them together,” etc.). Or, you can let students figure it out on their own. It's so simple it doesn't need much instruction. If possible, have a teacher or parent at each table to help out the youngest students. (Alternatively, you can just have paper and scissors at each table and let the kids cut out their own circles and hats. Supervise closely ^_^). Be sure to circulate and talk with the students about their snowman crafts.
e) If you would like to hang these crafts on the Christmas tree, use a hole-punch to make a hole on the top of the snowman's hat, and then run a twist tie through the hole. Make sure students write their names on their crafts!
f) Hang the decorations on a Christmas tree. At our parties we usually have an artificial Christmas tree we all decorate together. If you don't have a Christmas tree, you can make a simple paper tree with green paper and tape it to the wall.
9) Santa video segment #4 - 5 minutes
After you've decorated the tree, check in to see where Santa is. This time Santa should be approaching the party, coming right up to the door outside the building. "Look! Santa is almost here!"
10) Song - 5 minutes
Tell the students, "I think he's here! Is he here? Where is Santa?" Start the music for "Santa, Where Are You?" from Super Simple Songs - Christmas and sing together. At the end of the song when everyone sings "Santa!” Santa Claus can enter the room! It's a really great way for Santa to make his entrance.
11) SANTA! - 20 minutes
Have an area prepared for Santa to sit and give presents to each of the students. If you have a large party, you'll want to split the party into two groups. One group gets presents from Santa while the other group plays a game or sings songs in another part of the room. Then switch. This will keep students from getting restless as they wait for their turn to meet Santa. Be sure to have your camera ready to get pictures of each of the students with Santa!
12) Song and Goodbyes - 5 minutes
After Santa has left, thank everyone for coming, wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and sing a goodbye song. We recommend "Goodbye, Snowman." Remind students to get their crafts from the Christmas tree.