Christmas Games for Kids

Christmas party games for kids

Looing for a few ways to develop skills through Christmas games for kids of all ages? I’ve got you covered! These therapy games for Christmas are perfect for a classroom holiday party, a virtual Christmas party, or even Christmas youth group games that get kids engaged and having fun as a group. You’ll love how easy these games are to set up (most use holiday items from around the home)…and the therapists here will love the skill-building benefits of these Christmas occupational therapy activities!

Christmas Games for Kids

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 that help with areas of development through movement and play, perfect for kids Christmas parties, holiday parties,indoor recess, or occupational therapy activities during the Christmas season..

Christmas party 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.


Each of these Christmas Games for Kids and Party Ideas are separated into skill area, so if you are hosting an occupational therapy Christmas event, then these would be a perfect fit!


Are the kids ready for some holiday celebrations? Here are party games that pack a therapist-approved punch!


Christmas Games FOR bALANCE AND cOORDINATION

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.

Christmas Twister- You’ll need a Twister game for this party game. You could also create a Twister board on the floor using masking tape. On the Twister game mat, tape squares of paper. On each piece of paper, write Christmas-themed words. Each color should have the same Christmas themed word. Then, they can put their right hand on “gift” or left leg on “reindeer”, etc.

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.  Ask the child to push the boxes across a room.  For less resistance, do this activity on a carpeted floor.  For more heavy work, do this activity outside on the driveway or sidewalk. This can be a relay race where teams of students transport gifts across a room. The students can wear Santa hats as they push “sleighs” across a space.

Reindeer Kick- Promote calming proprioceptive input through the upper body with wheelbarrow race type movements. Kids can also stand on their arms and legs in a quadruped position and kick their legs up. Try other animal walk types of movements with races with a group of students or children.

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!)

Christmas party games for kids that help with areas of development through movement and play, perfect for kids Christmas parties, holiday parties,indoor recess, or occupational therapy activities during the Christmas season..


Christmas Games FOR EYE-HAND COORDINATION

Below are some active games promoting eye-hand coordination. These are great for the classroom or for a kid-friendly holiday party:

Mitten Toss- Fill a plastic sandwich bag with dry beans and tape to secure. Push the filled bag into a mitten.   Use the mitten as a DIY bean bag in tossing target games. Or, make regular bean bags into snowflake beanbags. They can be used to toss into a bucket or bin. 

Bean Bag Relay Race- This is a great relay game for a large group of students. Split the group into teams. Each team should stand in a line. The beanbags can be in a bucket in front of the first person in each line. The first student can pass the bean bag between their legs to the person behind them. That person can pass the bean bag to the student behind them by handing it over their head. Each team can race to pass all of the bean bags over and under the heads and legs of each member in the lines. The first team to get all of their beanbags to the end of the line wins.

Snowball Toss- Use a ping pong ball or soft craft pom pom in a tossing game. Use these homemade Santa Cups as targets. Making the cups is half of the fun!

Christmas Cookie Relay- Make these EASY no-sew felt cookies and use them in a relay race with friends. Teams can race to move all of the cookies on a cookie tray to plates on the other side of the room by using a spatula to carry ONE cookie at a time from the cookie sheet to the plates. The first team to finish is the winner!  

Sensory 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.

Jingle bell activities for fine motor skills and Christmas parties for kids, these bell activities are great for fine motor skills!


Christmas Games FOR VISUAL PERCEPTION

These Christmas games develop skills like visual perceptual skills, attention, memory, impulse control, and other executive functioning skills.

Use Christmas ornaments in Christmas games that develop visual perceptual skills, memory, and attention.


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.

Christmas party games for kids that help with areas of development through movement and play, perfect for kids Christmas parties, holiday parties,indoor recess, or occupational therapy activities during the Christmas season..

Christmas Ornament 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 party games for kids that help with areas of development through movement and play, perfect for kids Christmas parties, holiday parties,indoor recess, or occupational therapy activities during the Christmas season..

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.

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!

