1:30pm Paper Plate Game
Certainly a Pinterest favorite! Such an inexpensive activity, too! Pick up a pack of paper plates from Dollar Tree and have the kids used their own pencils. I'm sure you'll hear many giggles during this one!
1:45pm I Spy Tray Game
Since our Girl Scout Troop had so much fun with this activity last year, I decided to try it in the classroom. I collected items we had around the house, so again, party planners don't have to spend a penny. As I mentioned, there were 20 students in the class. Their desks happened to be grouped in three sections in the classroom. I gave each group one minute to study the tray. Once everyone had taken a peek, they were given five minutes to write down everything they could remember seeing. I told them they didn't have to have the correct name for each item. (For example: one student called the extension cord a plug, and the cinnamon was called spice). Once they had finished their lists, we ran through each item on the tray. After the kids tallied up their points, we recognized the winner, but no prizes were awarded. They didn't seem to mind because they were excited for the next game.
1:55pm Minute-to-Win-It Cup Stack Game
I've played this game with kids and adults in small and large groups. It's ALWAYS the favorite! This time we divided the kids into five teams of four, keeping them in their desk clusters. I moved a couple kids around to make the teams even in number for this relay race. Each group was given 15 cups, and they began with a row of 5 on the bottom. They proceeded to stack a row of 4, 3, 2, 1. Once the cups were in a pyramid, the child took it down and passed the stack of cups to the next person. Instead of a relay race, you could have one child from each of the groups compete against each other, having one minute to complete the task. Have a final round for the winners from each round to determine the Grand Champion. Setting a time limit for each round may help keep the party on schedule when playing with larger groups of people.
2:10pm Pass the Book Game
When you are out buying party supplies, pick up a $1 activity book for each child in the classroom or troop and individually wrap them. Select a holiday book to read to the class, and make sure this book has one word that is continuously repeated throughout the story. I like to read the book Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn and Mark Buehner because it's an adorable story, and the word snowman is repeated many times throughout the book. This game is also fun to play at a Valentine's Day party.
2:15pm Snack: North Pole Cupcakes
If you Google "North Pole Cupcakes," you will see many variations of this adorable treat. The day before the party I baked the cupcakes and assembled the poles. I used a box cake mix, store-bought frosting, Wilton white sparkling sugar, Bob's Sweet Stripes peppermint sticks, and sour cherry balls.
To make the poles, invert a 1-cup glass bowl in a large mixing bowl. Place an 8.5" plate on the glass bowl. Set the cooling rack across the mixing bowl. Attach the sour cherry ball to the peppermint stick with a small dollop of icing squeezed from a baggie with a small hole cut in one end.
Each pole slid perfectly into the rack, the end resting on the plate as the icing dried.
The cupcakes were assembled at the party. I would suggest having a small amount of icing on hand to replace any sour cherry balls that have detached from the peppermint sticks. (We had four casualties).
I also served a Snickerdoodle dip with pretzel sticks. It was a store-bought mix that I combined with cream cheese and butter. FYI...not a hit with the third grade crowd. Almost everyone asked for pretzels though.
2:30pm End of Party
*In my experience, it's always better to plan too much than to be scrambling to entertain a group of kids. I was prepared to play Pictionary if there was additional time to fill. As it was, the students finished their snack and immediately started flipping through their activity books. They were perfectly content tackling word puzzles.
If there had been time to play Pictionary, I would have divided the class into a team of boys and a team of girls. One student would have been chosen to draw for each team. The girls would have been given 30 seconds to see how many pictures they could correctly identify before the boys were given their turn. We would have continued to play, rotating artists, for the remainder of the time. Here is the list:
angel present snowman
candle Santa hat stocking
snowflake reindeer sleigh
fireplace wreath ornament
tree candy cane milk and cookies
bow gingerbread man star
Nutcracker jingle bells
This agenda could easily be modified for Halloween and Valentine's Day parties and even birthday parties. Swap out the snack with a treat that fits the theme. Fill the tray with odds and ends associated with the occasion for I Spy. And here's a fun twist for the paper plate game based on the original game:
Birthday Paper Plate Game
1. Draw a table.
2. Draw a birthday cake on the table. You can add decorations.
3. Draw candles on your cake.
4. Draw a gift on the table.
5. Add a bow to your gift.
- 2 points if your birthday cake is touching the table.
- 2 points if your gift is touching the table.
- 1 point for each candle you drew.
- 1 point if your candles are on your cake.
- How old is the birthday boy or girl? 2 points if you drew that number of candles.
- 1 point if your bow is on your gift.
- 1 point if your bow is not touching the candles.
- 2 points if you decorated your gift.
Halloween Paper Plate Game
1. Draw a house. Add windows and a chimney.
2. Put a ghost in a window.
3. Draw bats next to the chimney.
4. Draw a jack-o-lantern at the bottom of the front door.
5. Draw a spider on the roof.
- 2 points if your windows are touching your house.
- 1 point for each window.
- 2 points if your ghost is in the window.
- 1 point for each bat.
- 1 point if your bats are next to the chimney.
- 2 points if your jack-o-lantern's face is on the pumpkin.
- 1 point if your spider is touching the house.