Organising Christmas parties at toddler group can be so much fun. It’s a great way to finish the year with a bang (often literally, in fact, but hopefully not so loud that it frightens the babies!). We hope these tips will help you and your team prepare for this year’s party.
Set the scene
Send a note to parents and carers the week before the party to ask them to dress the children in a festive outfit. You’ll be amazed how many ‘Marys’ there will be and everyone will really enjoy seeing the babies who look so sweet wearing their Rudolph ears or Santa outfits.
A well-decorated Christmas tree will instantly liven up your room. If you don’t have much space, opt for a small artificial tree – even a 12-inch table-top tree will make an impact.
Hang fairy lights and tinsel around the room, decorate the tables with Christmas tablecloths, and use Christmas plates and cups.
Get your team in a party mood by asking them to wear Santa hats, Reindeer antlers, Wise Men crowns, Christmas ear-rings, sparkly badges, etc.
Play Christmas music in the background while everyone is coming in.
If possible, have a few different crafts this week. You can see a selection of Christmas crafts on our website.
There’s only one choice really, isn’t there? The story of baby Jesus. It’s the perfect opportunity to tell parents, carers and children what Christmas is all about. Could your team put on a small drama of the story or a puppet show to make it extra special? Or why not ask your church leader or a member of your congregation to come as a ‘special guest’ to tell the story. This is a great way of introducing the church to toddler group.
Treat the children and adults by providing some special party food. You could give the children tiny sandwiches, crisps, a little sausage and mini Christmas cakes, while the adults could have salmon and cucumber or cheese and pickle sandwiches, Pringles, sausage rolls and Christmas cake. Make it extra special by giving the adults Schloer or non-alcoholic mulled wine to drink.
Invite a guest musician to the party to play a few simple songs on the guitar or piano – perhaps a youth leader or someone from your church music group. Verse one of Away in a Manger always works well, of course.
Decide when it would be a good time to get everyone to quieten down to listen out for the Santa’s jingling bells (maybe at the end of song time, for example). You may like to have a Father Christmas come to give out presents, but an alternative is to leave a Santa Sack outside the door. That’s certainly a good way to avoid the difficulty of Santa frightening some of the children.
A present of a book is always a good idea. The Book People at www.thebookpeople.co.uk have a great selection of books for 0–5s that are sold in packs for very reasonable prices.
Invitation to church services
Christmas is a fantastic opportunity to invite parents, carers and children to your church events, especially to things like the Christingle service or children’s nativity. Why not invest some time in making and giving out special invitations.