Christmas Activities to Keep the Kids Occupied: Making Magical Memories

So Christmas is just around the corner and the build-up is already here with only a few weeks to go. There’s a lot to think about with Christmas and just keeping the children entertained can be one of those things. While I am not a parent myself, I appreciate the lengths that families go to make sure Christmas is a special time for their children. Working with lots of children, has, however, taught me a range of ways to keep them entertained, excited and keep the magic of Christmas.

It’s not all about the presents but making Christmas time special. So most of the activities I have designed can be done on a budget and equipment can be picked up at any local craft store or stationery store.

1# Present Scavenger Hunt

This one is a good activity to do if you have a few smaller presents and maybe a special present. Leave small presents scattered around your home with clues to the next one, you can make up riddles or get the children to say magical words which open up envelopes hinting to the next location. Of course, you could leave sweets instead of small presents at each location instead. When they reach the last clue, it should lead them to their main present. You can of course change this up, to suit you. If the children have stockings they can use these to collect their presents or sweets.

2# Cookie Decorating

This activity is relatively affordable also. You can either bake your own biscuits or cookies or buy some pre-maid ones and get some icing and toppings found at the supermarket and get your children to decorate them. They can even wrap them up and give them to other members of the family as little Christmas treats.

3# Sensory Tray

Now this one is not for everybody and might be something you want to do in the build-up to Christmas instead. But if you love sensory play or your child does too, it is easy to make a Christmas sensory tray. You can make an edible tray or bowl with icing or squirty cream, sprinkles or cocoa powder and water and place in marshmallows or soft large sweets. Let the children mess around with mixing tools such as spoons or get their hands in. You could also get ice cream cones and have the children make pretend snowcones. Babies love sensory trays, so you can also adapt this to be baby-friendly.

If you don’t want to use sweets you can, of course, use shaving foam, to make a snowy effect and if you have any plastic animal toys already at home, such as seas creatures or penguins and polar bears, they can be placed into the tray too.

4# Frosty Handprints

If you have any black or blue card (or even recycled card) and white paint lying around the house, you can get the children to make handprints. Whether you use the print as Santas beard or to make snowflakes, you can make a range of Christmassy pictures. One of my favourite ones to make with children is actually a polar bear. Take the handprint and turn it upside down and stick cotton wool to the body of the polar bear. You can draw or stick on some eyes also. You can even give these out as Christmas cards if you would like.

5# Make a Christmas Den

Using white sheets, battery operated fairy lights, pillows, soft blankets and toys make a little Christmas den in your sitting room or in your child’s bedroom. You can use it as a movie tent or to read stories or if you have any family games to play such as board games, you can sit inside the tent and relax. I would recommend a sensory light projector as this makes the room even more magical. You can either build the den as a surprise or get the children to help build it with you.

6# Christmas Movie themed Night

We all love a Christmas movie, but your children will watch them in a totally different light and are often emersed in the magic of the movie. To help make the movie a little bit more magical, you can help make the night themed. For example, if you are watching the Polar Bear Express, put on your cosy pyjamas and have a hot chocolate. Elf is another movie which you can help bring some magic too. For example, buying little candy canes as treats or a maple syrup treat (maybe not spaghetti). You can make snowflakes out of cards and decorate the walls with them, get cosy with blankets etc. And if you are lucky to be visited by an Elf on the Shelf, maybe they can make an appearance also.

7# Christmas Tree Decorating

Get the children to help decorate your Christmas tree this year and help put out the decorations. They will love the decorations purely for just being involved in the decorating process. You can put some music on while you decorate and get everybody into the Christmas spirit.

#8 Visit a Christmas Event

See what Christmas events are on in your area. Whether there is a Christmas market or a Gruffalo Trail, ice-skating arenas, a pantomime or a Christmas light show, most cities will have something to offer during Christmas time that will help to entertain your whole family. Most events can be found online on Tripadvisor along with reviews and information about costs.

9# Christmas Crafts

Just searching Christmas crafts into Pinterest will bring up a range of results. For the majority, you only need some cards, paint and some glue but you can get a range of different materials such as gems and glitters at any craft store or big shops like The Range or Flying Tiger. You can cut out tree shapes, snowmen or snowflakes and make wintery collages using your materials. Or use a paper plate as a wreath and have the children decorate using small baubles or cut out circles. The possibilities are truly endless.

10# Magic Elf Door

Create (or buy) a tiny elf door and place this at the bottom of a wall in your home. You can decorate around the door, so it looks like a tiny entrance to an elf world. Get the children to write a message to Santa and leave their letters by the elf door. Make sure they know its magic, so while they can’t go through the elves are able to. You can change this throughout the Christmas period.

I could write an even bigger list of things to do for Christmas to keep the children entertained, but I think ten will be enough to give you some inspiration. If you are still stuck for ideas, Pinterest is filled with tons of Christmas ideas for all ages or you can find online groups on Facebook that show a range of activities which they are doing with their kids this Christmas.

What are you doing this Christmas? Do you have any suggestions for activities for the children? Comment down below if so.

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