This time of year, there are classroom holiday parties and Christmas party activities to plan. When planning Christmas activities for kids, I love to put on my “therapy hat” and make the games movement-based, promoting development, and fun, all with a holiday theme. Here are Christmas party games for kids that double as therapist-approved!
Christmas Party Games for Kids
Christmas Ideas for Kids
When there is a classroom Christmas party to plan (or hey, even a fun office Christmas party…) it can be hard to come up with ideas that are quick, inexpensive, festive, and develop skills. These Christmas party ideas can be used to promote skills like fine motor, gross motor, and sensory processing.
Try these Christmas fine motor activities to boost skills like precision, hand strength, grasp, and other skills needed for tasks like pencil grasp and managing clothing fasteners.
Try these Christmas sensory activities for messy, tactile, and sensory play during Christmas games.
What is a Christmas party for kids without a Christmas craft activity? The ones listed in this post promote visual motor skills and fine motor skills.
That’s why I was super excited to share a collection of Christmas party games for kids. These holiday party games are perfect for promoting development, play, and movement with a Christmas theme. Use these kids’ Christmas games for classroom parties, kid-friendly family parties, or even as a break from holiday shopping or while waiting at a restaurant. Each of these games are great for promoting the skills kids need while providing sensory input, visual motor skills, coordination, balance, and more.
This post is part of this week’s Christmas Activities for Kids series here on The OT Toolbox. Each day this week, we’re rounding up fun and creative ways to play and support development in kids with a Christmas theme. If you missed any of the posts this week, be sure to check them out on the main Christmas Activities For Kids page.
Christmas Party Ideas
Are the kids ready for some holiday celebrations? Here are party games that pack a therapist-approved punch!
Balance and Coordination Christmas Party Games
First, this list of Christmas Proprioception Activities may be just the thing for a transition activity in the classroom. This time of year especially, the regular routines can be off and holiday excitement is on a high level. A movement activity can be a great transition activity.
Santa Says- Put a spin on Simon Says with a Santa hat and even a beard! Kids can move, listen, and balance with this fun Christmas party game!
Santa Toss- Use our Santa Snack Cups to play a game of toss. Kids can either toss cotton balls or ping pong balls into the cups or play a game of catch as they try to toss a ping pong ball from one cup to a partner’s cup.
Gift Push- Load cardboard boxes with heavy objects like books.
Reindeer Kick- Promote calming proprioceptive input through the upper body with wheelbarrow race type movements.
Here are a few more reindeer themed party games with ideas like Pin the Nose on Rudolph and Pass the Stocking (a great game for classroom parties!)
Eye-Hand Coordination Christmas Games
Jingle Bell Shake- Every child puts their head down or covers their eyes. One child moves around the room and shakes jingle bells. Other students need to listen to where the child moves. Then, the child stops shaking the jingle bells and continues to move silently. They can hide somewhere in the room. Then the other students need to race to where they think the child is hiding. Ask students to hold jingle bells by the small loop to promote fine motor skills, too!
Christmas Gift Wrap- Wrap a gift with many layers of wrapping paper. Two kids can put on oven mitts and race to open a gift. The first one to open the gift wins. To play with a group of students, use a timer and have the kids attempt to open the gifts for 10 seconds, and then pass the oven mitts to the next player when the buzzer sounds.
Stocking Guess- Fill a stocking with many small items. A child should reach into the stocking and feel an object. They can guess what the object is by touch. Try to guess all of the objects in the stocking. Use items like small ornaments, mini candy canes, miniature Christmas trees and other items.
Visual Perception Christmas Party Games
DIY “I Spy” Christmas Game- We played this DIY I Spy game with real toys in the past. For this Christmas party game, you will first need to gather various small items and Christmas themed toys. Items may include: candy canes, small stocking, bells, berries, pine twigs, figures, and ornaments of various colors. Spread all of the items on a table. Kids can play “I Spy” by visually scanning for a particular item described by its color or shape.
What’s Missing- Use those same Christmas themed items in a “what’s missing” game that works on visual scanning, visual memory, figure ground, visual discrimination and other visual perceptual skill games. Show the student all of the items and then cover them with a stocking or Santa hat. Take away one of the items. Then reveal the items and see if the child can recall the “visual picture” they saw before to identify the missing item(s).
Christmas Writing Games
Use Christmas paper to list out Christmas items on a tray. Kids can race to write as many items as they can. The only rule? Handwriting must be legible!
Use Christmas paper to work on line awareness and letter formation while writing a letter to Santa.
List out as many words as you can spell using the letters in a word or phrase such as “Christmas Party” or “Santa Claus”, or “Frosty the Snowman”.
Write a list of holiday kindness activities. Make it a checklist and get started on sharing holiday cheer.
Use the Christmas modified paper handwriting pack to work on handwriting, letter size, letter formation, and legibility with meaningful and motivating activities:
- Letters to Santa
- Wish List
- Holiday To-Do List
- Shopping List
- Thank You Notes
- Recipe Sharing
- Winter Writing Prompts
Working on handwriting with kids this Christmas season? Grab your copy of the Christmas Modified Handwriting Packet. It’s got three types of adapted paper that kids can use to write letters to Santa, Thank You notes, holiday bucket lists and much more…all while working on handwriting skills in a motivating and fun way!
In the packet are:
- THREE types of modified paper: Bold lined paper, Color-coded paper (with Christmas colors), and Highlighted Paper
- FIVE different Christmas and Winter themed borders
- TWO different sized lined of each type of paper: Narrow Rule for older kids and Wide Rule for younger kids
That’s 30 different sheets of modified paper all with a Christmas theme. There is a detailed explanation of reasoning behind each type of paper. This will help explain how to use each modified paper and the reasons why each type might be the style of adapted paper to use for particular handwriting concerns. Want the packet? Grab it now in time for Christmas planning.