The Ugly Christmas Sweater trend has resurfaced, and for a few years I couldn’t figure it out. Having a passion for fashion, I didn’t understand why anyone would want to wear a tacky sweater. Until…I read that people host Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties, often to raise funds for charity. Then I saw purpose and humor in them.
Aside from wearing an ugly Christmas sweater, the trend shines in some easy to introduce early learning activities the whole family can participate in.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Sensory Bin
This rice bin includes
- Christmas sweater tins
- metallic and gem snowflakes
- metallic and gem stars
- gem light bulbs
- bead garland strands
- pom poms
Invitation To Decorate An Ugly Christmas Sweater
Craft sweaters from large pieces of paper and glue them to 12 by 12-inch squares of cardstock. Set out a tray with Christmas decorations and supplies for children to decorate the sweaters with.
The tray includes
- pom poms
- miniature presents
- bead garland strands
- gem light bulbs
- fabric stars
- metallic stars and snowflakes
- miniature Christmas trees
This can be a reusable activity, or pieces can be glued on the sweaters for art to display.
Sweater Cookie Baking And Decorating
Bake your favorite butter cookie recipe using a sweater cookie cutter to shape the dough. Or purchase a kit with premade cookies and icing. The creativity shown in decorating the treats will draw smiles from everyone.
Set out playdough, a sweater cookie cutter, and items for embellishing. Mini Christmas buttons enhance the playdough creations below. Ribbon, gems, pom poms, beads, and sequins work well for this activity.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Tracing And Decorating Center
A station with a sweater tracer, felt pens, stickers, gems, colored paper, and other craft supplies allows children to design their own ugly Christmas sweater.
Memory And Matching Games
A Christmas sweater placemat is perfect for matching or memory games.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Coloring Sheets
Free ugly Christmas sweater coloring sheets are downloadable from supercoloring.com . Once colored they can be used for memory or matching games.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Relay Race
Divide children into two teams. Have children on each team take turns running to a station with hats, scarves, and mittens. Children pick up a hat, scarf, or pair of mitts to wear “to keep warm”, and run back to their team.
Download this “Stay Warm” printable to post at a relay station with hats, mitts, and scarves.
(This printable was created in PicMonkey and is for personal or one classroom use only.)
For more activities, view a post on child-friendly Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Games at thespruce.com .
Ugly Christmas Sweater Trivia
1. Ugly Christmas sweaters became popular in the 1980s, and were sold under the name “Jingle Bell Sweaters.” They made a showy statement when worn by television or movie comedic actors.
2. They rose in popularity in the early 2000s when people began having “Ugly Sweater Parties”. Events are often held in support of charities.
3. The city of Vancouver, Canada claims to be the birthplace of the “Ugly Sweater Party.” The first one was held in December 2002. An annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party has been held at the Commodore Ballroom in this vibrant city every December since. It is a festive event for the Make A Wish Foundation Of Canada, a charity that grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.
4. There are Ugly Sweater Runs. People run/walk a course that averages around five km long. At pit stops, they can get hot chocolate, coffee, a hat, mittens, etc. to help them stay warm and finish the race. Funds are raised from these walks for various charities.
5. A National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, started in 2011, is celebrated on the third Friday of December. People can wear their ugly Christmas attire to work and school, and the day often has a festive, holiday feel.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Books
These two books are available online from booksellers, and are lighthearted reads with lots of tips for including Ugly Christmas Sweaters in holiday festivities.
The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide To Getting Your Ugly On by Brian Miller, Adam Paulson and Kevin Wool.
This book has tips for throwing an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party and features pictures and humorous descriptions of some of the craziest ugly Christmas sweaters ever worn. The section on different personas people take on at ugly sweater Christmas Parties is especially entertaining!
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Christmas Crafts, Recipes, Activities by Brandy and Matt Shay.
A colorful, entertaining book filled with ideas for hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. The book showcases patterns for making ugly Christmas sweaters, ponchos, shoes, legwarmers, headbands and a Christmas tree dress.
Ugly Christmas sweaters add humor, color, and creativity to the busy Christmas season. Their inclusion into festive parties and fundraisers for charities has me on board. Christmas is definitely better with ugly Christmas sweaters!
How do you feel about ugly Christmas sweaters? Will you be wearing one this Christmas season?
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© Annette Kaminsky