When planning Christmas games for young children, the options are endless. Make sure you provide room to run, do a little planning and the kids are sure to have a good time.
Let’s start with a few relay race ideas. Begin with a candy cane relay. Give each team 4 candy canes (and be sure to have a few more in case some break) and have the child who’s running hold the candy canes between their fingers, with the crooked part of the cane hanging over their fingers. But tell them not to use their thumbs. The canes should be just carefully perched between their fingers.
The children run to their teammate, exchange the candy canes (again, only using fingers), and that teammate runs to the other end and does the same. The game is over when only one team still has candy canes that haven’t dropped on the floor.
Another fun relay that kids love is pass the ornament. In this game, each team gets one ornament (a lightweight, basic thin glass one is fine) and a straw. They must blow through the straw to get the ornament down the line, then the next child blows on their straw to get the ornament back down the line. Make sure each child has a fresh straw, as you don’t want everyone to get sick.
This next simple relay game can be played with just about anything that signifies Christmas. You could have the children pass a Santa hat (perhaps requiring them to wear the hat as they run down the line) or have them wear Christmas socks that they then have to take off and get to the next child during the relay.
“Santa Says” is a fun game that all children will know how to play because it’s just like “Simon Says”. Before playing it, confirm that each child is familiar with “Simon Says” and then create a series of orders from “Santa”, like “Santa says, touch your toes”, “Santa says bend your knees” and so on. But sometimes leave the “Santa says” part off and trick the children. Always a popular game!
Young children love the “freeze dance” which is often played in preschool and kindergarten. Only in this game, you create a Christmas freeze dance: here you play some Christmas music, let the children do a little dance, then turn the music off and the children must “freeze”. If there will be several sit-down games played at the party, this is a great way to let the children use some energy before they have to sit down and focus on the other games.
Young children can play the “clue” game as long as the questions are kept to their knowledge of various things surrounding Christmas. The game is played like this: the teacher gives a series of clues about something Christmas related and keeps giving clues until someone shouts out the answer. It might go something like this:
Answer: Santa’s sleigh
Clue: I’m thinking of something big
Clue: It helps Santa on Christmas Eve
Clue: It holds a lot of presents
Clue: It’s very fast
You keep giving clues until he children figure out the answer. Since these are young children, don’t give clues that are too difficult or beyond their knowledge.
Kids love toss games, so why not create a snowball toss game at Frosty’s belly? Get or make a large cardboard cutout of Frosty the Snowman and cut a hole in his stomach. You can create snowballs out of several things. Take plastic bags and put mini marshmallows inside, or use Styrofoam balls. If you use the latter, don’t make the children throw the “snowballs” very far since the Styrofoam won’t go that far. Have the children stand a distance back from Frosty (you can determine this depending on the age of the children and space you have available) and have them toss the snowballs into Frosty’s tummy. First one to get all 3 snowballs in the tummy wins a prize!
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