This is the time of year when so many people turn their focus to God, even those who do routinely attend worship. It is the prime time for outreach, for sharing the message of salvation. I like to host children’s events just for them while giving parents time to do some Christmas shopping. I also like to encourage events for the whole family to spend time together during the holiday season. This year’s theme… “Santa’s Workshop,” and it can be held either way. Regardless of which way you go, children’s party or family event, make sure to promote! Get the word out about your event.
I recommend having a feature “item” that is the main draw. This could be a play, concert, meal or unique craft. Gingerbread house building is a popular one. For our Santa’s workshop this year, kids were excited to use a hammer and nails to make there very own Christmas countdown. More on this in a minute.
What do we do at Santa’s workshop?
- Holiday Singing
- Snacking (of course!)
For family events, set up centers so families can come and go, participating in the different parts of the event at their own speed. Have a devotional center with times posted for when you start the story each time. You will want this area to be very comfortable and inviting, maybe even offer hot chocolate to sip on while listening. Set up a place for families to take their pictures. You could even have someone stationed at this spot to take the pictures and offer to email them the picture immediately. This way, you get their email address to follow up. Craft stations may be as simple as coloring a picture or gluing cotton balls to Santa’s beard. Go all out and make elf slime! Games? Oh the fun you can have! Check out Pinterest if you can’t think of anything.
Now for a children’t event, it will probably look a little different. They can’t really wonder around on their own. Here’s what my party looked like:
- As kids were arriving, we made elf slime. Kids can’t get enough of slime! (I made a few extra ahead of time for those that arrived late.)
- Make Christmas countdown trees
- Pass out snacks to eat during story
- Christmas story time
- Game: Word game (Stick one card with a holiday word or picture on it onto child’s forehead. Other kids give clues to help them guess the word.)
I was prepared! If we finished early, we were heading to the playground.
I didn’t forget! I told you I’d tell you about the Christmas countdown trees. Here’s a video showing you just how it’s done. They are easy and something kids will keep. I did not do this, but I wish I had given kids a sticker to put on the back with the church name and the year. You do want adults (or high school kids) to help. My older kids did great, but a few younger ones still needed help. (I had 2nd – 5th grades). Also, I did not end up giving my kids all the countdown numbers, instead, I just gave them two blank presents that I laminated along with a dry erase marker to easily change days left until Christmas. Here’s a link to the countdown presents if you want to use them.
Make sure to recruit plenty of help for your event. Kids always need help whether it is with cutting, tying knots, or getting snacks… This is one of the best times of the year for kids so as a church, we want to help make it memorable when it comes to God’s family. I’d love to hear what you have done for your parties each year. I’m always looking for new ideas.