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.
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.
I purchased table covers, candy 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!
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.
An inverted sugar ice cream cone was placed directly onto the ring of frosting. This served as the perfect foundation for our frosted trees.
After a few minutes, I had an entire forest of ice cream cone trees waiting to be frosted.
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!
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.
This little sweetie spent longer than everyone else decorating her tree. I think I know why.
The lids were prepped and ready to cover any completed trees.
I just love how these completed masterpieces look inside of their special carrying cases. They actually look like Christmas ornaments.
And I love how well the lanterns accent our party theme!
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.
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.
It was an instant hit!
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.
Pizza and chips never looked so fancy!
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.
We had Pinterest-inspired reindeer donut holes, similar to the ones featured on duhlicious.com.
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.
I can't say I blame her.
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.