More Christmas Games that Build Skills

You’ll find more occupational therapy Christmas games and holiday party activities in our Christmas Therapy Kit. The kit includes materials to develop a huge variety of skills. Use them in obstacle courses, gross motor brain breaks, Simon Says games (call it Santa Says!), fine motor activities, party crafts, and much more.

Looking for done-for you therapy activities this holiday season?

This print-and-go Christmas Therapy Kit includes no-prep, fine motor, gross motor, self-regulation, visual perceptual activities…and much more… to help kids develop functional grasp, dexterity, strength, and endurance. Use fun, Christmas-themed, motor activities so you can help children develop the skills they need.

This 100 page no-prep packet includes everything you need to guide fine motor skills in face-to-face AND virtual learning. You’ll find Christmas-themed activities for hand strength, pinch and grip, dexterity, eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, endurance, finger isolation, and more. 

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Minion Party with Crafts, Snacks, and Decor



There is just something about the minions that make you smile.  I love to watch my kids when they are watching them.  They have big grins and lots of giggles that are irresistible.  This minion party would be perfect for a Minions movie night party, birthday party, or creative play date.  I’ve got tips and ideas to keep it easy with the BEST and the cutest minion crafts, minion themed food, and minion decorations you will find.  


I am all about easy party decorations that make a big statement, and putting this minion party together was no exception.  The crafts became part of the decor and aside from a few examples, they were mainly made at the party. Easy, right?  The other decorations were no-fuss and made a big statement with their simplicity.  Minions mean silly fun and that’s what our party was all about! These minion party ideas are so easy, that you will be able to re-create all of the details at home during your Minions movie night.

Minion movie night party decorations, minion crafts, and minion snacks #MinionsMovieNight ad

Minion Party Ideas

We love having family movie nights in our house.  They are something that my kids really look forward to. 

Minions Party Decorations

Minion movie night party decorations, minion crafts, and minion snacks #MinionsMovieNight ad

When I think minions, I think about their bright yellow and blue colors.  So our party table was covered with a bright yellow and blue covering.  


TIP: Use a blue table cloth draped halfway over the length of the table to create a skirt.  You can tape it to the length of the table about half-way across the width.  THEN, unroll a tube of yellow gift wrap right on top.  The paper gift wrap is a vividly yellow color, just like our minion friends.


The back wall of our party table was just rolls of yellow and blue crepe paper taped in swooping waves.  My preschooler helped me twist and tape the two colors together to quickly decorate the wall.


We then rolled the crepe paper across the length of the table a few times.  This task brought out the giggles from my daughter.  Who knew that unrolling crepe paper could be so much fun??


To finish up our minion decorations, I grabbed a bag of yellow shredded paper from the store’s craft section.  It was used around the movie and our snacks. Scatter the shredded paper to fill in gaps on your table and to add texture.  


And besides the crafts and craft supplies on the table, that’s all we did for our decor.

Minions Party Crafts

My kids helped me make the craft examples for our party.  We decided to make minion book marks, minion hand print art, and minion snack cups.

Minion Bookmark Craft

Minion bookmark craft

To make the bookmarks, you’ll need a few materials:
2 inch x 6 inch rectangle of yellow card stock
2 inch x 3-4 inch rectangle of blue card stock
Black yarn
White paper cut into small circles for the eyes
Black marker
Glue stick
Scissors
Hole punch


Glue the blue rectangle on the yellow rectangle.  Glue the white circles near the top of the bookmark and trace to make the minion’s goggles.  Add straps by drawing black lines to each edge of the bookmark.  Use the hole punch to punch a hole at the top of they bookmark.  Fold the length of black yarn in half.  Push the folded middle of the yarn through the hole.  Pull the ends through the loop to create the minion’s hair and the top of the bookmark.


Place all of the materials you need for the minion bookmark into a sectioned platter and place it on the party table, along with a few examples.  Party go-ers will love to create this fun minion craft during the party.

