If you're planning a Christmas party for a group of elementary-age children, there are a myriad of really fun games you can include. Be sure to have lots of prizes and take lots of pictures because some of the games can be silly!
To get the kids moving around, start with the "fill the stocking" game. In this game, create teams so there are at least 3 people and no more than perhaps 6 people on each team. Have a stocking for each team. Place the stockings on the wall and have also a bowl of candy and spoons. The first person on each team will put the spoon in their mouth (backwards, so the bowl of the spoon is sticking out) and get some candy out of the bowl. Still holding their spoon in their mouth, they must walk or run to the stocking on the wall and get the candy in the stocking. They run back to the line and the next child has a turn (each child should have his or her on spoon). The game continues until the candy bowl is empty.
The obvious prize for the stocking game is a big bowl of candy!
Another active game is an "unwrap the game" relay. Provide two piles presents at one end of the room (these can be presents with real teats inside, or "dummy" wrapped presents). The children are divided into two teams and a relay is created. One person runs to the stack of gifts, unwraps it, throws away the paper and runs back. Then the next child in line runs up, unwraps a gift, throws away the paper and runs back. If the paper lands outside the trash can, the child must run back and put it back in the trashcan before returning to the line and allowing another person to take a turn.
If these to games are played first the kids might want a little rest. Now's the time to play a sit-down Christmas party game, like "remember this". Get a large cookie sheet or baking tray and fill it with Christmas-themed items. You might include an ornament, a candy cane, a Santa hat, garland, ribbon, etc. There should be at least 20 items on the tray. Give each child about 20 seconds to look at the items, then cover the tray and remove it from sight. Give the children another 20-30 seconds to remember everything they saw on the tray. Have them quickly write don their guesses. The prize is for whoever remembers the most items!
Another good sit down game and one that's also a learning game is a word find game. Provide children with a list of Christmas words and have them find other words within those words. For example, if one word is "reindeer" they might find in, deer, red, den, and so on. Longer words are best, so think of words like Christmas, snowballs, poinsettia, holly berry and the like).
Children love games that involve sitting in a circle and having fun that way. Here's a "circle" game children are sure to love. This tests their ability to remember little details about other people, like their voice. Have handy a sleigh, either one cut out of cardboard or a small one purchased a gift or dollar store. Blindfold one child and have another child hold the sleigh. The child with the sleigh calls out to the blindfolded child something like this:
Santa, where's your sleigh?
Someone's come and taken it away.
Who has it? Who?
The blindfolded child has to guess who has the sleigh. Give the child 3 chances to get it right before giving the sleigh and blindfold to other children.
For another sit down game, give each child a piece of paper and a pencil. Tell them to close their eyes and then tell them what to draw. Give them the shapes, but don't tell them exactly what they are trying to draw (though most children will figure it out). So, first tell them to draw three circles, with the largest being on the bottom and the smallest on the top. Then tell them to draw dots for eyes, and buttons for a coat. Keep going until you have described a snowman. Then have the children open their eyes to see what they have actually drawn. Award a prize for the drawing that most closely resembles a snowman.