Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Frosted Classroom Christmas Party

Hello friends! Now that I am finally back from my whirlwind Christmas, I am so excited to share a peek into my classroom Christmas celebration with you. Well, maybe more than just a peek. Several peeks. Thirty peeks and inspirational photos. Ready? Me too!

First things first. Every great party starts with fabulous decor. I scoured the internet for the perfect party decorations. I wanted pieces that were a natural fit for my bright classroom environment and also brought holiday joy into the room. As it turns out, I had to look no further than Oriental Trading Company

adorable Christmas party ideas for children
I discovered the most adorable paper lanterns that look like holiday spiral hard candy. They had just enough pops of red and green to bring an instant festive flair into my classroom without clashing in the existing bright rainbow decor. 
adorable Christmas party ideas for young children

 I purchased table coverscandy cane plates, and lanterns from Oriental Trading. The rest of my supplies came from Party City and Gordon Food Center. 

I loved the sweet treats line of party supplies from Oriental Trading because it was the perfect backdrop for the main event of my class party: Frosted Christmas Trees! 
Frosted Christmas Trees… MUST remember this idea next Christmas!
If you are not already familiar with this instant holiday craft, let me be the first to inform you! It's an updated spin on the traditional gingerbread house, and it's perfect for kindergarten students. Rather than the self-torture of leading young children in the complicated task of gingerbread house construction, and then tearfully watching the sugary walls inevitably topple over, students simply frost an inverted ice cream cone and decorate the cone with small candies to resemble a Christmas tree. 
So simple! And kindergarten students LOVE this project! 

Setting up for this project was a simple task. While my students were at library, my troop of classroom volunteers helped me prepare the trees for decoration.

The students were going to decorate their trees on top of inverted cup lids so we could easily pop an upside down cup on top of the tree for a convenient carrying case. 
(Check out my new DIY Cup Carrying Case Photo Tutorial for more info).

Green frosting was put into a pastry bag. We piped the frosting out and used it as glue to create an anchor for the ice cream cones. This prevented the cones from toppling over during the decorating process. To begin, a large dollop of frosting was placed directly onto the inverted lid and a round cookie was set on top of the frosting. From there, more frosting was piped around the top of the cookie. 
Frosted Christmas Trees… MUST remember this idea next Christmas!
An inverted sugar ice cream cone was placed directly onto the ring of frosting. This served as the perfect foundation for our frosted trees. 
cute ideas for frosted ice cream cone Christmas trees
frosted Christmas trees made from ice cream cones

After a few minutes, I had an entire forest of ice cream cone trees waiting to be frosted. 
Frosted Christmas Trees… MUST remember this idea next Christmas!
Frosted Christmas Trees… MUST remember this idea next Christmas!

My students arrived back from library while the classroom parents worked to set up a few finishing touches. This little guy was SO excited to start decorating his frosted tree!
kindergarten Christmas party ideas

At last, the students were able to begin! My kindergartners are very well-behaved but I wasn't harboring any illusions about their ability to resist the temptation of finger licking and candy tasting. With so many cold and flu symptoms going around this winter, I took measures to keep the germs contained. Each student was given his/her own plastic knife and personal frosting container. They could lick and frost to their heart's content without fear of spreading germs. 

Candy distribution was handled carefully as well. The sweet decorating supplies were placed in cups and used as table centerpieces. Each time a child wanted to decorate with a certain type of candy, they would raise their hand and a parent would pour a little bit of the desired candy onto the child's plate. It worked perfectly and no hands came in contact with the candy supply.
Frosted Christmas Trees… MUST remember these great ideas next Christmas!
Frosted Christmas Trees… MUST remember these great ideas next Christmas!

This little sweetie spent longer than everyone else decorating her tree. I think I know why.
Frosted Christmas Trees… MUST remember these great ideas next Christmas!
Frosted Christmas Trees… MUST remember these great ideas next Christmas!
this blog post has LOTS of great ideas and photos for a children's Christmas party
this blog post has LOTS of great ideas and photos for a children's Christmas party
frostedChristmas trees
this blog post has LOTS of great ideas and photos for a children's Christmas party

The lids were prepped and ready to cover any completed trees.
I purchased 20 ounce cups and lids from GFS. Similar cups and lids are also available on Amazon
frosted Christmas trees… MUST remember to come back to this pin next Christmas!

