Playing hang a manager, Scene on a felt board and Use an empty cradle for Christmas
(Leola, Pennsylvania )
Our local women’s group holds a children’s holiday party every year, in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The party usually has 25 to 30 preschoolers which can be a bit overwhelming.
We find that having a structured agenda and keeping the snacks until the end of the party keep the children entertained and well-behaved. We try to vary the games from year to year, a typical party is three games and one craft.
One game we play is to hang a manager scene on a felt board and use an empty cradle, the object is to blind fold the children and let them try to aim a baby Jesus onto the cradle as one would play pin-the-tail on the donkey.
The child who places the cutout Jesus closest to the cradle wins a small prize. Another game we like is the children sitting in a circle of chairs, passing a holiday ornament like the game “hot potato” where the child who is holding the ornament when the music stops is out of the game.
The last child holding the ornament gets to keep it (we select a nice ornament with the year on it, as this is a neat keepsake). The craft that is most popular among the children is for the mothers to bring homemade sugar cookies, icing and cake decorations.
Each child is given two or three cookies which we help them to icing. They are then allowed to select their own decorations from the table, creating their own artistic cookies. My own children asked to deliver their cookies to Grandma and Grandpa on the way home, to share a piece of the holiday party with their grandparents.
After the craft, we always have snacks and punch (and many children eat the cookies their just decorated). Some foods that been a hit with the children are Chex mix and/or Muddy Buddies (recipe found on the Chex website); homemade soft pretzels that a mom makes in the church kitchen during the party; cookie platters;
sometimes we even serve sandwich “wraps” cut into small pinwheels, which is a tortilla shell with turkey and cheese, rolled up to make it easier to eat and then sliced to make discs which children seem to really enjoy. One child is especially fond of pickles, so there is always a dish of dill pickle spears!
The children love the event and it is nice for the mothers to get together before the holidays. We live in an area where snow often cancels winter events, and my children watch the calendar for this Christmas party so they can pay attention to the weather forecast, hoping we get to attend.