Activities & Crafts for Your Winter Holiday Class Party
Invite kids to design their own whimsical, wintry snowflake patterns using a variety of macaroni shapes, like pasta wheels and shells - great for fine motor skills. Or, if you're short on time (and can't wait for the glue to dry), you can assemble and glue the snowflakes ahead of time. Children can then customize their own flakes with paint colors, glitter, ribbons (to hang as ornaments) or magnets (to hang on the fridge). Get the how-to over at katyelliott.com.
Candy Cane, Chocolate and Gingerbread Playdough Free Play
This candy cane playdough recipe from artfulparent.com is a super easy dough you can make ahead of time...it even smells like peppermint, thanks to a few drops of peppermint oil! Kids can twist the red and white dough into candy cane shapes and candies. Supply them with clear cellophane and ties and invite them to make and wrap their own peppermint candies, too! (If you prefer a no cook candy cane playdough recipe, you can get that over at growingajeweledrose.com.)
You could also add a chocolate playdough to the mix and invite kids to make boxes of holiday "candy" using empty chocolate boxes (wrappers included!). If you're unable to empty (ahem) 5-10 boxes of chocolates yourself, simply ask parents to bring in any they might have left over from the holidays. Kids can work together in groups of 2-4 to make their own candies, and assemble them in their very own "Winter Candy Land" box of chocolates!
Bring gingerbread man cookie cutters along and make this great gingerbread playdough mix from sweetsugarbelle.com.
Snow Globe in a Jar
Kids love snow globes. Invite them to make their own winter wonderland scene using a variety of tiny trees, people, animals, houses -- and, of course -- glitter! If mason jars are too large or too pricey for your budget, small baby food jars work great too. Here's a simple tutorial from julieannart.com.
Penguin Water Bottle Activity
This fun, relatively mess-free craft is a great way to recycle all those empty plastic water bottles! Make a colony of penguins using a few simple recyclables and supplies. Get the how-to.
Make Your Own Fake Snow
How cool would it be for kids to make their own snow (and tiny little snowmen!) -- especially if you live in an area that never sees the real thing? This recipe from pagingfunmums.com is super easy...and by super easy, we mean just two ingredients!
Jingle Bell Rock
See how many jingle bells kids can dance out of a tissue box in one minute with this fun game from dixiedelights.blogspot.com! Don't forget to download your free "Jingle Bell Rock" activity table tent printable.
Make Your Own Snowman Factory
Invite kids to decorate their miniature playdough snowmen using a variety of twigs, eyes, ribbons, buttons and more! Get the how-to over at buggyandbuddy.com.
For the activity table: download your free "Snowman Factory" sign
Who says you need snow to make an igloo? Let your young builders create their own masterpieces with our fun marshmallow igloo activity.
Make Your Own Snow Ice Cream
Puzzle Piece Snowflakes
Everyone's got puzzles that are a few pieces short of the full picture. This craft from redtedart.com is a great way to reuse puzzle pieces that lost their mates. Bring along some glue and glitter to give your snowflakes some sparkle!
Make a Healthy Gingerbread House
There's nothing quite as festive as decorating a gingerbread house with candy, but our creativity is often challenged by the insatiable desire to devour the candy cane lamp posts and the marshmallow snow piles and the gum drop pavers (the list goes on). Offering healthy decorative options to kids -- like almonds, cranberries, banana chips, dried fruit strips, popcorn, coconut flakes, pretzel sticks, sun flower and pumpkin seeds, a variety of dried beans, and popped pop corn -- allows them to use their creativity without comprising their health. You can get easy to assemble gingerbread houses at Ikea and invite kids to make their own houses, or encourage them to work in teams. An even simple, more cost effective option is to skip the gingerbread altogether and use graham cracker cookie sheets instead.
Igloo Making (Two Ways)
To make a classroom igloo like this one from survivingateacherssalary.com, you'll need about 270 plastic jugs and some hot glue -- so get the word out early to parents to start saving their water and milk jugs! Bring a few books inside to inspire kids to read about Eskimo life, like Living in the Arctic, Miki and The Polar Bear Son: An Intuit Tale.
You can also have kids try making their own table top igloos out of ice cubes and salt! This activity is great for older kids. Get the simple how-to at brightideaspress.com.
Sparkling Crystal Snowflakes
These crystal snowflakes made of pipe cleaners and beads are festive, fun, and don't require a lot of preparation. Get the how-to.
Silver Bells Matching Game
This simple and festive memory game from icanteachmychild.com uses Hershey Kisses, dot stickers and a Sharpie.
Easy Snowman Activity
This easy build-a-snowman activity using cotton balls doesn't require a lot of prep or cleanup.
See how many marshmallows kids can successfully throw into a bucket on their friends' heads with this fun Snow Throw game from dixiedelights.blogspot.com! Don't forget to download your free "Snow Throw" activity table tent printable.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, Penguin
Play this game as you would Duck, Duck, Goose, but have the players waddle around the circle like penguins while saying "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, Penguin!" instead of "Duck, Duck, Goose!".
Snow Man Wrap Race
Here's another fun activity from dixiedelights.blogspot.com: kids race to wrap their classmates in toilet paper and top with a scarf and hat! Don't forget to download your free "Wrap Race" activity table tent printable.