Can We Ban Boring Holiday Parties for the Kids?

Jeanne Sager
Big Kid

kids hanukkah partyHoliday parties for the kids are one of Santa's best inventions. They're cheap to put together, a good way to get a bunch of kids in one room so some Moms can sneak out for some shopping or wrapping, and every kid gets a prize.

But Santa's getting old. If I have to go to another holiday party for the kids with the same old crafts, I'm going to scream. They are boring for the moms, boring for the kids and fill your  house with schlock you don't need just when you need to clean out the crap for the holiday goodies themselves.

And so I've made it my mission to protect you good mothers from another cotton ball snowman and soggy gingerbread house.

Since Santa's no help, The Stir called in the big guns to help design some new activities for the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa parties that will put an end to boring.

Lisa Kothari, author of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs What Parents Want To Know About Planning Their Kids' Parties and editor of party-planning site Peppers and Pollywogs has come to your rescue.


Make edible dreidels.

Using a chocolate kiss, attach a mini marshmallow with frosting or peanut butter to the flat side of the kiss. Insert a pretzel stick into the mini marshmallow. The kids can spin their own dreidel.

Make edible menorahs.

Cut a banana in half and slice it down the middle lengthwise. Count out eight pretzel sticks with the kids and have them stick the pretzel sticks into the banana like the candles on the menorah.


Treasure Hunts are always popular. Try some inventive clues that are creative and original:

  • Sometimes I am a powder, sometimes a crystal, no matter, however, I’ll always make your goodies sweeter. (Sugar bowl or canister in your kitchen.)
  • I welcome with a green sprig or a jingle, I beckon you in for a holiday giggle. (A wreath hanging on your front door.)
  • I am hung with some care to make sure that St. Nicholas will soon be there. (Stockings, of course.)
  • I make the presents glisten with care, yet I will be gone with a few simple tears! (Wrapping Paper Station)
  • I’m piping hot this time of year, from roasts to cookies, turn me on and watch the temp rise far and beyond. (Oven)
  • I’m white, puffy, and smooth and add much fun to your cocoa! (Bowl of Marshmallows.)
  • Fresh and crisp, I am tall and green and add a touch of nature to your merriment. (Christmas Tree.)
  • With a corncob pipe, and a button nose, and my eyes are made out of… (Perhaps you have some fake snow as a decoration in your home, that would be tricky, or somewhere in the real snow outdoors?)
  • Greetings Galore this time of year from family, friends and neighbors both near and far. (Basket of holiday cards.)
  • In red and green, blue and silver, I will illuminate your room with no more than a flicker. (Assortment of holiday candles, the kids will have to find the right candle for their next clue, of course.)


Each day during Kwanzaa, a principle is upheld and celebrated. These seven principles include: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Clearly, these are universal values that all children can learn from during the holiday season.

You can have some fun with the celebration by doing activities that embrace these principles:

  • Write a story about being determined
  • Make a poster that shows ways of being responsible in your neighborhood,
  • Actually be responsible in the neighborhood -- feed the homeless one day
  • Set up a small business to earn money, e.g. sell hot chocolate!
  • Make paper candlesticks and write a principle on each one.

What old holiday party activity would you like to see end forever?


Image via striatic/Flickr

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