Christmas Party -7yr- Decorate A Birthday Ornament
Jodi in Lebanon, PA USA
Christmas Party - 7 year olds: First of all, I always dress up for my parties, and I found an apron at Old Navy that made you look like Mrs. Claus. I wore the apron with a Santa hat, and had my kids dress in their elf aprons that had "santa's little helper" written across the front, with a jingle bell hat.
INVITATIONS: I did invitations on the computer, made the front say "Run, run as fast as you can....." and then inside it said "To Arlena's Christmas Party!" with all the details. Under the "run, run" wording on the front, I left it blank. Then I took some sandpaper, and cut out a gingerbread man with a cookie cutter. I then rubbed each gingerbread man with a cinnamin stick and whole nutmeg to make them smell nice. Then their face and icing decorations were drawn on with puffy paint. I then taped one to the front of each invitation. Each child was asked to bring a present that was under $5, and girls were to bring girl presents, boys to bring boy presents. I had a few extra sitting by just incase someone forgot or was unable to bring one.
DECORATIONS: Since it was cold, and we had over 20 kids coming, the only place we had room for all of them was in the unfinished basement, which has cinder block walls. After figuring out what space I was using, I took my end-roll of paper (free from the newspaper company) and rolled out 8' lengths (the height of my walls from floor to ceiling). I drew huge Christmas pictures - Santa, elves, trees, snowmen, gingerbread men, snowflakes, balls, candy canes. Then the kids helped me color them all in. I used red duct tape to hang each strip down the length of the wall. I lined these up the entire way around the room, to make the party area look more festive. I was going to use wrapping paper, however all the paper I could find was printed so you had to run it the length of the wall, instead of top to bottom, and that wouldn't work for me.(The duct tape had to stick to a stud, instead of the cold concrete, and the studs were all in the ceiling).
After setting up the tables, I also used the same paper to make my table cloths. I drew a plain present in crayon at each place setting, to be filled in later with names as they sat down. The area underneath the stairs was studded in, so I did use wrapping paper to go across the studs there to make a solid wall of paper, and I put one of my plastic white deck chairs in front of it so that when Santa came, I could take the kids pictures in front of the festive wall. I put a table in front of the chair with some of my party supplies so that the kids wouldn't suspect Santa was coming.
I made some giant candy canes out of pool noodles. Bent the noodles at one end to make the hook shape, and used fishing line to tie it together so it would stay in that shape. Then I took some wide white ribbon, stuck it down the center of the noodle with a pin so it would stay, and wrapped the stripe down the entire noodle. I did this with noodles in different colors, and hung them from the ceiling here and there. Once we were done with the party, you remove the ribbon and cut the fishing line and the noodles go back to their normal shape. I also took a frisbee, covered it in foil, and then wrapped it in pink cellophane, twisting it at the ends to make it look like a giant candy, and stuck that above one of the tables.
CRAFT: The first thing we did was the craft so that it could dry. Before the party, I stuck a clear glass ball ornament at each place, inside a dixie cup so it wouldn't roll away. Remove the top of the ornament. I bought a lot of eyedroppers off of ebay, and acrylic (has to be acrylic!!) paint in every color I could find. I used one bottle of paint to fill several dixie cups with paint in that color, then put these cups all over the table so that every child would be within reach of several different colors.
The kids put the eyedropper in the paint, then stick the dropper into the ornament, and dribble the paint inside the glass ball. Then you swirl the ball around, so that the paint covers some of the inside of the glass. If using acrylic paint, the colors won't mix, so they can use as many colors as the want. Once they are satisfied, we placed them in the dixie cup to dry, with the open side down, so that the excess paint dripped out of the ball and into the cup. These needed to dry for awhile, and so we didn't get them confused, when each child sat down, I wrote their name inside the present that was drawn on their tablecloth. Then we played games while these dried.
SANTA SAYS: First we played "Santa says". My husband led the kids through a simon says game, saying Santa instead of Simon.
HOT CANDY CANE: This we played just like hot potato. I played Christmas music and the kids passed a giant plastic candy cane ($1 at walmart). When a child was "out", they came to me to get a real candy cane. The last person got a candy cane, but also got to keep the big plastic one.
JINGLE BELL NECKLACE CRAFT: Each child got a length of ribbon and 4 jingle bells. They strung the bells onto the ribbon to make a necklace, which we tied around their neck.
UNWRAP RELAY: I took empty boxes of all sizes and shapes and wrapped them up like presents, and had them sitting on a table. The kids were divided into two teams, and at go, had to run to the table, unwrap their box, put the box under the table and throw their paper in the trash (added bonus is that they're cleaning up during the game!). Then they tagged the next person who did the same thing. The kids LOVED this, and it was tricky, since some thought unwrapping a tiny box would be faster than a big one, when in fact it took longer since the tape was harder to get off.
BINGO: I printed off Christmas themed bingo cards and put piles of unpopped corn on the table for the kids to use as markers.
GIFT EXCHANGE: Since we couldn't think of a good way for the kids to swap gifts without fighting over who got to trade with who, we had Santa do it for us! My husband came downstairs at the end of the last game in his santa costume, jingling bells as he came. I moved the table and had Santa sit in the white chair. The gifts were piled onto the table next to him, and he handed them out - who is going to argue with what Santa gives you??!! As he handed them out, I took a picture of each child sitting on his lap, which went home with them the next day. Once everyone had their gift, they were allowed to unwrap them.
FOOD: I made cupcakes and iced them with red or green colored icing. We used the Christmas "zoo pal" type plates that I found back in September at a bent & dent store and just saved. We also had goldfish crackers, chips, and juice boxes to cut down on mess. Everyone also got a gingerbread man.
TREAT BAGS: I found this in the Family Fun magazine, I took plain brown lunch bags, cut them a little bit and folded it down to look like a reindeer. I glued on antlers, eyes, and a red pom-pom for a nose, then filled them with candy. I made reindeer food from glitter and oats, put them in a snack-size baggie, with a note that told them to sprinkle the magic reindeer food on the grass on Chrismas Eve. The scent of the oats and the sight of the glitter in the moonlight would lead the reindeer to their house. They also got a Little Debbie gingerbread man, a chocolate santa, and some stickers. Each child got to take home their reindeer bag, their present, and their glass ornament to hang on the tree.
NOTE!!! When the parent showed up, I found the child's ball, re-attached the top to it and HANDED IT TO THE PARENT!!!! I didn't want the child dropping it by accident and breaking it before they got home. Giving them to the parents gave me a little more insurance.
When the party was over, I had secretly invited as many kids as would fit in my van to go to the Teddy Bear House with us. The kids didn't know about it ahead of time, as I didn't want hurt feelings for those who couldn't come. I arranged for their parents to come an hour after the party was over. Down the road from us, lives a family who goes crazy with the decorations. They call it the Teddy Bear House because they have a ton of the chain-saw cut bears in their yard.
They have a path you can walk through their yard called Candy Cane Lane, where you can see all the decorations. The husband also dresses like Santa every year and sits outside on a big red throne on weekend nights, to let the kids sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. He also has a big garbage can next to his chair, accepting donations for the Humane Society. So I got a can of dog food for each child who was invited, and they were able to put a can of dog food in the bucket before seeing Santa.
They were very excited that they got to see Santa twice that night! (I still had my hat and apron on and got mistaken for a worker!) We got home just in time for the parents to pick them up, the kids had a BLAST!
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