Get your students ready for the holidays with these fun winter holiday party ideas for the special ed classroom!
Celebrating the holidays in your classroom before winter break can be a fun way to cap off the first part of the school year. While not all of the winter party ideas below will be appropriate for all classes, there are some great options to choose from!
Classroom Winter Party Ideas
Try some of these fun activities when you’re planning your next winter party!
Salt Dough Ornaments
Encourage creativity and fine motor skills by providing salt dough and various cookie cutters. Students can shape and decorate their own ornaments, which can be taken home as special keepsakes.
Grab the No-Bake Salt Dough Visual Recipe to help students create their salt dough first! If you think your students would prefer cinnamon dough (and are not allergic to cinnamon!), this recipe might work better instead.
Make a Cake…or a No Bake Snack!
Use the December No Bake Visual Recipes to engage students in the kitchen with simple and visually appealing recipes. Choose recipes that require no baking, such as Cream Cheese Mints or Jingle Krispies, and provide visual step-by-step instructions for easy comprehension. They can make them during the party or beforehand for a tasty party treat.
Read a Book
Create a cozy atmosphere by reading your students winter and holiday-themed books aloud. Choose books with diverse characters and interactive elements to keep everyone engaged.
If you’d like to give your students their own books, these printable Christmas Adapted Books are a great option!
Make a DIY Fireplace
Transform your classroom into a cozy winter wonderland by creating a DIY fireplace. Check out our blog post for step-by-step instructions and materials needed to bring warmth and ambiance to your special ed classroom.
Holidays Around the World Crafts Activity
Celebrate diversity and learn about different holiday traditions with crafts inspired by cultures from around the world. Provide materials for students to create crafts, such as fingerprint candles for Diwali or a poinsettia craft for Las Posadas.
Decorate Gingerbread Cookies or a Gingerbread House
Bring out the creativity in your students by providing gingerbread cookies and a variety of colorful icing and toppings. For a more ambitious party activity, a gingerbread house contest could also be a fun activity! If a hands-on gingerbread decorating session is not in the plans, try this digital version instead!
Minute to Win It Games
Incorporate friendly competition into your party with quick and exciting minute-to-win-it games that can be adapted to suit your students’ abilities.
Tips for Hosting a Classroom Winter Party
Hosting a winter holiday party can be a tricky endeavor – especially when it comes to the needs of a special education classroom. Here are some tips to make it easier.
Create a sensory-friendly environment by using soft lighting, calming music, and comfortable seating arrangements.
Plan activities that cater to different abilities and interests, such as crafts, games, or storytelling.
Incorporate visual aids and visual schedules to help students understand the flow of the party and what to expect.
Consider dietary restrictions and allergies when planning snacks and treats, and provide alternative options if needed.
Encourage student participation by involving them in the planning process and allowing them to choose some elements of the party.
Let Parents Know Ahead of Time
Even if families are not able to be in the classroom during the party, make sure you send home multiple notes in a variety of formats so that they are aware that the party will be happening. This helps them prepare their student for the events of the day ahead of time.
When you’re planning activities, take into consideration how much help you will have from aides or parents during the event.
Although planning a classroom celebration can be difficult, the winter party ideas above should help alleviate some of the stress that comes with party planning. Choose the activities that will work best for your students and the time that you have allotted. And, perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to smile and take pictures to share with your students!