My hat goes off to the teachers that can do that, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there are very few of them. Yeah, some teachers try and be the cool teacher and have the ultimate "lets be crazy" party, but we all know they were about to throw up right before starting it!
A few years ago, while a bunch of us were joking about calling in sick the day before a party (to be honest I worked with two teachers that were absent for EVERY party day - yeah, we all noticed) I had the best idea. Why not do centers instead of a party? Then, the kids get many activities instead of just one hyper, sugar filled event. I might even be able to fit in some fun learning (sshhh, please don't share that with the kids!).
So, Holiday Centers were created! The students were already used to centers in our room since we did Daily 5 Math and Reading. So, doing stations during this time was very routine! How did we do them? Keep reading to find out!
First, I thought about how many stations I would need. I usually have 30 to 32 students, so I went with 6 stations!
Then, I thought about the mix I wanted at each station. How long did we want to spend at each one, did all of the kids see every station, could they do them themselves and how could I involve all of the family members that always want to volunteer?
I decided that a mix of games, alone activities and crafts would be beneficial for all of the kids. Then, there is some hang-out time, some alone time, and some crafty time to use the imagination!
So, to dive into the details, we have six stations and the students spend about 10 to 15 minutes at each station. That does make our party last a little bit longer, but the kids don't complain and I actually don't mind it going longer since we have a focus. At each station the students have a direction sheet and the materials. I usually place them in a plastic tub the night before (or have a parent volunteer help me). Because the stations are pretty self-directed I'm able to get the stations out right at the "party" time and place it on a table.
If I have parents or family members there to help with the "party" they are also able to be assigned to a specific station and that helps with their focus too! But, the beauty of these stations is that I don't need to have a parent volunteer to have the stations work- they just run more smoothly if there is someone in charge of it! I have found that parents LOVE volunteering for this type of party because they know what is expected of them and they aren't just sitting around helping whenever they see a need; they are running a station- they have a purpose!
If you are interested in having stations for your next party but don't have the time to make them yourself, check out my Valentine's Day Party Stations. It has 6 stations ready to print and use (with a little material gathering like construction paper, and glue to name a few). It's for sale at my Teachers Pay Teachers store, but you can go directly there by clicking here or on the picture below! Happy "partying"!