When I was a Children’s Recreation Coordinator at a local Athletic Club, we hosted a Polar Express Pajama Party for kids ages 3 – 8 years old inspired by the book written by Chris Van Allsburg. The kids and staff would come dressed in cute pajamas ready to listen to the holiday classic, make some crafts, and have fun with their friends. It’s fairly simple and easy to host your own Polar Express Pajama Party.
Polar Express Pajama Party Instructions
Step one: Download the Polar Express Pajama Party Kit. This kit includes several activities such as craft ideas, songs, Hot Cocoa recipes, and crossword puzzles to name a few things. Another added bonus is that you can print off tickets to had to the kids as they arrive for them to board the Polar Express.
Step two: Select a few crafts or activities for the children to do. We had several different stations and we divide the kids up into groups. Once they hear the train whistle they go to the next activity.
Step four: Create your shopping list for crafts, snacks, and goody bags. In our goody bags, we went home bells inspired by the story along with train whistles and some other fun holiday treats. I have included links to help you order supplies: Train Whistles & Bells.
Step five: Set up your home or house similar to a train. We separated the chairs in rows similar to a train and we were at the foot of the train reading the story. Set up different stations for “Santa’s Workshop”. This can be cookie decorating, ornament making, Letters to Santa, Gingerbread House Decorating and Crossword Puzzles.
Feel free to use my Polar Express Signs document to mark your own stations.
Step six: Follow this schedule, but feel free to make it fit to your party needs.
- Have someone greet the kids as they arrive and have that person dress like a The conductor will hand out the tickets for them to later board the train.
- Have the kids sit down in rows. We had a staff member have the kids sing holiday songs until all the kids arrived.
- All aboard the Polar Express – Once everyone is seated, have the Conductor punch holes in all the kids tickets. The kids get really excited about this part because it’s similar to the movie.
- Storytime – have an adult read the book to the kids. Bonus points if you can get Santa to read the book.
- Once the story is finished, I like to take a group picture of the kids before the real fun begins and they are too excited to get together for a picture.
- Arts and Craft stations! Refer to the Party Kit for some ideas, but don’t be afraid to come up with your own crafts that the kids can take home and be proud of.
- End the night with Hot Cocoa and have the kids watch the movie in their sleeping bags and pillows.
- When the party ends, send the treat bag home with your kids and pat yourself on the back on a job well done. The kids may not come out and thank you right away, but they do get very excited and they will forever remember how fun the Polar Express Pajama Party was and look forward to it year-to-year.
Have you thrown a Polar Express Pajama Party? If so, please share your activities!