I had so many photo shoots and hours of editing in the fall (in an attempt to earn more for our adoption) that I didn't plan much in the way of fun Christmas activities for the kids. To make it up to them, I decided to put on a small, simple Christmas party for them. They each invited five friends.
As the guests came in, I had a little "photo booth" set up (peg board with wrapping paper taped on) along with some props that I have bought in previous years at Target after clearance Christmas. The kids had a blast striking poses and being ridiculous.
Then they went into the kitchen where I had glass plates for them to decorate for Santa's cookies. I bought the plates at the dollar store and had the kids use ceramic pens (from Michael's) to decorate them. Ceramic pens aren't supposed to fade like a Sharpie would. When the kids were done, the plates were placed in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. They turned out so cute! Of course, there were a lot of Minecraft themed plates from the boys.
After plate decorating, we headed upstairs for a couple of games.
I taped a line down the middle of the room and we played boys against girls. I dumped an equal amount of dollar store gift bows on the boy/girl sides and then explained that they were to try to throw as many bows to other team's side as they could in two minutes. Whoever had the least amount of bows on their side when the timer went off, won the game. It was a huge hit!. We played this game about four times because the kids liked it so much. The kids told me that it's also called "Take Out the Trash."
Again split into boy and girl teams, I had a bowl of charade prompts and everyone had to act them out for each other. I found some great charades ideas online. The main one I used was from here. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of charades.
While I was finishing up charades, Zak was downstairs setting up for ice cream cone tree decorating. Originally I was going to have the kids decorate gingerbread houses, but this seemed so much easier. I purchased large plastic containers (tall enough for an ice cream cone) at Dollar Tree. Then I had Zak drill holes in the bottom and looped a ribbon through so the kids could carry them. I got the brilliant idea here. Before the party, I made frosting that hardens (like you would use on a gingerbread house) and "glued" a cone to each lid. I gave each child green frosting, mini M&M's, candy rope, red hots, and a few other small "ornament" looking candy to decorate their trees.
Right before parents arrived, we had a gift exchange. I asked each guest to bring a wrapped present for a boy (if they were a boy) or girl (if a girl) under $5. The boys sat in a circle and the girls in a circle. I read this version of Twas The Night Before Christmas (though it's very long, so skip some of the "LEFT" and "RIGHT" if you are short on time). Be sure that the kids playing know their right from their left. Frankly, these guys are all old enough that they should, but there was still mass confusion. I don't know if we'll do this again-there was some whining about gifts and I'm just not sure we need more presents at Christmas. I think the party would have been just as fun without a gift exchange.
Having a Kid Christmas Party was a ton of fun (and really didn't take much prep). Hoping to make it a yearly tradition!