School can be such hard work for little ones! It’s important every once in a while, especially around the holidays, to slow down and take time to play. Here are a few of my favorite fun party games for Kindergarten. These holiday games are great throughout the month of December or as part of your holiday festivities.
These party games are easy to prepare and your students will love them! Use the games as community builders, at station time, or as part of your classroom holiday party. And to help your classroom party run smoothly, read my tips here: 3 Rules for Stress-Free Classrooms.
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12 Holiday Games for Kindergarten:
1. Paper Bag Guessing Game
Fill a small paper sack (sometimes you can find holiday-print bags at the Dollar Store) with small holiday items such as a dreidel, a cookie cutter or a candy cane. Fold the top of the paper bag over and secure with tape so that no one can see inside of it. Let each child take a turn feeling the bag, trying to figure out what’s inside. The child who guesses the most items wins the round.
2. Santa Says
This party game for Kindergarten is as close to no-prep as you can get. Kids love the game Simon Says, so why not play it with a holiday twist? Call out holiday themed directions like “Blink like a Christmas light” or “Prance like a reindeer”. And just like Simon Says, they should only perform the task if it begins with Santa Says.
3. Candy Cane Hunt
Ask for volunteers to donate a box of small wrapped candy canes the week before the party. When your students are out of the room at recess or lunch, hide the candy canes around the room. When they return, gather them on the rug and explain the rules. Be sure to remind them to be kind to one another- no pushing or shoving. An easy way to make sure nobody is left out is to designate a number for each child- for example five each.
4. Jingle Bell Toss
For this holiday party game you will need 6 red Solo cups and a 10 jingle bells. Set the cups in the shape of a bowling pyramid on a desktop or table. Stick a piece of masking tape on the rug 3 to 4 feet away from the table. The object of the game is to stand behind the line and toss as many jingle bells as you can into a cup. Once all the bells are thrown, the student retrieves them and passes them to the next player in line.
5. Don’t Eat the Gingerbread
This party game for Kindergarten is a crowd please. It’s a fun board game that is perfect for small groups. All you need is this free download, which includes game board and directions, and some small candies or mini-marshmallows. Or, if you’d prefer, download the non-food version, Don’t Grab the Gingerbread.
6. Reindeer, Reindeer, Rudolph
Next up on the list of holiday games is Duck, Duck, Goose – just kidding, that’s not a holiday party game – but Reindeer, Reindeer, Rudolph is! Children sit in a circle and one student (“it”) walks around the outside gently patting the heads of their classmate saying “reindeer” as they pat. When they pat one child on the head and say “Rudolph”, they take off running, hoping to get all the way around the circle without getting tagged. The child who is patted stands up and chases them. If they are tagged they must be “it” again. If they make it all the way back to the empty spot the other child is “it”.
7. Pin the Nose on the Snowman
This game is a fun holiday twist on the classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey. On a large piece of white paper, draw the outline of a snowman with Sharpie. Add eyes and a mouth (and any other accessories you’d like), but keep the space where the nose belongs blank.
Pass out orange construction paper to your students and show them how to cut out a long thin triangle. Have each student write their name in pencil on their “carrot”. Ask them to line up and when it is their turn, put a piece of rolled up tape on the back of their carrot and place a bandana around their eyes. Give them a spin or two and gently lead them in the direction of the snowman. The child whose carrot lands closest to the appropriate spot wins.
If you’re short on time, for just a few dollars, you can also buy pre-made games on Amazon. Here’s a Snowman version and a Ruldoph version. You can have students use construction paper to make their own nose, so you can use this game year after year. (Just use sticky tack or something similar – not tape.)
8. Silver Bells Matching Game
For this fun matching game, you need silver Hershey Kisses, sticker dots and a Sharpie. To prepare, place a sticker dot on the bottom of each Kiss and write a number from 1-10. Continue until you have 2 “bells” for each number.
To play, mix up the bells and lay them out in a grid on a table. Just like the game Memory, students will pick up two bells and check underneath for the number. When they find matching numbers they get to keep the pair. Play continues until all of the matches have been found. Once the game is over, return the bells and set them up for the next duo to play.
You can switch up this party game for Kindergarten by matching uppercase and lowercase letter or even rhyming CVC word families (if you can write small enough)!
9. Snowball Relay Race
Divide your class into two teams. Divide each team in half and have them stand across the rug (or room) from each other in straight lines facing each other. To begin the relay race, give one student on each team a plastic spoon with a cotton ball balanced in it. The object of the game is to walk the distance to your teammate across the room without letting your cotton ball fall off. If it does, the player has to go back to the starting position and try again. Play continues back and forth until the last player crosses the line.
10. Peppermint Tic Tac Toe
It’s so easy to turn any traditional game into a party game for Kindergarten. Here’s an example of a twist on an old classic. Pair students up and give each pair a piece of cardstock, a pencil and 5 red peppermints and 5 green peppermints. Teach them how to draw a tic tac toe grid (#) on their cardstock. Explain the rules of tic tac toe (if they’ve never played) and let them play! If you’d like, they can keep track of wins with tally marks on a sheet of paper.
11. Merry Fishmas!
Place several candy canes with the curved end up in a heavy jar or cup on the floor. Fashion a fishing pole with a piece of string or yarn tied to a pencil on one end and to the straight tip of a candy cane (so that it looks like a fishing hook). Students take turns “fishing” by dipping their pole into the cup to see how many candy canes they can hook.
12. Reindeer Antler Toss
For this party game for Kindergarten you will need an inexpensive pair of headband antlers, which are easily found online or at stores like Target, and 6 pipe cleaners. One child wears the antlers on their head and their partner tosses rings, made from pipe cleaners twisted into a circle with ends secured, hoping to ring one of the antlers. Then the partner switches places. The child who lands the most rings wins that round. Again, if you’re short on time, here’s an inflatable Reindeer Ring Toss from Amazon
If you’re looking for even more fun activities, check out these December activities for Kindergarten. They include fun, educational math and literacy activities that are perfect for the month of December. If your party games for Kindergarten need an educational component, these would fit the bill.
Taking time to celebrate with your students is a wonderful way to strengthen your classroom community and give your students happy memories to take into holiday break. What are some of your favorite party games for Kindergarten?