December Birthdays

February 12th, 2013 posted by Barbara Thomas

December is a wonderful time for parties – for grownups! A little eggnog and a plate of cookies and your grownup party is swinging. For the little ones, a little more planning and forethought is required, but you can still create a happy holiday party. If you are celebrating a December birthday, you may want to make the party as “un-Christmassy” as possible. To do this, hold the party in a room that is not festooned with Christmas decorations, and use only birthday-themed plates, napkins, etc. Don’t worry about not being able to find birthday items. My local Walmart has an aisle full of birthday products, and those mega-party outlets are popping up everywhere. You can do all the usual birthday things (see my previous columns) and pretend not to notice that a major holiday is around the corner. Or you can capitalize on the proximity of birthday and holiday, and have a winter-themed party. If the children are old enough, an ice skating party is great fun, and many rinks have party packages that will do all the work for you. For the younger set, here’s a party plan I call “Winter Wonderland.”

Invitations

Cut white paper plates or coffee filters into snowflake shapes and pen your invite.

Decorations

Go crazy with the fake snow! Drape your furniture in white sheets, blankets, or that cotton draping they use for tree skirts. Spray snow-in-a-can on every glass or mirrored surface. You can make snowflakes to hang from the ceiling, too (a fun pre-party project for the birthday child).

For the really ambitious

Create an igloo or snowman out of polystyrene bricks (you can buy them at any craft shop). I happen to own an inflatable penguin (don’t ask why) so my igloo looked really cool!

Cake

A snowball of course! Make any flavor round or bundt cake and frost with white frosting. Cover liberally with coconut flakes.

Other Foods

Hot chocolate with a candy cane in it is a yummy treat. Warm gingerbread, popcorn, and lots and lots of cookies will round out the snack menu. If you want to serve a real meal, offer a thick soup or stew (yes, even if you live in California and it’s a balmy 78 outside. This is a theme.)

Activities

Tell the kids they are polar explorers or that they are visiting a Winter Wonderland. Encourage them to look for polar bears or build pretend snowmen or have pretend snowball fights.

Other Game to Play

The Winter-Wear Relay Race

Fill two suitcases with a set of winter clothing: mittens, hat, scarf, earmuffs, coat, boots. Set up a raceway with two lanes (use masking tape on the floor). Place the suitcases at one end of the raceway, and mark an imaginary door on the floor with masking tape. Divide the children into two teams. Each child must run to the end of the raceway, don all the winter clothing, open their imaginary door to check the weather, take off all the clothing and put it back in the suitcase, then run back and tag the next team member. Because of the number of steps involved, I recommend this game for four years and up.

Marshmallow-Mania

Provide the children with miniature marshmallows and lots of toothpicks. Show them how to create structures with the items. Let them eat their materials if they want.

Pin-The Carrot-Nose-On-The-Snowman

You knew it was coming! Hey, they call it a classic for a reason, and kids love to play any variety of this game.

The Feel-Around Game

Show the children a variety of objects. A small toy, a small stuffed animal, a plastic lid, a key, a sponge – anything palm-sized. Put the objects into a stocking or a stocking cap. Have the children close their eyes and pick out an object to identify by touch.

Arts and Crafts

The possibilities are endless. Make snowmen from paper plates. Cut out snowflakes from tissue paper or coffee filters. Give the children black construction paper and white paint to sponge or finger paint a snow scene. Sculpt with play dough or modeling clay. Ask the children to make a winter scene. Have lots of empty baby food jars? The kids can make mini snow-globes. Give the children modeling clay or salt-dough to sculpt. Glue the sculpture to the lid of the baby food jar. Fill the jar with water and your snowflakes (coconut flakes or plastic shavings). Screw the lid back on the jar and seal it with a commercial sealant. It’s a time-consuming project, and the globes may not be dry by the time the party is finished. Consider this only if you are having a small party and have lots of time and attention to give to the project.

My Personal Favorite

I’ve done this with every preschool class and children’s party I’ve ever held. Before the party, bake several dozen sugar cookies in basic shapes; tree, ornament ball, wreath, bell. Set out bowls of frosting in many colors and bowls of sprinkles, jimmies, and other decorations. Give the kids some plastic knives, and let them have at it. Play holiday music in the background and enjoy the children’s laughing and chatter. It puts even the biggest Scrooge in the holiday mood.

Barbara Thomas (7 Posts)


Featured Contributor

Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!


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