You’ve baked a tree-shaped cake, photocopied sheet music for caroling and warmed up the apple cider. Despite the hard work it takes to put together a holiday party for kids, don’t stop short when it comes time to decorate.
You might think that kids fail to notice how a party space looks, but Christmas party decorations can put children in the holiday spirit. Making the extra effort to create a scene will be worth it, even if Junior and his friends don’t explicitly say, “Lovely party decorations, Mrs. Smith.”
Here are some ideas for transforming a home into a winter wonderland for kids for your next Christmas party.
- Cut snowflakes from white paper and hang them from the ceiling. The key to making this look amazing is to cut a lot of snowflakes. Just when you think you have enough, make more to really fill the room with white winter magic. You can find templates for cutting a variety of beautiful paper snowflakes at kinderart.com.
- Make fake clouds and suspend them from the sky. Serena Thompson, of The Farm Chicks, created faux clouds as decorations for one of her recent antique sales. She makes hers by blowing up white balloons, bunching them together, covering the bunch with papier mache, and then, once dry, spraying the cloud formation with adhesive and pressing polyfill to the sticky surface. You could dangle some white paper snowflakes from the clouds to make it look like the room is in the midst of a snowstorm.
- Choose a color scheme and stick with it. Parties sometimes have a mish-mash look about them because the host doesn’t commit to one color combination. You’ve seen it before. The decorations are red and green but the plates and napkins are silver and blue. Stay with two or three colors that go well together, such as red and green; silver and blue; silver and white; silver and gold; gold and green, gold and red; or have fun with a wintery pattern such as plaid.
- Hang garland. Garland made from natural foliage is always beautiful, but how about making a garland that strings together Christmas symbols such as stockings, trees, Santa hats or Nutcrackers? It’s an easy way to make a big impact in a room. You can make the shapes from paper or felt and either glue or sew them to ribbon or string.
- Another garland idea that’s fun during the holidays is to string together the lyrics of Christmas carols across the room, a project first spotted on the blog Katie Did. Simply fold pieces of paper, cut the letters so that the paper fold is at the top, and then wrap the letters around string with glue inside to hold both sides together. String the garland across the room, and the kids will have fun following the words and singing the familiar songs as they go.
- For table toppers, make 3-D trees from cardboard that you paint green, white or brown before the party. Have the children decorate the trees during the bash. The decorations could be ornament shapes cut from construction paper and then glued on or stickers purchased from a craft store. To make the 3-D trees, cut two or three identical tree silhouettes and then cut a slit in each of them so the interlock and stand up on their own. For more detailed instructions, visit Craftideas.info.
- Sprinkle fake snow (compare prices) on top of the food table and other tabletops.
- Decorate with objects from nature, such as pinecones, greenery, twigs and branches. Ahead of time, you could mix white paint with glitter and paint the pinecones to mimic snow.
- Set up a manger scene either inside the house or on your front lawn. Build a stable from lumber and bark and a crib for baby Jesus from sticks. You could make plywood cutouts of Mary, Joseph and the shepherds or dress the kids as those roles when they arrive at the party.
- Choose a holiday-related theme for the party and base your decorations upon it. Seattle magazine once featured a Nutcracker-themed party, for example. The decorations included real toe shoes hanging off the backs of chairs and pink tulle-covered tables. Other Christmas themes to consider: winter wonderland, Rudolph, woodland creatures, religious, sugar and spice and gingerbread houses.
Whereas birthday party decorations are usually only up for a day or two, you can leave Christmas party decorations around for the whole month of December. That--plus the joy that the festive scene will bring to the young partygoers--makes decorating your home for a holiday bash worth the time and energy.