Christmas Party Games for Kids

In (e) Party and Costume Ideas, (f) Christmas Party Ideas by threetigersmedia

Are you thinking about having a get-together this holiday season and looking for some inexpensive entrainment for a kid’s Christmas Party? You’re on the right track. The key to any successful event is preparation and the right materials.   

Here are 7 fun games for your next kid Holiday Party and the proper materials to facilitate each.  

Present Roulette

What you’ll need:
  1. Oven mitts or oversized mittens and a festive hat
  2. Two dice
  3. A wrapped gift
  4. A buzzer from a board game
Object:

To be the one who opens the present.

Directions:

All participants sit in a circle. The floor has proven best for children because as the energy level rises, items can go flying. The present travels clockwise and each child takes a turn trying to open the present while wearing the mittens and hat. (A Santa hat with a built-in beard adds a layer of difficulty and comedic effect.) The participant to the left of the present has the dice. His or her goal is to roll doubles.

Once a double has been rolled, a third person verifies the roll and uses the buzzer to alert the child with the present that his or her turn is over. The dice is then handed to the left and the former dice roller gets the hat, mittens and present. The next turn starts simultaneously with the buzzer although unwrapping cannot be attempted until the hat and mittens are on. If any of these falls off in the process, for instance, the hat, during one’s turn, the hat must be replaced on his or her head by the unwrapped before the unwrapping continues. This wouldn’t affect the dice roller. Traditionally, the person who successfully unwraps the present to completion gets to take the gift home.

Recommendations:

I recommend the party using the buzzer be an adult facilitating the game. This eliminates the potential for impartiality and mistakes which will make it easier for each child to give up the present in turn.

Normal sized dice are easily lost and can hurt if the excitement over the game leads to throwing rather than handing over the dice. I recommend using oversized foam dice. Red and green 3-inch by 3-inch foam dice are available for purchase on Amazon.

Also, rather than the gift being something only one child can enjoy, consider dollar store items or treats so that the prize can be easily shared.

 It typically takes a round of this game before everyone understands the rules and object so I recommend two or three presents so multiple rounds can be enjoyed.

The more layers of wrapping each present has, the longer it can be enjoyed. Depending on the size of the group, it may be wise to completely encase the gift four to ten times so everyone gets a turn with each gift.

Jingle Bootie

What you’ll need:
  1. Two empty Kleenex boxes or boxes with a hole in one side
  2. Loose jingle bells, about 10 per box
  3. Two adjustable belts
Object:

To empty your box first with your dance moves.

Directions:

In preparation, attach empty Kleenex box to the back of a belt. This can be accomplished by using an X-acto blade or sharp scissors and cutting two vertical line in the side of each box, (hole facing up) about the width of each belt and running the belt in one and out the other.  

Without directly touching their own box or bells, contestants must dance and shake to empty their box. Once the belt is secured to both participants, put bells inside the boxes, play the music and watch the crazy dancing. Whoever dances all the bells out of the box first wins.

Recommendations:

Organize the game like a tournament. This will hold the groups’ attention longer. Everyone will get to be in a one on one dance off. Encourage the kids to cheer for their friends.

Have at least one backup box and extra jingle bells in case a box is smashed, or bells roll away.

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

What you’ll need:
  1. Bells
  2. Scraps of paper
  3. Tape
Object:

Use teamwork and critical thinking to solve clues and find all the hidden bells.

Directions:

Think bell treasure hunting with clues. The group starts out with a written clue. Keep the average age of your guests in mind while coming up with these clues. For example, “I’m freezing,” is an appropriate clue for a group of 10-year olds for the next clue is in the freezer. “I’m under something in the living room,” may be an appropriate clue for 6-year olds.

Recommendations:

Consider having hints ready in case a clue stumps the group.

Encourage them to find a consensus before rushing off to find the next bell. Having an adult read the clues outload for everyone may help.

Pin the nose on the Rudolf (Craft & Game)

What you’ll need:
  1. Colored construction paper
  2. Glue sticks
  3. Scissors
  4. Tape
  5. Blind fold
Object:

To create your own poster of Rudolf and then pin the nose on him. 

Directions:

Each kid should start out with a poster board or full piece of construction paper for a background. It may help to have an example Rudolf made by you or a template.

Once the master pieces are only missing a nose, hang them up and follow the traditional rules of Pin the Tale on the Donkey. If you have a big enough wall, it may be full to hang them all up in a row and see if each kid can walk a straight line blindfolded to find and pin their own.

Recommendations:

If the age range of your party makes you hesitate to hand out scissors, consider cutting the shapes out ahead of time so all they need to do is assemble the pieces like a puzzle.

Candy Cane Bobbing

What you’ll need:
  1. Lots of candy canes!
  2. Two buckets
  3. Timer
  4. Wet wipes (this will be sticky business)
Object:

To move the most candy canes into the bucket.

Directions:

Each contestant gets their own bucket. An empty Christmas cookie or popcorn tin would work perfectly. There are either two piles of candy canes, one in front of each contestant, or one giant pile for both. The time starts when each contestant has a candy cane in their mouth.

After the time has started, hands must stay behind the contestants’ backs. If the mouth candy cane is dropped, it must be retrieved by mouth. If the candy cane falls on the floor, the contestant may pick a replacement from the pile. The candy cane is used to hook and lift the others (in a pile on a table) and drop them into a bucket. If any hit the floor, they are out of bounds and can’t be retrieved.

At the end of 2 minutes, the candy canes from each bucket are counted. If you keep track of each person’s score, you can have winners of rounds but also overall high scorers.  

Recommendations:

I recommend hosting this game in a dinning room or kitchen. It may get your floor and furniture sticky.

Having separate piles of candy canes to begin with discourages messy players because when their candy canes drop to the floor, they potential score is limited by how many remain on the table.

Christmas Tree Construction

What you’ll need:
  1. Green Solo cups
  2. A camera
Object:

To build the tallest tree.

Directions:

Think card tower but with Solo cups. The only qualification a structure needs to be considered a Christmas Tree is it must be free standing. Take pictures when each contestant says theirs is finished. Or take pictures intermittently to save their progress.

Recommendations:

The fewer instructions and rules you give for this game the better. It allows them to think critically, experiment with structure and hopefully come up with unique designs.

Throw in some other colors for those who want to make a decorated tree. 

Musical Moves

What you’ll need:
  1. Music!
  2. Clear space free of hazards and breakables
Object:

To dance when the music plays and freeze when it stops.  

Directions:

Think Musical Chairs with freezing instead of chairs and dancing instead of walking in a circle. Have an adult judge and tap those who mess up to eliminate them from the round. Continue eliminating until there is only one winner.

Recommendations:

Play more than one round.

Make the rounds short so that those eliminated aren’t excluded from the fun for long.

Consider starting with this game to set the tone and get some of the wiggles out early.

Ultimately, any game can be made into a holiday party game. Consider taking games your kids already know and love and turn them into an opportunity for them to teach their friends. Remember what games you used to play as a kid and find a way to tap into that boundless energy you enjoyed as a kid. 

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