Polar Express Party - Budget Christmas

What our kids are doing for presents
making CDs with Bill Harley, Polar Express, Train, and other kid friendly songs and stories.

Writing Books (using our own stories we're copying them and putting them in a 3 prong folder anther option is shrinking stories to 1/4 or 1/2 and sewing the binding, you can also laminate with contact paper and use loose leaf binding rings or ribbon to bind - there are a lot of choices)

making cards

Family Calendar with family activities/Birthdays/Reunions etc
scrapbook perpetual calendar This is so cute!

Polar Express Party and Adventure Tickets


Polar Express party
We're throwing a Polar Express party for our cousins. We haven't picked exactly what we'll be doing but here are some of the ideas so far...

All Aboard the Polar Express Boarding at Grandma B's Full Steam ahead at 4PM Sleeping Cart Dress Encouraged
We did the conductor on the front and the itinerary/tickets inside - folding up the paper to make pockets. We painted train tracks on the envelope - see the craft section for instructions
printable invitation
color book that would make a cute invitation

Draw or make tracks with Chalk or with paper up to the front door or entrance.
Sign on front door: "________" Station, Track #--- through the entrance.
Guest Check In -Guest Book
Dress as conductor with pocket watch (You could have a cardboard watch that has the activities on it and when it's time for the activity move the hands to it & blow a train whistle)
Get a dozen round silver balloons at a party store. Using an indelible black marker, draw a large "X" with a round ball shape at each end to make the double throat of a sleigh bell. Hang sleigh bell balloons from the ceiling with one inch wide red ribbon.

Serve Hot Chocolate


Find train type activities in your area to do on other days

Read polar express with kids in trains or rows of chairs
Make a large chalk drawing of a train with a roll of black art paper. For an icebreaker activity when guests arrive, have each child make a self-portrait and put them in the train windows.

Large cardboard box(es) for train free play

Conductor says - Simon Says

Musical "Train Cars": Play music from Polar Express (we borrowed our from the library ;) and have the kids climb into a car when the music stops. Don't take away any boxes.

Follow the Train: have the kids line up to the 'command' "All Aboard". They will play follow the leader pretending to be a train. Make train noises and movements. Have obstacles set up for them to go around, through and under. Also, use this method, to get them from one area of the party to another...i.e. activities, presents/goodie bags and cake

Make a Cookie Plate for Santa use the Santa hand print directions

Make a snow globe We've made our own figures/snow men with white bake fimo clay

Make cookies for Santa & a few for yourself.

Family Calendar
I decided to simplify and do 6 pages on rings so that when we finish June the rest of the year will be on the back of the other pages. Saves paper, time and we can do other activities at the party. I thought I'd get some pretty ribbon to thread through the rings to hang the calendar and scrapbook a family picture to use as the year round calendar page. I'll post a picture once it is done. :)
But if you'd like to do the self portrait/kid art calendar here are the ideas....
kids create a self portrait for their Birthday month (We are fortunate in our family to not have any overlaps yet)
A fun way to do self portraits is Freda Kahlo inspired - have the kids lay down with a full length mirror above them (use chairs to hold it up) They can look at themselves just like Frida did when she did a lot of her work from bed.
You can use crayons or oil pastels for this part of the self portrait and then let kids fill in with watercolors I like liquid watercolors or from the tube & mixed.
This is my favorite liquid water color If you want tempera paint I highly recommend biocolor paints (no stinky fumes)
Self portrait art lessons
We're printing off the calendar pages on 11x17 paper then sewing the binding and later adding color copies of the portraits using our scanner and glue.
It never fails :) Found these easy calendars after all the cutting & pasting to format the other pages. oops
Use the blank calendar for the other pages

Polar Express Adventure Tickets
A big part of our Christmas this year is going to be adventure tickets. Coupons for fun activities with family. While the kids are busy you can circulate the Adventure Passports for adults to make adventure tickets.
Passport - Tickets will be printed off on the 11x17 paper and bound in the middle. These tickets will allow you to make 3 ticket books at a time 2 tickets on each side. You'll have to 2 sided copies to get them to print in the same direction.
A fun feature might be a family tree in the front to have kids get stamps for when they visit each family member
A passport option

Making Train Tracks Craft Idea
smocks and newspapers or drop cloth
Kids safe Paint
Construction paper - clue, green, red
Inexpensive toy trains (wood or plastic)
baking sheets
Optional- cotton and glue
To make the project place a few trains in each paint color.
Give the children their paper. Show them how to
"drive" the train in the paint to get the wheels covered with paint.
Then, "drive" the train on the paper to make the tracks.

Variation: Cut the paper into the shape of trains prior to
painting to make a special train picture.
Glue the trains onto another piece of paper and add
some steam using cotton and glue.

String Snowflakes

Party Favors
Silver Bells
Bandannas to tie everything up (travel hobo style)
C:\Music 3\Christmas\Silent Night - Nat King Cole.mp3
C:\Music 3\Christmas\O' Little Town Of Bethlehem - Childrens Choir.mp3
C:\Music 3\Christmas\The First Nöel - Frank Sinatra.mp3
C:\Music 3\Christmas\Away In A Manger - Nat King Cole.mp3
C:\Music 3\Christmas\Joy To The World - Frank Sinatra.mp3
C:\Music\Various\The Polar Express (OST)\01. The Polar Express.mp3
C:\Music\Various\The Polar Express (OST)\05. Hot Chocolate.mp3
C:\Music\Various\The Polar Express (OST)\10. Winter Wonderland.mp3
C:\Music\Various\The Polar Express (OST)\08. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town.mp3
C:\Music\Various\The Polar Express (OST)\09. White Christmas.mp3
C:\Music 3\Christmas\Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer - Ella Fitzgerald.mp3
C:\Music 3\Christmas\Silver Bells - Dean Martin.mp3
C:\Music\Various\The Polar Express (OST)\02. When Christmas Comes To Town.mp3
C:\Music\Various\The Polar Express (OST)\04. Believe.mp3
C:\Music\Billboard\Greatest Christmas Hits\Jimmy Boyd - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.mp3
C:\Music 3\Christmas\Merry Christmas Baby - Otis Redding.mp3
C:\Music\Billboard\Greatest Christmas Hits\Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby.mp3
C:\Music\Billboard\Greatest Christmas Hits\Gene Autry - Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane).mp3
C:\Music\Various\The Polar Express (OST)\11. It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas.mp3

coloring pages etc with the invitation or party favors
there are some at this site
polar express party
polar express lesson theme
More Polar fun
more resouces

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for all the great ideas. I do a polar express night with my now 3 kids and 2 neices every year. We do lots of crafts (which they give as gifts to people since they are all to young for jobs) we do games make and eat cookies and hot coco and then watch the movie they love and its so much fun.