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A Kindergarten Christmas Party to Remember

Hello friends! Now that I am finally back from my whirlwind Christmas, I am so excited to share a peek into my classroom Christmas celebration with you. Well, maybe more than just a peek. Several peeks. Thirty peeks and inspirational photos. Ready? Me too!

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog.

First things first. Every great party starts with fabulous decor. I scoured the internet for the perfect party decorations. I wanted pieces that were a natural fit for my bright classroom environment and also brought holiday joy into the room. As it turns out, I had to look no further than Oriental Trading Company.

paper globe lanterns hanging in kindergarten classroom some offer bright pops of color while green, white, and red striped lanterns serve as holiday decor

I discovered the most adorable paper lanterns that look like holiday spiral hard candy. They had just enough pops of red and green to bring an instant festive flair into my classroom without clashing in the existing bright rainbow decor.

green, white, and red striped paper Christmas lanterns decorating classroom for class party

I purchased table coverscandy cane plates, and lanterns from Oriental Trading. The rest of my supplies came from Party City and Gordon Food Center. I loved the sweet treats line of party supplies from Oriental Trading because it was the perfect backdrop for the main event of my class party: Frosted Christmas Trees!

frosted christmas trees decorated with assorted candy siting inside clear plastic carrying cup "frosted christmas trees"

If you are not already familiar with this instant holiday craft, let me be the first to inform you! It’s an updated spin on the traditional gingerbread house, and it’s perfect for kindergarten students. Rather than the self-torture of leading young children in the complicated task of gingerbread house construction, and then tearfully watching the sugary walls inevitably topple over, students simply frost an inverted ice cream cone and decorate the cone with small candies to resemble a Christmas tree. So simple! And kindergarten students LOVE this project!

Setting up for this project was a breeze. While my students were at the library, my troop of classroom volunteers helped me prepare the trees for decoration. The students were going to decorate their trees on top of inverted cup lids so we could easily pop an upside-down cup on top of the tree for a convenient carrying case. (Check out my new DIY Cup Carrying Case Photo Tutorial for more info).

The most important detail that you need to know about this project is that it requires 20 oz. plastic cups with lids. Click here to buy them on Amazon.

stacks of clear plastic cups with lids

Green frosting was put into a pastry bag. We piped the frosting out and used it as glue to create an anchor for the ice cream cones. This prevented the cones from toppling over during the decorating process. To begin, a large dollop of frosting was placed directly onto the inverted lid and a round cookie was set on top of the frosting. From there, more frosting was piped around the top of the cookie.

kindergarten student using piping bag to add green frosting to top of small round sugar cookie on a holiday paper plate

An inverted sugar ice cream cone was placed directly onto the ring of frosting. This served as the perfect foundation for our frosted trees.

adult places waffle cone on upside-down on top of frosted sugar cookie to form Christmas tree shape

After a few minutes, I had an entire forest of ice cream cone trees waiting to be frosted.

student's sugar cookies topped with ice cream cones on holiday paper plates sit on table before they are frosted

My students arrived back from library while the classroom parents worked to set up a few finishing touches. This little guy was SO excited to start decorating his frosted tree!

kindergarten student eagerly looking at unfrosted ice cream cones sitting on table

At last, the students were able to begin! My kindergartners are very well-behaved but I wasn’t harboring any illusions about their ability to resist the temptation of finger licking and candy tasting. With so many cold and flu symptoms going around this winter, I took measures to keep the germs contained.

Each student was given his/her own plastic knife and personal frosting container. They could lick and frost to their heart’s content without fear of spreading germs.Candy distribution was handled carefully as well. The sweet decorating supplies were placed in cups and used as table centerpieces. Each time a child wanted to decorate with a certain type of candy, they would raise their hand and a parent would pour a little bit of the desired candy onto the child’s plate. It worked perfectly and no hands came in contact with the candy supply.

child adds sprinkles to ice cream cone tree covered with green frosting
child reaching for green chocolate candy to add to to their frosted Christmas tree

This little sweetie spent longer than everyone else decorating her tree. I think I know why.

kindergarten student wrapping licorice around green frosted ice cream cone tree
child taking a break from decorating their holiday tree to take a bite of licorice
kindergartener pressing red and green candies into frosting on their tree
kindergartener pressing shimmery pink candy into green frosting
clear cups filled with treats for decorating sit in front of student and their decorated tree on a green table cloth

The lids were prepped and ready to cover any completed trees. I purchased 20 ounce cups and lids from Amazon.

clear plastic cups sitting upside-down on green table cloth with ribbon loop attached to top to carry trees home when they are finished

I just love how these completed masterpieces look inside of their special carrying cases. They actually look like Christmas ornaments.

the completed kindergarten Christmas craft is a festively decorated tree sitting inside of plastic cup carrying case
group of completed trees in their carrying cases sitting on green table cloth ready to go home with kindergarten students

Favorite Christmas Party Supplies

Oriental Trading has lots of great Christmas party supplies and decor to enhance your classroom theme. Click the image below to check out a few of my favorites and stock up on supplies for your classroom Christmas celebration!

