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Holiday Parties for Kids

Julie Bawden-Davis
Holiday Parties for Kids
Unless you’re St. Nick toting a bag full of presents, catching and holding the attention of kids at a Christmas party takes some creativity. Consider these ideas for keeping children happy and entertained:
  • Decorate Gingerbread Houses


  • Give the kids their very own gingerbread houses and let the creativity soar as they pipe on frosting and add candy trim. Good decorating choices include candy canes, gumdrops, licorice rope, mints, jellybeans, lollipops and cinnamon-flavored candies. Coconut flakes look like snow when piled around the base of the house, and marshmallows stacked on top of one another make great snowmen. Set out extra candy so the “elves” have something to snack on while they do their work. And make sure to take photos of the kids with their completed creations.


  • Bake Christmas Cookies


  • Give partygoers an elf baking hat (that’s a fancy name for a Santa cap), red or green apron, and a big pile of cookie cutters, and let the kids cut out their own sugar cookies. Take photos as they make their creations, which can be decorated with sugar sprinkles or icing once they’ve cooled. As a take-home goodie bag, have the kids wrap the cookies they don’t eat in cellophane and tie it up with a bow.


  • Play Holiday Games


  • Help young guests ward off cabin fever by playing fun games like pin the tail on Rudolph, stocking races, Christmas bingo and Santa Says. Hand out holiday puzzles, set a timer and see which child puts a puzzle together the fastest.


  • Create a Christmas Storybook


  • Buy a large scrapbook and a variety of Christmas stickers and decorations. Have the kids gather ’round and encourage everyone to come up with a group Christmas story. If they’re at a loss for ideas, suggest they pattern the story after the Twelve Days of Christmas theme or Frosty the Snow Man’s story. Using an archival pen, write the story as they dictate it to you. When they’re done, encourage them to illustrate each page with decorations and drawings. If there are just a few kids, let them decorate the book together, but if you have a large group, break them into smaller groups and have them take turns on the various pages.


  • Make Ornaments


  • Have the kids create a keepsake ornament for their tree at home. Hand out clear plastic ball ornaments and paints, glue and glitter, and let the kids decorate however they choose. Make the ornaments extra special by having the kids bring pictures of themselves to the party and glue the photos onto the ornaments.


  • Mixing a little preparation with a lot of ingenuity helps you throw a children’s Christmas party that Santa himself would want to attend.

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