With the holidays just around the corner and travel plans underway, the winter months can often seem daunting and stressful for us all. For those parents afflicted by end of the year anxiety, author and party planning expert Lisa Kothari has created some wonderful party ideas and indispensable tips for stress-free wintertime party planning that anyone can use!
A Winter One-derland Party
If your little one is soon to turn one and it’s wintry outside, a perfect theme for your party may be a fabulous “Winter One-derland!” If you’d prefer a party for adults, just drop the play on the words and you have a great plan for any ages!
For the invitation cut out an array of mittens, snowballs, scarves, and snowflakes in your party colors and place all of the party info on the cut outs! OR, use Styrofoam balls and connect the party information with string and paper and hand deliver them to potential party-goers!!
Décor: Balloons and streamers in the colors you choose can decorate the party room, and hang snowflakes from your ceiling at different lengths! Cover you furniture with white sheets, place Styrofoam packing peanuts all over the party room for the snow and hang twinkle lights all over the party room! Make snowmen out of balloons, taping three different sizes of balloons together and decorating their faces with markers. The kids can do this as an entertaining party activity as well!
Make Snowmen: Cook 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1 cup water, 2 Tbs. Veg. Oil, 1 Tbs. Cream of tartar, 1/3 cup silver glitter, 1/4 cup white powdered tempera paint, over medium heat until ball is formed. Knead dough until cool. Provide bowls with bits of cloth, paper, beads, pipe cleaners, felt, etc. Have the guests sculpt their own snowdough snowman and decorate it!
Make Snow Globes: Fill a baby food jar almost to the top with water and stir in a few drops of glycerin and 1/2 a teaspoon of glitter, and star/moon confetti. That’s all! This is a great party goody for the kids to take home!
For the Menu: Make Snowman Pizza, using cheese, olives, and other veggies for the toppings! Make different sized pancakes and have the kids make snowmen out of them and use chocolate chips to decorate! Or serve Pigs in a Blanket, to keep the piggies warm!
Serve mud and snow, hot chocolate with whipped cream. Serve the sweet treat along with little donuts rolled in powdered sugar, like mini snowballs!
Serve a Polar Ice Cap – Refrigerate blue Kool-Aid and ginger ale. Fill a glass almost halfway with the Kool-Aid. Add ginger ale almost to the top of the glass. Drop in one big snowball (scoop of vanilla ice cream), and enjoy with a straw!
Festive Cookie Party
If you are looking for a kids’ holiday party idea that can be used as a stand-alone party, or as a traditional gathering with friends during the festive season, why not make cookies?!
One note, take into account the age of the kids who will be attending to determine how much actual baking will be done. If small kids will be there, having the cookies prepared beforehand and having them decorate the cookies will be excellent! Older children could handle rolling out chilled dough, cutting them into shapes with cookie cutters, doing an activity while they bake and cool, and then decorating. Older kids will appreciate taking on the challenge of making the cookies themselves from start to finish.
For invitations: Cut out holiday shapes from colorful construction paper using your cookie cutters as a guide for tracing, gingerbread men are a great idea! Place all of the party information onto the invitation. Attach a candy cane to the invite if hand-delivering.
The heart of this party will take place in the kitchen and dining area. Line the kitchen table with wrapping paper for a festive feel, and to protect the table. Red aprons and Santa Hats would be an additional goody to give the kids or friends to wear. Have an array of frostings, sprinkles and candies for decorating, and certainly, play that holiday music!
When the cookies have all been baked and decorated, wrap them in red Saran Wrap for the kids and friends to take home, along with recipe cards, aprons, hats, etc!!
Easy Ornament Swap
To keep lovely little ladies busy during the cold winter months, any sort of party where the girls can exchange gifts is an easy and enjoyable event that is simple to plan and put on!
If your child is just beginning her school years, a wonderful tradition that you may want to begin and carry throughout all of her school grade years is an annual ornament swap! Each holiday season, send out a simple invitation to announce the ornament swap.
Invitation example: Take a round globe ornament and uncap it. Inside place the party details in a rolled up small scroll of paper and make sure to tell your guests about the party details being inside! These would need to be hand-delivered.
As for decorations, this is an easy party in that your decorated home for the holidays is already the perfect setting! Make sure to ask your guests to each bring one ornament for the swap. You can have them bring any type of an ornament or have a set theme for them to follow!
For the Swap: When the kids arrive place a number on the bottom of the ornament package and add this number to a bowl that the kids will choose from. When it is time for the swap, have each person pick a number and that is their ornament. Of course, if a child picks her own, she must pick again!
Serving cookies and cocoa are perfect for the party as well. Since this is a more casual party, planned activities and games are not as necessary so the rest of the gathering can simply have the girls playing together! In addition, it is a good opportunity to invite the parents as well, perhaps the moms. While the kids play, the women can chat over tea and cookies!
The wonderful part of this tradition is, if you begin it in kindergarten, by the time a child graduates from high school, she will have collected 13 special ornaments and a childhood full of memories from these annual gatherings!
For more exciting and creative party tips and ideas, Lisa Kothari’s recently released book, “Dear Peppers and Pollywogs… What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties,” is available at www.Amazon.com for $9.95. Also, Lisa’s website www.PeppersPollywogs.com is full of great party ideas for any type of celebration for children of any age!!