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5 ideas to manage the holiday classroom parties for kids

Classroom parties
Photo by Eamonn McCormack

Classroom parties bring great joy to kids and kids look forward to the holiday party weeks in advance, but for classroom teachers the classroom parties can be a source of stress and anxiety.

Classroom teachers want their students to have the best holiday party possible but lack of time, money and efficient planning can cause a well-meaning activity to become a source of discontent.

As a classroom teacher, I have had many years of experience in dealing with holiday classroom parties and from trial and error; I have found certain aspects of party planning and ideas for a successful classroom party that work really well.

Here you will find 5 classroom holiday party ideas that have been successful and have worked really well in terms of the kids having a great time while the classroom teacher keeping sane.

Recruit a Mom or Dad to be the head party planner

Before every holiday classroom party, I would have quite a few parents who wanted to volunteer to help with the party, I was so grateful for the help that I of course said yes to all of them. However, I soon found that I was getting multiple calls and notes from the volunteers asking a variety of questions about food and games and anything related to the classroom party. Returning phone calls and writing notes plus organizing everyone's ideas and requests soon took a large amount of my time. I finally came to realize that the most efficient way to mainstream everyone's thoughts and ideas and to take the responsibility away from me was to recruit a really dependable and organized Mom or Dad to be the head party planner and go to person. Most of the time, this one person handled my classroom parties for the entire year, but if you are getting a tremendous response from parents for volunteering, you may want to consider recruiting a different Mom or Dad for each holiday party to be the head party planner. The little adjustment of recruiting a Mom or Dad to be the head party planner made all the difference in the world in allowing me to be the best teacher I could be while still making sure the kids were going to have an outstanding classroom holiday party.

Serve only one or two treats

So many times I have witnessed the number of treats being served at the holiday classroom party to be overwhelming, there are so many sweets offered that kids do not know where to start and end up throwing away the majority of the food. Consider serving only one or two treats so that kids can enjoy what they are given and the cost of supplying treats will be substantially less.

Offer a craft type activity

Keeping the kids engaged and their hands busy is important in having a successful holiday classroom party. Most kids enjoy holiday crafts and making sure that kids are guided in the use of their time is imperative during classroom parties. During my early years of teaching, I did not think to plan any type of activity for the holiday parties and when the kids were left unguided, things in the classroom became out of control.

Party at the end of the school day

Kids tend to get a little wound up during the classroom party and once the sugar kicks in, kids can get especially excited. I found having the holiday classroom party during the last hour of the school day to be the best time, as you can send the kids home once the party is over. As a classroom teacher, it is better to let the parents deal with the after excitement effects of the holiday party.

Leave time for clean-up

Be sure to leave about 15 minutes for clean-up, kids can and should help to clean up after the holiday party is over. Plan on stopping the classroom party about 15 minutes before school gets out and start the clean-up process. As a classroom teacher, you do not want to be caught at school for a couple hours cleaning up the mess that your classroom students made, so be sure to hold the kids accountable for their own messes.