Holiday parties are a tradition in many schools, typically on the last day before winter break. In an art classroom, there are some unique, non-exclusive party games and activities that the art teacher can plan to celebrate the holiday season – some educational, some fun, and all festive. Here are five of those holiday party ideas, meant just for the art classroom:
Idea #1. Play a holiday-themed drawing game – Let your students have some festive, art-related fun during their class party by playing a holiday-themed “Win, Lose or Draw” or “Pictionary” game. Students take turns drawing on the board while their teammates guess what they are drawing. Have a list of wintery and holiday ideas for students to draw, such as Frosty the Snowman, icicles, a menorah, snowball fights, Christmas tree, cookies, presents, turkey, New Year’s hats, snowplows, the NYC ball drop, hot chocolate, song titles like “Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland” or “Jingle Bells,” and other seasonal events and activities.
Idea #2. Decorate the art classroom – Allow your art students to decorate the classroom for the holidays. As the teacher, decide which items you will allow them to use – and be clear to give directions and limitations on what they may and may not do – and let them cut, glue, and hang up winter-themed decorations. Perhaps show students how to tape and cut paper to resemble greenery and garlands, or how to cut sparkly white paper to resemble icicles hanging from the doorway and chalkboard.
Idea #3. Demonstrate cutting snowflakes – Cutting snowflakes from folded paper is a great party activity for art class on the last day before winter break. Students will be focused on one activity, will want to continue working and try new cuts and ideas, will be practicing scissor and cutting skills, and learning about pattern and symmetry. Demonstrate to students multiple ways of cutting snowflakes, from easy to advanced, depending on their grade and skill level. The finished snowflakes can be hung around the room, in the windows, in the hallway or be taken home.
Idea #4. Design gingerbread houses – If you have plenty of time to prepare materials (and possibly some classroom volunteers), creating gingerbread houses is a fun, festive holiday party idea for your art classroom. The gingerbread houses themselves can be baked ahead of time, or – to save on time – can easily be put together by using graham crackers as walls (instead of cookie slabs). Give students frosting and plastic utensils to stick their walls together, and have candy available for decoration. Consider games and contests for the tallest house, neatest house, most delicious-looking house, most interesting house, best themed-house, most detailed house and other titles.
Idea #5. Decorate color-wheel cookies – Another fun baking-themed holiday party activity is to have students decorate color-wheel sugar cookies. Students in art class should have already been introduced to the idea of the color wheel and know how to blend colors. Teachers can purchase, bake (or have volunteers make) large, plain sugar cookies, and will need three jars of white vanilla frosting. Food dye is added to each frosting container to make one jar of yellow, one of red, and one of blue.
Each student is given one cookie, a plastic utensil, and a small paper plate containing a spoonful of red, yellow and blue frosting. Students must then blend the colors to create an accurate 12-color wheel on top of their cookie. The finished artwork must be teacher-approved before students may eat their cookie. (You may want pictures first!)
As shown, the last day before winter break doesn’t have to be boring or predictable. Liven up those school holiday parties by preparing some of these seasonal games and activities, and set a festive spirit in your art classroom.
Inspired by the holidays? Read:
5 New Year’s Resolutions for Art Teachers
10 Ways to Decorate a Plain Christmas Ornament
10 Winter-Themed Elementary Art Lessons