My three year old helped me plan the perfect preschool Christmas party! It was full of sensory play, healthy treats, and good literature. We talked over how to welcome our guests, and of course, reminded her to share her toys (even though we were keeping the party outdoors).
We started with scratch art ornaments. I cut black scratch off cardboard into tree and round ornament shapes. I hole punched the top for a ribbon hanger, and provided chopsticks (for the younger ones) and toothpicks (for the older ones) so they could scratch designs and watch the colors appear.
|Rainbow Scratch Art Mini Notes
Next they made bags of “reindeer chow” which was a “make your own trail mix” activity. I set out containers of dry cereal, chocolate chips, M&Ms, nuts, mini-marshmallows, dried fruit, and fun sprinkles. They created their custom snacks by filling snack bags with a mixture of whichever combination of treats they chose. Then sat down on a big blanket for story time.
I read the kids “Humphrey’s First Christmas” which was recommended by both Five in a Row and A Year of Playing Skillfully. This camel is hilarious! We imitated the sounds that the camel made and narrated back the highlights of the story.
|Humphrey’s First Christmas
To commemorate the camel’s sacrificial gift we create blankets out of fleece scraps. They practiced scissor skills by cutting fringe along the sides. I had cut out yellow flannel stars for the children to fabric glue onto the blanket. Next we painted one of each child’s hand with brown acrylic paint and made a precious handprint camel headed toward the star. Carol Heyer (the author) has directions on her website. After the camels dried we added details with a permanent marker – ear, eye, and tail.
Finally, we made cinnamon applesauce dough ornaments. I made the dough ahead of time. It is simply one part applesauce to one part ground cinnamon. The smell is delightful and the texture is unique. We found it best to roll out our individual balls on dough on paper plates. Leave the ornaments to dry right there, since they are better off not being moved before they are fully dry, in 12 hours.
We finished the fun with Christmas themed snacks! My little one chose celery reindeer and banana Santas. We had both baby Jesus and Grinch cupcakes made by my 14 year old daughter, and crockpot hot cocoa. The easiest hot cocoa ever is to throw whole milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips in the crockpot. Let it all melt together for 2 hours, stir, and serve!
My favorite trick for toddler parties is to have every activity laid out on trays so that switching to the next activity is a breeze. We kept decor simple with one fun centerpiece. It was painted sticks my preschooler had collected on our walks, in red and white, then dipping the end of each stick in the green glitter jar, while it was still wet. We arranged all of the painted sticks in a big Mason jar. And there we had the perfect centerpiece for a preschool Christmas party.
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