A couple of years ago we had our first Cultural Celebration (which took the place of the traditional Winter/Christmas party) before we left for our Winter Break. It was SO MUCH FUN and based traditions that came from our class culture. We loved it!
This year we did it again, and again it was SO MUCH FUN! I think the thing I love the most about the way this celebration is planned, is that it all comes from the families in the class. Every class is different and special and so therefore so is every Cultural Celebration!
As I have done in previous years, I sent out a survey to families, and received many responses. :). This told me the direction of our gathering, building on the ideas for traditions and family favorites that they had shared with me in their answers.
After the Winter Sing-A-Long (which is definitely a tradition in our school culture), we all met in our room for some fun and togetherness!
I am pretty sure that EVERY KIDDO had someone there to celebrate with them (we even had some siblings show up!), and even if they didn’t have their own family member, they had someone’s visitor, because we’re all one big happy first grade family!
In order to keep things low key, we offered several activities and had kids/families decide beforehand which one(s) they wanted to complete together. This was totally led by the kids, which I think added to the fun and originality of our party. Check out what we offered:
Making reindeer food: Did anyone besides me NOT know this was a thing? I don’t spend much time on Etsy or Pinterset, so maybe that’s why, but goodness–this was a hit! Getting ready for Rudolph and the others was high on almost everyone’s list!
Decorating sugar cookies: I mean, what says winter-party-fun more than cookies and icing? There were many different shapes, colors and as many sprinkles as you wanted, and goodness–kids could have probably stayed at this station FOREVER!
Stringing popcorn: Several families mentioned that they string popcorn every year for their Christmas tree. I haven’t done t for years, but I actually did this for several years early on in my marriage. IT was so much fun to watch families do it with their kids, although I’m not sure how much actually made it onto the string–MUCH of it just went right into bellies!! :). This station made me want to try it again at home, this time with my own kiddos!
Holiday Read Alouds: You know we HAD to include books in this celebration! Families shared their holiday/winter favorites, and I pulled many from our classroom library as well.
Gingerbread Playdoh:. I knew (because it was mentioned as a special love of many families) that I wanted to have something gingerbread related, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too cliche or too messy, or require too many materials. Ok, well, I may have lost on that last requirement, but Ms. Turken’s class has just made gingerbread PLAYDOH with their learning buddies the week before and that seemed like a SUPER idea for us to try, too. This one ended up being such a hit that it might have to become a regular holiday activity in our first grade room!
Our Cultural Celebration was just what I had hoped it would be, and everyone seemed like they enjoyed it so much! Enjoy some pictures of our winter fun!
What a great way to head into a relaxing Winter Break! 🙂