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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Homeschool Co-op Christmas Party, 2012

Just like in 2011, our homeschool co-op gathered for a morning of Christmas fun. We packed the day with games, treats, and gifts. Here are the highlights...

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Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

We began with the Nativity story. I put all the pieces to our Little People Christmas Nativity Playsetin a gift bag. Before beginning the story, I passed the bag around and instructed the kids to each pick out one piece without looking.


Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

As I read through the story using a picture book, I pointed to the child holding that corresponding nativity piece and encouraged him/her to come to the front and place the piece in the stable.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

Next, we played the Snowman Right to Left Game.  

To Play:

Instruct players to sit in a circle. Divide a larger group into smaller groups. (I divided our group into ELEMENTARY BOYS, ELEMENTARY GIRLS, and PRESCHOOLERS.) Give one person in each group a small wrapped prize. Read the Snowman Story. Every time the word RIGHT is said in the story, the prize is passed to the right. Every time the word LEFT is said, the prize is passed to the left. At the end of the story, whoever is holding the wrapped gift is the winner and can open and claim the prize.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

Next came a gluten-free Christmas Rice Krispy treat with hot chocolate.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

Our second game was Christmas Pictionary. I created one set of Pictionary cards for the preschoolers/non-readers and one for the elementary kids/readers. After dividing the group into two even teams and assigning Christmas carol names to the team, I invited each player to come to a white board and draw a one-minute masterpiece.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

Here are the Pictionary cards. I color-coded them so that I could find a preschool-friendly one quickly. By having a simple picture suggestion, each of the preschoolers were able to draw well enough that teammates were able to accurately guess the answer.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

Preschool/non-reader Cards:
  • present
  • candy cane
  • snowman
  • Christmas ball
Elementary/Reader Cards:
  • star
  • Christmas tree
  • angel
  • jingle bell
  • gingerbread man
  • baby Jesus in a manger
  • stocking
  • snowflake 
  • mitten


Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

A large-crowd friendly craft came next. The Architect's wife purchased some simple chipboard cutouts, cut scrapbook paper to the same size as the chipboard, and gathered sponge brushes, glue, and ink pads.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

The children painted glue on the back side of the chipboard pieces. They placed the top side of scrapbook paper onto the glue so that it showed through the cut-out window.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

They used the ink pads to cover the top of the chipboard. By punching a hole in the chipboard and stringing a piece of yarn through it, they made an ornament.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

Lastly, came the white elephant exchange. Each of the children brought a used toy that they no longer played with. They were instructed to only exchange gifts with someone of the same gender to ensure that everyone received an appropriate gift.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

The Announcer's wife had created slips of paper detailing who each player was to exchange his/her gift with. She went around the room allowing each child to pick a slip and exchange his/her gift.

Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool

Some suggested gift-exchange instruction slips:

Trade gifts with...
  • the person who has the longest hair
  • the person to your right/left
  • the person whose gift wrap has the most red on it
  • the person with the smallest/biggest gift
  • the person with the biggest smile
  • a person wearing green/red
  • the person whose birthday is closest to Christmas


Co-Op Christmas Party 2012-Game ideas for kid's parties. The Unlikely Homeschool


For more Christmas party ideas, be sure to check out the 2011 Co-op Christmas Party.

12 comments:

  1. Hi, I was like this craft ornament. Where can I find the chipboard cutouts?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can you explain a little more how your gift exchange works? I've never seen the game done this way and think it would be great fun at our next family gathering. Thanks so much!
    ~Jen
    zachandjennie (at) Hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do White Elephant every year and are going to do this version this year. The way we plan to do it is, you keep the gift you came with, then instead of drawing to see who goes first, you just draw one of the exchange ideas (longest hair, etc.)

      Delete
    2. I like this idea but need more information. Do you ever steal from each other?

      Delete
  3. What fun ideas. I love the snowman game - will have to try that one. And I love the gift exchange ideas. Heading over to check out your 2011 party ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would also like more info on how you did the gift exchange. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone drew a slip from a bucket. The slip had an instruction on it. The person who drew the slip had to follow the instruction and exchange the gift that they brought to the party with the person who matched their instruction. After everyone had drawn slips and exchanged gifts, we went around the circle and each child opened the gift that they had in their hand.

      Delete
  5. So what happens if the kid who has the longest hair is also the one with the birthday nearest Christmas? Do the exchange slips go in a specific order? Potential for mayhem here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We went around the circle with the basket of slips. A child drew out a slip and immediately exchanged it with the person who matched the description of the slip. Then the next person in the circle was given a chance to draw a slip. No mayhem at all. It was actually the most organized gift exchange I think I've ever been a part of.

      Delete
  6. How does only exchanging gifts with someone of the same gender ensure that everyone received an appropriate gift?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simple. Our boys wouldn't want to get a doll and our girls would not want to get an action figure. They love the fact that we divid the groups up so that they can give/receive the gifts they'd most like to give/receive.

      Delete
  7. Why can't the announcer be the wife?

    ReplyDelete

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