Christmas party supplies from oriental trading company including paper plates, cups, paper Christmas lights for hanging, pop-up evergreen trees, and santa and elf napkins

Once the tree decorating was complete, we opened presents while classroom volunteers cleaned up our sugary mess and prepared to serve lunch. I didn’t have time to wrap the students’ gifts all fancy, so I bought cute blouse boxes at Target and placed their gifts inside. The Dollar Store is also an excellent resource for inexpensive gift boxes.

kindergarten class sits on carpet holding wrapped Christmas gifts from teacher

Like any good teacher, my students received the gift of books! I got a great deal on Can You See What I See? Christmas Read-And-Seek. These books were perfect because they are SIMPLE emergent readers with lots of picture support. They also have the intrigue of an I-Spy format to search for hidden objects in the photographs.

child reading "Can you see what I see? Christmas"

It was an instant hit!

kindergartener sitting on floor reading Christmas gift from teacher
peppermint striped paper lanterns hanging in cheery classroom as Christmas party decorations

Once the presents were opened it was time to return to our seats and get ready to eat! The Christmas party is my favorite classroom celebration and it always has the best food! We feasted on pizza, potato chips, and a small dessert. The students drank water, but we made it extra fancy with raspberry ice cubes and these adorable disposable stemmed drinking cups. I purchased mine at GFS but they also sell similar party cups on Amazon.

plastic stemmed cups filled with water and raspberry ice cubes sitting on top of green table cloth

Pizza and chips never looked so fancy!

student table with raspberry ice cube water and piece of pizza at classroom holiday party

Each child’s place setting included a cute little box with their dessert inside. My students were dying to open the box and peek inside.

student opens red and green striped gift box while sitting at table

We had Pinterest-inspired reindeer donut holes, similar to the ones featured on

student pulling out donut hole decorated as reindeer from red and green striped gift box
child admiring completed frosted trees at classroom christmas party

I can’t say I blame her.

frosted christmas trees decorated with assorted candy siting inside clear plastic carrying cup "frosted christmas trees"

Be sure to pin this image so you’ll remember it next Christmas.Be sure to check out my DIY Cup Case photo tutorial to see how I created these simple cases.

teacher using unfolded paperclip to push festive ribbon through the bottom of a clear plastic cup

Happy Holidays!


Fun Ideas for the Holidays

If you are looking for more great ideas and projects for the Christmas season, you will love these posts. They feature festive projects ideas and fun moments from my own home and classroom. Click any image for more information.

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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34 Responses

  1. I have been doing these trees since 2000 when I worked in Rome, Ga. It is an easy thing to do! Niw that I am in Cartersville, Ga, my kinders do both a milk carton Gbread house (Grade level style) and instead of making the tree as part of the Gbread house, we save them and decorate them inside the Classroom, much like what you mentioned in your post. The kiddos love this more than Gbread houses! Secretly, I do, too!

  2. I love this idea. I want our holiday celebration to be more than eating junk food and watching a movie. This is a perfect idea for next year. Even though we do gingerbread houses as part of the holiday celebration unit, the trees would be a ‘sweet’ way to use leftover candies and give volunteers a way to be with us. Thank you for sharing.

  3. We made our trees this year and have for several years. But we eat our right then and there! The students devour them and then I send them on their merry way to their parents.

  4. Hi Maria! Looking at your blog post was like looking at my class on our last day of school! We also did the frosted Christmas trees, only you were much smarter to use a cookie to put the frosting on as an anchor and to put them into a cup to carry home after…brilliant! I used waffle cones that fell over and the kids had a hard time carrying them home on a plate lol…better luck next year! Thanks for the great tips!! Happy New Year!
    Proud to be Primary

    1. It was just regular store bought icing from the baking aisle with green food coloring added. My guess is that we used 1 can for every 3-4 students.

    1. Hi Meaghan,
      It was some type of really cheap plain cookie from the grocery store’s cookie aisle. Nothing fancy!

  5. Which brand of waffle cone did you use? I grabbed Keebler brand and they look too small 🙁 Did you use the Joy brand? Wanted to ask before I bought more….

    1. I leave that one up to the parents. Most often, they just buy a few cans of store bought white frosting and add a little green food coloring

  6. These are adorable, I cannot wait to do them with my son’s kindergarten class, during their party. What did the children use to spread the frosting on to the cones?

  7. Just wondering what type/brand of sugar cone you used. I bought the Keebler sugar cones and they fit in a 9 oz cup and am thinking they are too small to decorate ?

      1. I am so sorry! I had a 7 month old crawling on my lap when reading the first time. I re-read it and saw it there! My bad! Thanks so much!!!

  8. I love this idea. I am so excited to try it this year. I am hoping that there is a letter out there asking parents to help donate supplies. By chance is there a letter that you send home asking parents to help pitch in?

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


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