I just love how these completed masterpieces look inside of their special carrying cases. They actually look like Christmas ornaments. 
frosted Christmas trees… MUST remember to come back to this pin next Christmas!
frosted Christmas trees… MUST remember to come back to this pin next Christmas!
And I love how well the lanterns accent our party theme!
this blog post has lots of amazing ideas and great photos from a classroom Christmas party
Once the tree decorating was complete, we opened presents while classroom volunteers cleaned up our sugary mess and prepared to serve lunch. I didn't have time to wrap the students' gifts all fancy, so I bought cute blouse boxes at Target and placed their gifts inside. The Dollar Store is also and excellent resource for inexpensive gift boxes. 
this blog post has lots of amazing ideas and great photos from a classroom Christmas party

Like any good teacher, my students received the gift of books! I got at great deal on Can You See What I See? Christmas Read-And-Seek. These books were perfect because they are SIMPLE emergent readers with lots of picture support. They also have the intrigue of an I-Spy format to search for hidden objets in the photographs. 
cute book for Christmas!
It was an instant hit!
cute book for Christmas!

this blog post has lots of amazing ideas and great photos from a classroom Christmas party
Once the presents were opened it was time to return to our seats and get ready to eat! The Chrismtas party is my favorite classroom celebration and it always has the best food! We feasted on pizza, potato chips and a small dessert. The students drank water, but we made it extra fancy with raspberry ice cubes and these adorable disposable stemmed drinking cups. I purchased mine at GFS but they also sell similar party cups on Amazon

this blog post has lots of amazing ideas and great photos from a classroom Christmas party

 Pizza and chips never looked so fancy!
this blog post has lots of amazing ideas and great photos from a classroom Christmas party

Each child's place setting included a cute little box with their dessert inside. My students were dying to open the box and peek inside. 
this blog post has lots of amazing ideas and great photos from a classroom Christmas party
We had Pinterest-inspired reindeer donut holes, similar to the ones featured on duhlicious.com.
this blog post has lots of amazing ideas and great photos from a classroom Christmas party

While most of the class was thrilled about the pizza, donuts, and fancy water glasses; one kindergarten student just wanted to admire the frosted Christmas trees. 
this blog post has lots of amazing ideas and great photos from a classroom Christmas party

I can't say I blame her. 
Frosted Christmas Trees… MUST remember this idea next Christmas!
Be sure to pin this image so you'll remember it next Christmas. 
Be sure to check out my DIY Cup Case photo tutorial to see how I created these simple cases. 
DIY carrying case for frosted ice cream cone Christmas trees


Happy Holidays!

10 comments:

  1. Adorable!! Can you please share your Valentine's party ideas NOW, so I don't have to wait until next year to try them? Lol!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Adorable!! Can you please share your Valentine's party ideas NOW, so I don't have to wait until next year to try them? Lol!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been doing these trees since 2000 when I worked in Rome, Ga. It is an easy thing to do! Niw that I am in Cartersville, Ga, my kinders do both a milk carton Gbread house (Grade level style) and instead of making the tree as part of the Gbread house, we save them and decorate them inside the Classroom, much like what you mentioned in your post. The kiddos love this more than Gbread houses! Secretly, I do, too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm with S. Baguyo's comment from above. I'd love to see what you do for the kids on Valentine's Day!! Your blog is amazing. thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been doing the Christmas tree cones since I first started teaching 10 years ago! It's so much fun and easy! I did the cups this year for the first time, but I love the idea of getting lids! Genius!
    Rachel
    A Tall Drink of Water

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this idea. I want our holiday celebration to be more than eating junk food and watching a movie. This is a perfect idea for next year. Even though we do gingerbread houses as part of the holiday celebration unit, the trees would be a 'sweet' way to use leftover candies and give volunteers a way to be with us. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We made our trees this year and have for several years. But we eat our right then and there! The students devour them and then I send them on their merry way to their parents.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great party and great trees! I pinned it so I will remember it for next year. We do a Gingerbread activity with our reading buddies and this might just be a nice way to finish up our gingerbread stuff.

    Terri Izatt
    KinderKapers

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are my hero, Maria!! I love reading your posts!! Your activities are always adorable AND practical! Thank you, my friend, for inspiring us!! Happy New Year!
    Laura
    Peace, Love, and First Grade

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Maria! Looking at your blog post was like looking at my class on our last day of school! We also did the frosted Christmas trees, only you were much smarter to use a cookie to put the frosting on as an anchor and to put them into a cup to carry home after...brilliant! I used waffle cones that fell over and the kids had a hard time carrying them home on a plate lol...better luck next year! Thanks for the great tips!! Happy New Year!
    Elyse
    Proud to be Primary

    ReplyDelete