Minion Hand Print Art

Minion movie night party decorations, minion crafts, and minion snacks #MinionsMovieNight ad

Another craft we made were this minion hand print craft. You’ll need a few materials for this craft:
Yellow Paint
Blue Paint
White Paper
Black Marker
Paintbrushes
White paper cut into small circles for the eyes.

Minion movie night party decorations, minion crafts, and minion snacks #MinionsMovieNight ad

Paint the child’s hand yellow on the top and blue on the bottom.  Enjoy the giggles from tickle-y paintbrushes on hands.  Show the child how to keep their fingers together and how to press straight down on the white paper.   Allow the paint to dry.  Glue on the white circles to make the minion’s eyes. Add the minion’s goggles and smile with the black marker.

Minion movie night party decorations, minion crafts, and minion snacks #MinionsMovieNight ad

Minion Snack Cups Craft

Minion movie night party decorations, minion crafts, and minion snacks #MinionsMovieNight ad

The last craft we made were these snack cups that we used to enjoy our minion themed snacks.  Simply tape a rectangle of blue card stock onto yellow paper cups.  Glue on white circles for the minion’s eyes.  Draw the goggles and mouth on with the black marker.  Set these snack cups out on the party table for snacking.

Kids will love to create all of these crafts before watching the movie at your minion party.

Minion movie night party decorations, minion crafts, and minion snacks #MinionsMovieNight ad

Minion Themed Snacks

Everyone needs snacks while watching a movie! These minion themed snacks will fill hungry bellies after all that crafting.

Minion movie night party decorations, minion crafts, and minion snacks #MinionsMovieNight ad

Minion Puppy Chow Recipe

You’ll need a few ingredients to make the puppy chow for your minion party:
1 cup Yellow chocolate melts
6 cups Square rice cereal
1 cup Confectioners sugar
Yellow and Blue chocolate candies


Melt the chocolate melts in the microwave or over the stove top.  Stir in the cereal and gently stir until coated.  Pour the chocolate covered cereal into a gallon sized plastic bag.  Pour the confectioner sugar over the cereal 1/2 cup at a time and shake gently until coated.  Pour onto a wax paper covered surface and separate the cereal with a fork.  Allow the candies to dry and sprinkle in blue and yellow chocolate candies.   

Minion Rice Cereal Treats

You’ll need a few ingredients to make these marshmallow cereal treats:
1 bag (10 ounces) marshmallows
3 Tablespoons butter
6 cups rice cereal
1 cup blue chocolate melts
Lollipop sticks
Candy eyes
Black icing


Melt the marshmallows and butter in a large pan.  Stir in the cereal.  Using wax paper, press the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  Allow the treats to harden.  Cut into rectangles.  Melt the blue chocolate melts on the stove top or in the microwave.  Dip the bottom of the rectangles into the blue chocolate.  Gently lay the cereal treats on wax paper and allow the chocolate to harden.  Use a bit of the melted chocolate to stick the candy eyes to each minion treat.  When the chocolate has hardened, press a lollipop stick into the bottom of each treat.  Use the back icing to draw goggles on the minion treats.  (NOTE: With all of the minion fun that we had going on at our party, I FORGOT to add goggles to our minion treats.  Ack! They still tasted great, though and brought out smiles on the faces of my kids and their friends!)

Minion movie night party decorations, minion crafts, and minion snacks #MinionsMovieNight ad

Press the lollipop sticks into a piece of hard foam to stand up on the party table. Cover the foam with the shredded yellow paper. 


Add the minion snacks to your snack table and serve them in the minion snack cups at your Minions movie night. They are fun snacks that go along with fun crafts and will make your movie night memorable!




Let me know if you try any of these minion ideas at your party.  You can find more creative and fun minion ideas here.




Basketball Theme Party Ideas

 
We love to host a fun party.  From the decorations to the themed snacks, planning a party is a creative way to share a special day or event with friends and family.  This time of year is the perfect time to host a basketball event party using a few easy party essentials.  We’re sharing ideas for a basketball themed party for an upcoming Big Tournament celebration.  

