Christmas Gift-Exchange Games for Kids

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When you're throwing a Christmas party, there are bound to be games and gift exchanges. Giving and receiving gifts is a pleasure but can be fun as well, so try staging Christmas gift exchange party games for the kids.

The type of game may vary slightly depending on the age groups participating. For young kids, keep it simple and quick. Older kids might enjoy the option to steal a gift away from another child as part of the game, while everyone knows it's all in fun because every kid walks away with a present.

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Try these Christmas gift games to liven up your kids Christmas party.

Christmas gift games with steal options

Part of the fun with older kids is the suspense of whether they get to keep the original gifts they chose. With the traditional white elephant gift exchange, the children choose gifts in order, which is often determined by letting the kids draw numbers. The next person in line gets to pick a new gift or take one from a child who has already picked one. That child then gets to pick another present.

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You may choose whether the kids open the gifts as soon as they get them so children down the line know what gifts are available to steal. Alternatively, if the gifts stay wrapped until the end, the kids can choose based on box size and shape.

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As a variation of this Christmas gift exchange, give each child a playing card. Use a second deck and draw a card after each child chooses a gift. If you draw that child's card, they get to steal from another child if they want to. To make it easier, let them steal if you draw a card from the same suit, even if the number isn't the same.

Dice and bingo

Use a couple of dice and let each child take a turn rolling to play this Christmas gift exchange game. The child must roll doubles to pick a gift or you may pick a number, such as six. Decide whether each child gets one turn or multiple chances before moving on to the next player. When most children have picked presents, let the last few children continue rolling until they get doubles or the right number. Creating Christmas bingo cards keeps the game in the holiday spirit. Instead of "BINGO" across the top, the cards might say "CLAUS."

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Give the children Christmas stamps or stickers to use as markers when they match a letter and number you call. When a child gets five in a row, they may pick a present. The game continues until all the children have gifts. To speed it up, let those with presents keep playing, and if they get five in a row again, they may pick a present for another player.

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Passing gifts around

Let children pass gifts around to keep the mystery alive of which wrapped gifts they will get. Stage the game similar to musical chairs, where the children pass around one gift until a Christmas carol stops playing. The child holding the present when the music stops gets to keep it. When only two children are left, give each a present for them to hand back and forth so they both end up with one when the music stops.

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In a variation of a right-left Christmas gift game, give each child a present and read Dr. Seuss' ‌How the Grinch Stole Christmas‌ book to the children. Every time you say "Who," the kids should pass the gifts they are holding to the left. When you say "Grinch," they pass to the right. Each kid keeps the present they are holding when you finish reading the book.

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Making Christmas gifts

Gifts don't have to be bought and wrapped. Instead, have the kids make the gifts before playing the games. A DIY gift is just as special as any other present. You might help the children bake sugar cookies in holiday shapes, then let them decorate with frosting and candies. They might decorate small boxes and put the cookies inside. The children also might enjoy baking and decorating gingerbread men to give to others.

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Making ornaments offers a variety of options, such as painting clear plastic globes or making wood-stick reindeer. In addition to other gift-giving games, handmade items offer a few other options.

Another fun Christmas party game is to have each kid draw names out of a hat, then they get the gift made by the person whose name they drew. Or when you hold up an ornament, the kids guess who made it; the first correct guesser gets to keep it. Small children might like to color a seasonal printable, wrap it up in a gift box and give it to someone.

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Sending them on a scavenger hunt

Another fun game to play at your holiday party with children is a scavenger hunt. All you need to do is type up clues on a piece of paper and hide the presents where the kids will find them in the end. When they find each clue, they get closer to "the treasure," in this case presents. Making the riddles Christmas themed is a great idea, and the kids will adore it.

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Not sure what to give? There are plenty of fun options when it come to gift giving. Gift cards are a great way to make someone's day, perhaps to their favorite icecream shop, bookstore or an online retailer like Amazon.

Finding unique gifts for the person that has everything is always hard, but sometimes the perfect gift is something simple, like board games or card games. You could also pick up little stocking stuffers here and there and make a trinket basket.

Gift swap and fun gift exchange ideas abound. Some of the best gifts are those that are spontaneous and are sometimes even cherished for a long time. With these Christmas gift exchange ideas, there will be no shortage of fun at your Christmas party.

The holiday season is a special time to be with friends and family members. Even the grownups can get in with a little secret Santa game! And a little bit of Christmas trivia can have everyone enjoying themselves and earning little holiday gifts here and there. At the end of the party, everyone can unwrap their gifts from under the Christmas tree and see what they've received!

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