Just because my kids don't attend a traditional school does not mean that they can not enjoy some of the fun of special holiday parties and group programs. One of our favorite holiday happenings is to get together with our homeschool co-op to celebrate with a kid-friendly Christmas party.
In 2011, we headed to the Announcer's home to play some spirited games, exchange gifts, and binge on chocolate!
We began the morning with a retelling of the Christmas story. The Architect's wife read key passages while the children each took turns placing corresponding figures onto an Advent calendar.
Next, I rallied the kids to play the Snowman Dice Game.
To Play Snowman Dice:
You will need:3 sheets of paper, markers for drawing, and a dice.
Draw a simple snowman on a large sheet of paper. Label each of his body parts with the following numbers:
- Torso & Stomach Buttons-4
- Stick Arms-6
Instructions:Divide the group into two teams. (Optional: Give each team a fun Christmas name and label each of the blank posters with the team names) Choose one team to start the game. A player from the starting team rolls the dice. The dice numbers correspond with the snowman parts. If the dice lands on a 1, the player must draw the snowman head. If it lands on a 2, he/she draws a hat...and so on. After his turn, the dice is handed to the other team. Team 2 chooses a starting player and rolls the dice. If a player rolls a number that has already been rolled and the snowman part has already been drawn, the play is forfeited and the dice is passed to the opposing team. This continues until one team has drawn a COMPLETE snowman.
Next, we ate some Christmas tree-shaped brownie pops.
The wrapping paper game came next.
To Play the Wrapping Paper Game:
You will need:a small prize, many scraps of different kinds of Christmas wrapping paper, Christmas music
Wrap the prize in one pattern of Christmas wrap. Then wrap it in a different patterned paper. Continue to wrap paper over the existing paper until the gift is much larger than it actually is. (I save scraps of wrapping paper after I have wrapped our family Christmas gifts in order to repurpose the scraps for this game.)
Instructions:The concept of this game is similar to that of musical chairs. Instruct all the players to sit in a circle. Hand the wrapped prize to one of the players. Start the music. At regular intervals, stop the music. Whoever is holding the prize when the music stops gets to unwrap the top layer of wrapping paper from around the prize. Start the music and continue this play until someone removes the final piece of wrapping paper revealing the prize. The last player to remove paper is the winner and may keep the prize.
We ended the morning with a NEW-TO-YOU gift exchange. Each child brought a gently used toy from home that they no longer played with. The wrapped gifts were placed in the center of the room...boys' gifts in one pile and girls' gifts in another. I passed out numbered slips to everyone and instructed the children that when I called their number, they could come to the center, pick out a prize (of appropriate gender) and return to their seat. Once all the gifts were chosen, the children took turns opening their NEW-TO-YOU gift.