Basketball Party Ideas

Any party needs snacks and when the theme is a basketball tournament party, cute treats are a must.  I made these basketball lollipops using Oreo cookies.  To make the cookie pops, crush one package of cookies into crumbs.  Mix well in a mixer with a package of cream cheese.  Roll the mixture into small balls and coat with orange chocolate melts.  I found the easiest way to get the lollipop stick to stay in the cookie was to allow the chocolate coating to harden and then gently press the stick into the cookie ball.  Add basketball details with icing.
This Ritz cracker snack was a huge hit in our house!  Top the crackers with hummus and chopped orange bell peppers.  The orange peppers are perfect for the orange theme of our décor and add a little sweetness to the salty crunch of the crackers.   Pulling a packaged container of hummus out before the party makes prep easy.  And this busy mama needs quick and easy snacks!
Add another low-prep snack to the table with Wheat Thins crackers and a bowl of dip.  Spooning the dip into a bowl makes the party table a little prettier.  I had to add a little sign for the dipping fans.  These crackers are made to be “dunk” when they are at a basketball party!
 
I put together a fun basketball court with the snacks we had:  Ritz crackers were the court and Wheat Thins were the walls.  Use a small dab of icing to make the square Wheat Thins stick to the sides of a casserole dish.  To make the basketball hoops, I used more icing to get a cracker to stick to a paper straw.  Add a Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cup to make the hoop with more icing.  You will want to use a generous amount of icing and allow these to dry for several hours or overnight.  To make the hoops stand, press the paper straw into a Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cup.  I added a bowl of dip to our basketball court but you could add any cracker topping that takes the “main court”!
These hoops are sure to be the star of your basketball party!
A few more easy treat ideas include popping Oreo cookies in a cupcake liner.  I used orange cupcake liners to hold two Oreo cookies.  This is simple and elegant dessert for your food table. 
Of course, no one can resist snacking on a handful of Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups during the big game.  Pour them into a bowl and you’re done.
 
Other decor ideas include orange and white tablecloths and orange streamers to match the basketballs on the television screen.  I loved adding the paper lanterns for a pop of color and to mirror a basketball.

Video Game Party Ideas

 
You know we love party fun with our kids, right?    We haven’t had a lot of experience with video games, so we knew that when we introduced the kids to gaming, we wanted it to be educational and energetic.  The kids get up, get moving, and jump, dance, and MOVE!  We’ll definitely be using this system all winter long to keep the kids active when the temps drop outdoors.
 
The best thing about these games are the educational aspect.  Kids learn math, reading, and science skills in their age-appropriate level.  They are challenged to combine learning with activity right in their class curriculum.  The super cool motion sensor puts the child INTO the game, and they love seeing themselves up on the screen.  
 
We had to share this cool game system with our friends, and had a party to do just that!
 


Video Game Party Ideas

We sent out Leaf Frog branded invitations to a few friends and started planning our party fun:
Every party needs snacks.  When the kids are busy running, jumping, climbing, snowboarding, dancing, and karate chopping, they work up a sweat.  And need a little energy boost with healthy snacks.  We had our party after a long school day, so these kids were famished from a day of learning.  Getting the energy out with friends and healthy snacks were definitely a must!

Of course, we had to have frog snacks for our Leaf Frog party!  Well, we didn’t HAVE to, but they were very cute.  And the kids gobbled these happy frogs up!


To make the frog snacks, cut a cucumber slice in half.  Set one half piece on top of a whole slice.  Slice the other half piece into half again and use those parts for legs.  Slice a grape tomato into half and then half again.  Press this onto the top cucumber to make a smile.  It should stick.  Use a tiny little dab of icing to stick halves of raisins onto the top cucumber.  Done.  Watch them hop off the plate and into the kids’ tummies.

Snack Attack Snack Mix:  (super easy to mix up and super loved by active kids)
Ingredients~
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
2 cups whole grain rice chex cereal
1/2 cup roaster pistachios (optional)
3 cups (Amaon affiliate link) Kashi Heart To Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal


Directions~ Mix all ingredients together.  Place in a bowl.  Serve!

