I never thought I would be scared of a classroom of 4 year olds. But around this time last year, I had a moment.
Let me paint the picture for you. Last year was Buddy’s first year in preschool. I went to “orientation” where I was told by the teacher “we ask that all parents sign up for helping with one holiday party.” I took this to mean that I didn’t have a choice. So I signed up for the Christmas party because in August, Christmas sounds SOOO far away.
Jump forward to December when I get a note in Buddy’s bag reminding me that I “volunteered” for the party. It went on to say that between the two volunteers (me and another mom), we needed to bring snacks, plates, napkins, drinks, a story, at least 2 games and 1 craft. For a 1 hour party with 4 year olds. Luckily, I had the wherewithal to text the other mom, we’ll call her Kathy, right away because I knew this was something that was already teetering on the edge of my memory bank. We agreed to split up the duties – I took drinks, story and craft and she took snacks, and games. (I was very upfront that if I did the snack, it’d be lame.)
My mom was preschool teacher years ago so she gave me some tips and supplies to make Santa faces. That sounded easy enough, so I kinda checked the whole thing off my list. And then, a week or two before the party, Owen came home with a Santa face made out of paper plates, red construction paper and cotton balls. My craft. A normal person would see this and think “oh, I better put that back on my to-do list.” Not me. Once it’s checked, it’s checked.
And then, 2 days before the party came along and I got that handy dandy reminder from Buddy’s teacher. But 2 days is enough time to think of a craft, right? Sure, except for that whole checked off thing. Still didn’t make it back on the list.
As I was putting Turtle and Buddy to bed the night before the party, it hit me. Buddy’s party was tomorrow. I had a class full of 4 year olds, a teacher and Kathy counting on me to bring a Christmas craft. And I had nothing but the sad remainders of what could have been Santa faces.
I know what you’re thinking, “just go to Pinterest! There’s TONS of ideas there!” But here’s a confession…I hate Pinterest. Sure, there’s a lot of people out there that say that because it “sucks them in” or they “lose hours on it.” But I’m not like that. I don’t enjoy scrolling through Pinterest at all. I don’t spend hours there because I can barely tolerate 5 minutes.
I’m not sure why. I exude almost all other qualities of a generic mom but I fall short there. My biggest problem is it takes me too long to find what I’m looking for. Go to Pinterest and search for “preschool cotton ball craft”. You will literally get thousands of results. Most of which, I’m not even willing to try by myself much less with a preschooler. I don’t want thousands of options. I want one option that I can do. That’s it.
So there I was. My opporunity to catch up on Pretty Little Liars was spent thinking about a preschool party and all my failures as a mom (none of which included watching Pretty Little Liars). I pulled out the supplies my loving mother gave me and then got on Facebook because I’m a millennial with a short attention span. And there, on Facebook, I saw a picture that I had taken at a wedding with a mustache-on-a-stick prop. I looked at my paper plates, cotton balls and called to Micah to retrieve our stash of Popsicle sticks. Thus, the Santa beard was created.
The Santa Beard, step-by-step
Glue, Popsicle sticks, paper plates (I used 6″ plates), cotton balls and an X-acto Knife. That’s all you need.
- Using the X-acto Knife, cut a hole toward the top of the paper plate for the mouth. Make sure there’s enough space above the hole for the cotton ball mustache. Then, cut two slits toward the bottom for the stick.
- Put a dot of glue just above the top slit on the “food side” of the plate.
- Slide the stick through the two slits at the bottom so the top of the stick touches the glue. Push down to make sure the glue takes hold.
- Glue on the cotton balls.
And there you have it! Your very own Santa beard on a stick. It made for a pretty cute class picture. I did steps 1-3 at home and had the kids glue their own cotton balls on. I wasn’t sure how 11 3-4 year olds would handle attaching the Popsicle stick and I didn’t want to take up snack and game time. It only took about 30 minutes to prep for 11 kids and 5 minutes in the classroom.
I’m happy to report that overall the party was a hit. An honorable mention goes out to Kathy who brought a fantastic game, a Reindeer Antler Inflatable Ring Toss. One of the teachers put the antlers on her head and let the kids throw inflatable rings at her. It was classic.
And, in case you were wondering, we read Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, Buddy’s favorite Christmas book at the time.
Now here’s hoping I don’t forget my party duties again this year!
Have you had to make any Christmas party miracles happen for your little ones?