Kids love the holidays if for no other reason than they look forward to being out of school. Christmas parties enliven the time they are away from school and at home, and these parties can help kids practice their social skills while having fun at the same time. Instead of having the kids play video games or watch television during the parties, try Christmas activities. They help keep kids active while avoiding sedentary lifestyles.
Candy Cane Relay Race
Set up your relay race outside, or you can stay indoors if the kids are young. Choose teams as evenly matched as possible to make the competition fair. After each player runs the course and returns to the starting line, the candy cane is passed to the next player in line, who repeats running the case. The first team to have all players complete the course wins and gets to eat a candy cane.
This is the Christmas version of Simon Says. A parent or caregiver dresses as Santa Claus and gives commands such as, “Hop on one foot,” or “Take one giant step forward.” If Santa doesn’t precede the command with “Santa says” the children should not obey the command. Anyone who obeys a wrong command is out of the game. The last one standing wins a prize.
During the course of the Christmas party, this can be an ongoing activity while there are other activities going on. A secret paper snowman with tape is shown to all the children at the start of the Christmas party. Explain that someone will be trying to tape the snowman to the back of a child during the party. If someone finds the snowman on her back, she can remove it and try to stick it on the back of a different child. This activity can lead to lots of giggles over the course of the party.
Stuff the Santa
Break candy canes into different lengths and have the kids choose a cane while closing their eyes. The child with the shortest cane gets to be Santa. The child dons the Santa costume, which works better for this activity if it is oversized. The other kids then take turns trying to stuff blown-up balloons into the clothing, essentially stuffing the Santa costume with balloons. The last kid able to stuff a balloon is the winner.
Briefly show the kids a mistletoe sprig. Don’t tell them the reason for showing them, though. Afterward, kids take written guesses as to how many berries were on the sprig. The kid with the closest guess is the winner and is awarded a prize.