If your group is planning holiday activities for the school’s kindergartners, it’s worth remembering one thing: The simpler, the better.

All students, but especially the youngest ones, are excited during the holidays. In fact, many children are so ramped up from the many parties and festivities they attend outside of school in December that the last thing they need is an elaborate school party.

We asked both our PTOtoday.com and Homeroommom.com Facebook communities to share holiday ideas for kindergarten classrooms, and here’s what we found:

Holiday shop all done? Thank your volunteers so they’ll be ready to help next year

Party Ideas

  • Set up a party with activity stations. Teachers and volunteers can help direct the children from place to place and avoid overcrowding at one particular spot.

  • Try uncomplicated activities like holiday bingo or a pin-the-red-nose-on-Rudolph game. One variation: Pin a carrot to a snowman’s nose.

  • If children seem restless, help them blow off steam with an easy game like Simon Says.

  • Hold a pajama party, inviting child to wear pajamas in school. They’ll have extra fun working on craft projects in their pj’s!

  • Set up a party around a holiday or seasonal book. Serve cocoa and popcorn.

  • Have a brave adult volunteer as the class snowman. Have children wrap the adult in toilet paper, and, voila! You have an indoor snowman! Take photos with the children and the snowman.

  • Try a party-in-a-box. Ask parents to pack a simple box of treats for their child. Include a salty item, a sweet item, a beverage, and a little holiday treat. Parents can wrap the box itself as a gift to their child. Children enjoy their own treats at the holiday celebration.

  • Remember that school parties usually don’t run longer than 45 minutes to an hour. So budget in time for activities, snack, and cleanup.

Craft Ideas

  • Make paper chains with construction paper strips in multiple colors.

  • Paint simple ornaments. For materials, it can be as basic as construction paper or cardboard.

  • Create snowflake ornaments from puzzle pieces. Hold together with glue.

  • Use cut-out circles (from paper or cardboard) to assemble snowmen and decorate with crayons, felt pieces, and other items that can be attached with glue sticks.

  • Have parents make small gingerbread houses that children can decorate in class. One option is to use individual-size milk cartons as the base and attach graham crackers to the carton using frosting to “build” the house.

  • Create holiday “people” using toilet paper tubes as the body and decorate with construction paper pieces to make nutcrackers, snowmen, and reindeer.

Snacks

There’s a chance your school won’t allow treats. With new USDA snack rules, PTOs and room parents are learning to do parties without snacks and sweets as the focal point. What we are hearing is if there are fun, age-appropriate activities, most kids won’t even notice that there are no munchies.

If food is allowed, try these ideas:

  • Provide plain sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, or cupcakes and have children decorate with frosting and sprinkles.

  • Bring in chunks of fruit and have children make fruit kebabs.

Originally published in 2014 and updated regularly