We ended our gaming party with an awards ceremony.  This was an intense moment as the kids lined up for their awards!  My kiddos maaaaay have been wearing their awards all week.  They are pretty proud!
 
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Littlest Pet Shop Party Ideas

My daughter (age 7) is a HUGE planner.  She loves to create, plan play ideas, write lists, plan parties, and organize.  My favorite scenario that she pretends and plans is her pet shop/beauty shop/school/day care. (Really, that sounds like a genius operation!)
 
 
When we had the opportunity to plan a Littlest Pet Shop Party for a few of her friends, I was very excited to tell her about the fun we would be having.  We got busy planning and she grabbed her pen and started making lists for party planning.  The invite list, the food, the activities…this is her kind of fun! (And lets be honest, her mom’s too.  We love our parties!)

Littlest Pet Shop Party Ideas

Littlest Pet Shop party ideas with snacks, craft, play, and more. This would be a great play date idea too, or just for fun!
I love that Big Sister can be who she wants to be with her ideas.  This party was such a fun way to expand on some of her interests with friends.  The Littlest Pet Shop empowers fans to Be Who They Want to Be, so this was a perfect fit for her big ideas!  From creating their own cities to customizing style sets and figures, the Littlest Pet Shop fans can create, decorate, and glamorize as they like.  With over 100 pets, there is a lot of fun and imagination to be had!  The city skyline can be arranged horizontally or vertically for unique fun and pretending.
 
Our Littlest Pet Shop party was so much fun.  Big Sister invited a cousin and a few friends (who happen to be HUGE Littlest Pet Shop fans!) We Customized our Blythe’s Bedroom set with stickers and Deco Bits (unique accessories that can be moved again and again for decorating fun).  This is a toy that can be used in so many ways in pretend play. 
 
The move-ability of the sets were great for lots of little hands to play.  We set them out on our train table before the party so that everyone could get in on the pretend play fun.  We loved that the sets could be accessed from all sides and there are play scenes on the back of the sets, too.  

The Littlest Pet Shop style set was big time fun for Big Sister and her shop planning.  She pretended to make a shop for dog bones and accessories.  There was a lot of purchasing and decorating with the style bits.

Penny Ling is a favorite in our house.  We used this little cutie to design our world digitally, too with the Littlest Pet Shop app.  Hold the toy, scan with your smart phone, and play! 

 Littlest Pet Shop Party Food

 

We served the girls chicken nuggets, noodles, and carrots, but every party needs a few snacks.  We served up Animal crackers and “Pet Shop Punch”.

What Pet Shop animals can you match up to the animal crackers?

Littlest Pet Shop Craft

We made popcorn bags as a Littlest Pet Shop craft.  The girls were big craft-fans, so this was fun!  I had an example of our popcorn crafts set out and the girls got busy with their painting.  We used these as popcorn bags for our movie later during the party. 
To make our Littlest Pet Shop popcorn bags, we glued on purple and pink pet bowls with an oval for the girls’ names.  They glued the pieces into place and then painted on the popcorn.  Popcorn in a pet bowl?  Perfect party snack for Pet Shop fans!
 
Next, we painted on popcorn.  We used cotton balls clipped onto a clothes pin. This made a great handle for the girls to paint popcorn on the bags.  Dab the paint dry and let the project dry completely before drawing on black outlines to the popcorn.  Alternately, you could glue on popcorn to the bag.

We decorated a bit more with stickers.

 
The popcorn bags dried while the girls played with pets. 
 

Littlest Pet Shop Party Play

Cute movie alert!

Girls watched the video on couch cushions spread out on the floor and took playing breaks at the play sets.  It was so much fun watching their pretend happening (and getting in on the action-a Mom’s gotta relive her pretend play days on long ago!  Plus, it’s just fun!)

These girls were loving the movie!  The popcorn was a hit for movie snacking.

This play set has been in pretend play action for weeks, now.  We’ve been arranging, re-arraigning, sorting, decorating, and styling our pets and loving it!