As a teacher, you know how much joy a holiday party can bring to a classroom. It’s a time for students to connect with their peers and unwind after several weeks of assignments. However, it’s no secret that those celebrations often bring  LOADS of sugar and other unhealthy habits — along with a lot of extra effort from you.

The good news? There are plenty of healthy, and easy, ways to have fun! Here are our nine festive tips for healthy holiday classroom parties.

party prep


The party may not start until 2 p.m., but the prep happens way before! Start the morning on the right foot with some healthy habits.

1. Get the wiggles out!

Class party days are the most exciting days of the school year, so your students will probably have a hard time staying in their seats for assignments and lessons. If you still have a lot of material to cover before party time, get their wiggles out with one of these short videos!

2. Have your kids help decorate.

You don’t have to tackle the festive decor all on your own. Invite your students to get on their feet and spruce up the room with you! This can involve party decorations or basic classroom cleanup to ensure parents and other party guests feel welcome. Bonus tip: Have your students also help clean up before they leave!

festive feasts


The holidays are already so busy that it can be easy (and tempting) to grab a bag of candy or cookies to supplement the class party buffet. Instead, why not opt for something healthier* that’s equally on theme? Here are a few ideas:

3. Swap the sugary candy for sweet fruit.

A great and healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth is to provide fruit skewers instead of sugary snacks. Pick the fruit based on common holiday colors (cherries and raspberries for pink and red; blackberries and clementines for black and orange; strawberries and green grapes for red and green, etc.). If your students are too young for skewers, set out fruit for them to make “art.” No matter what you pick, keep it in an ice chest until party time.

4. Trade the chips for veggies and dip.

If you’re looking for something with a crunch, a veggie platter is a great alternative to pre-packaged chips. Your students can fuel their body throughout the party instead of crashing their energy. For extra flavor, try one of our healthy dip options. These can also fit in an ice chest!

Already have the veggies covered? Popcorn, pretzels and nuts also make great alternatives.

5. Make foods festive.

To add some spirit to your pre-packaged snacks, grab a permanent marker! Turn string cheese into spooky ghosts, clementines into ornaments, applesauce into encouraging notes and more. This is also a great way to personalize your party snacks if your school requires pre-packaged foods due to allergies or other safety reasons.

6. Provide suggestions for parents.

If your school allows parents to participate in the holiday party fun, encourage them to bring healthy snacks as well! Pass out this guide at the beginning of the year to give them suggestions. They’ll appreciate the extra advice!

*Ensure you know about any food allergies in your classroom before serving.

Festive Tips for Healthy Holiday Classroom Parties with activities


The snack spread isn’t the only way to add healthy options. These themed activities can also get the blood pumping!

7. Turn up the holiday tunes.

Nothing gets you in the spirit like festive tunes! Use a few family-friendly classics to encourage movement.

Freeze dance: Ask your kids to dance, jump, spin or shake anytime the music is playing. When you stop the music, they’ll FREEZE — and anyone still moving is “out!” Encourage your students to make big movements and really express themselves.

Musical chairs: Arrange the chairs in a circle and turn on a holiday song. Your students will get their steps in, get their wiggles out and have a blast with this timeless activity!

8. Play themed charades.

A game of holiday charades is another great way to make your party active. Have your kids act out familiar characters or festive activities with these suggestions:

  • Hanging lights
  • Decorating the tree
  • Trick or treating
  • Carving a turkey
  • Ringing in the new year
  • Playing football
  • Marching in a parade
  • Bobbing for apples

9. Make movie time active.

One great thing about the holiday season is that there are tons of fantastic movies! However, instead of having your kids quietly watch from their desks, turn it into a game:

  • Every time a pumpkin is on screen, do ten jumping jacks
  • When you see an elf, run in place
  • If a character says the holiday name, do 20 calf raises

You get the idea. Write personalized rules that best fit your movie on the whiteboard, and then hit play! You can also do this with a holiday book if movies aren’t your thing. After all, it’s your classroom — you make the rules!

This year, your classroom parties will be better and healthier than ever before with out festive tips for healthy holiday classroom parties. By making a few simple changes, you’ll set an example that will impact your students’ young minds and the rest of the holiday season. For more healthy teacher tips and classroom ideas, visit our teacher page.

Cheers to a holiday season full of happiness, fun and health!