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Holiday Party - Secret Santa


Junior Member
I am going to have a secret santa gift exchange in my 3rd/4th grade class. Should I put a money limit such as $5 or just not mention it at all? Also does anyone know of any fun activities/games that may or may not be educational for our party? Thanks in advance!



Senior Member

Be careful with gift exchange because some parents follow the guidelines and others do not. I remember one year a child got an old used toy. Never again! You can ask parents to send 3.00 each and you buy all the gifts and then do an exchange. I send home a letter and tell parents if they would to buy each student a small gift they can. I normally have four-five parents send small inexpensive gifts. I teach 4th.


Junior Member

I have had students wear a pair of mittens and try to unwrap a candy cane or a hershey kiss. The first one that successfully does it with the mittens on, wins.


Senior Member
video and popcorn

Prizes. The winner receives a candy bar and everyone receives a mini candy bar. That way everyone is a winner. A candy cane and others receive a mini candy cane.

Watch a video and eat popcorn is a favorite.



Senior Member
gift exchange

I've done this the past 3 years and I haven't had any problems. I tell them it has to be a $5. gift (no $1. coloring books or $15. game). They have to bring them in ahead of time - 1 week early.

For games, mine are usually more interested in spending time talking with friends. I sometimes show Santa Clause (with Tim Allen), or you can show Polar Express now. Something I'm going to do is have them help me write a new version of The 12 Days of Christmas. I'm going to start it off with "On the 1st day of Christmas, my teacher gave to me....a headache from too much homework". I think they'll enjoy it. I may chicken out with the headache part and do something more positive like, "...a pencil with a fun eraser" instead. I don't know yet.


Full Member
Gift exchange

I usually send home a letter asking parents to buy a small gift fo no more than $5.00. The boys bring in a gift for a boy, and the girls bring in a gift fo a girl. I put the gifts into 2 bags and on the day we have our holiday party, we do a "grab bag" gift exchange. Only the children who brought in a gift get to participate. (Althought I make sure no child leaves empty-handed) This also stops certain children from spending too much money if they pick their best friend in a secret santa exchange.

Another suggestion is to have each child write their 2 favorite types of candy bars on a piece of paper with their name. Everyone in the class picks a name, and they buy the 'king size' bar to bring to school. Then the children have a secret santa candy bar exchange.