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A Class Christmas Party Alternative: The Wonka Party

By Meghan Everette on December 19, 2013
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

One challenge of the holidays is creating parties and events that will work for all students. What do you do when a child can’t celebrate Christmas or you just need a fun celebration that is different from the same old thing? Welcome to the world of Willy Wonka! The Wonka Party, brainchild of my fabulous co-worker Rebecca Winberg, is a celebration that will inspire and delight children of any age.

 

Before the Party

Decide on how Wonka you are willing to get. This party will take all day long if you choose to do every event. (It can also induce sugar highs.) I’ve created two list of supplies: one if you want to be a full-on Candy Man, or one if you’d rather play it healthy. There is also an option to attach school objectives and learning opportunities to the day.

No matter which party you choose, there is an extensive list of supplies needed to do it up right, so enlist the help of parents or divide the work with friends. I took on the party alone, so it can be done, but breaking up expenses and work would be easier! Print a parent letter to send home and plan on an extra pair of hands the day of. I moved my chairs to facilitate seeing the screen and completing activities.

 

During the Party

Use the original version of the movie to set the stage for a fun day. Be prepared to stop frequently for different events. As each character is introduced, pause for a new event. For example, when Veruca Salt is in her father’s factory, let the students unwrap as many chocolate kisses as possible in one minute. Not looking for a chocolate fix? Have students try to be the first to unwrap an orange instead. Set up events throughout the movie, such as a burping contest in the Fizzy Lifting Drink room or a Mike Teavee trivia contest.

 

After the Party

If your students have read the book, compare and contrast the differences. Pick a character and compare them to another fictional character with the same flaws. Create a new candy for the Wonka company and write a sales pitch to sell it. Use your iPad to make a video commercial for the candy. Rewrite a scene in the movie and act it out. Picture a reunion when all the kids are adults. Write about what would happen. If the book was not read first, introduce students to Roald Dahl and his famous works.

 

The Plan

For a full on Wonka party, complete the activities below, but remember that healthy and objective-based options are just as fun! You will need to pause the movie frequently when each character is introduced or for each scene with an activity. We took the opportunity to discuss characters and stereotypes while we got started meeting the cast.

Scene

Activity

Augustus Gloop

Donuts
Cut lengths of string and have one partner sit on the floor with the end in their mouth. Have the other child slide powdered donuts down the string to their partner’s mouth. Race to see how many donuts can be eaten in a certain time period, switching eaters so everyone gets a treat.
How many cheeseballs fit in your mouth

Grandpa Jo

Candy Man of Candy
When Grandpa Joe sings about "The Candy Man," let students create a man out of candy using various sweet treats. Keep it edible by using icing as glue, or go ahead and paste away. They will have plenty more to eat today!
 

Veruca Salt

Unwrapping Chocolate
Give every child a handful of wrapped kisses and set the timer for one minute. Let the unwrapping begin! My students couldn’t do more than nine in a minute, but have plenty handy just in case.

Unwrapping chocolates in a minute Unwrapping chocolates

Mike Teavee

TV Trivia
Play a round of TV Trivia. You can adjust the questions and difficulty to your age of students. I broke my class into three groups, and awarded a point for each correct answer. To make sure everyone was engaged, answers could be stolen when the group asked didn’t know.

Playing TV Trivia
 

Violet Beauregarde

Bubble Gum Blowing Contest
Break out the gum and allow students to try blowing bubbles. Give accolades to your biggest blower, most symmetrical bubble, loudest pop, etc.

Bubble gum blowing Bubble gum popping

Charlie Bucket Finds a Golden Ticket

Golden Ticket Candy Bars
First, print mini golden tickets and Wonka Bar wrappers. Rewrap mini Hershey bars in aluminum foil and then secure a wrapper around the outside. Be sure to insert a golden ticket in each bar so everyone is a winner.

Golden ticket bars

Finding a golden ticket

Sign the Contract

Contract
Create a large contract on butcher paper. I found the original words by looking online. Then pause and let everyone sign the contract while the characters are signing it in the movie.

Signing the contract Signing the contract

Candy Room

Hot Chocolate/Chocolate River
Serve hot chocolate or squirt a chocolate river of chocolate syrup on each child’s plate. Allow licking!

 

Invention Room

Everlasting Gobstoppers
Give students Gobstoppers to sample. See if students can lick just one layer at a time or see who can suck through one whole candy without biting down first.

 

Violet is Violet

Berry Pop Game
Pre-inflate blue balloons to hand out. Challenge students to pop them without using their hands. Watching my students figure out how to sit and pop the balloon was hilarious.

Popping a balloon

Lickable Wallpaper

Lickable Wallpaper
I rolled Airheads candy together between sheets of wax paper to create lickable wallpaper for students to sample. Any waxy fruit candy could work. I cut out chunks for my students so they wouldn’t be licking the same spot as someone else.

Licking lickable wallpaperMaking lickable wallpaper

Fizzy Lifting Drink

Burp Contest
As disgusting as it sounds, let students drink a fizzy drink and then invite them to enter a burping contest. I found most of my most airy students couldn’t perform under the pressure! I had students take a small gulp of a caffeine-free cola in my room, but soda in bottles like the movie would add to the effect.

 

Good Egg/Bad Egg

Filled Eggs
Break open the end of real eggs with the end of a knife. Let the insides drip out and then rinse with water. Allow to dry completely, then fill. I used a mix of sour candies and Nerds (for “good” and “bad” eggs). Then cover over the end of the egg with a small tissue paper piece. Students crack the eggs open to find out their fate.

Emptying an egg A cracked egg

Bicycle Ride

Spray Silly Spray
When Wonka takes his last two guests for a foamy ride on the Wonkamobile, I decided to do a sneak attack on my class. Caught off guard, I sprayed them with silly string. It hardens quickly and cleans up easily, but it will get in food that is sitting out, so beware!

Silly sprayed classroom

Wonka Vision

Mini Candy Bars (or Giant Bar)
I handed out mini candy bars when Mike shrinks in the television, but if you can find one of the 5 lb. varieties it would work as well. Read about the world’s largest chocolate bar for added fun.
 

Lifetime Supply of Chocolate

Bag of Chocolates
Put together a bag of chocolates to send home as a lifetime supply. Use a Printables award certificate and make a "Lifetime Supply of Chocolate" award.
 

 

Whether you are trading out the traditional holiday party for a Wonka experience, or you just need a change of pace from the same old reward day, Charlie and his chocolate factory are sure to live in the minds of your students for years to come.

What special ways do you celebrate the holidays? Have you tackled other Wonka events?

Comments (2)

Oh my goodness I LOVE THIS!!!!

Thank you for sharing!

:)

Hey Meghan!
I LOVE this idea. I can see me doing this in March during the long haul between breaks! What a great day. Thanks for sharing.
Brian

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