11 Fun, Cheap or Free Kids' Christmas Activities (2022 EDITION)
On the hunt for Christmas activities that your little ones will love and you can save a bit of money on in the process? Well, look no further - we have got you covered...
Christmas is about creating lasting memories, not just the gifts (contrary to what our kids would like us to believe).
This year will be hitting especially hard because the world around us feels like it is on fire, which is why we have compiled this list of fun, affordable (and sometimes free) activities that'll keep the kiddos entertained all the way through 'till the new year!
1. Adopt An Elf On The Shelf
The 'elf on the shelf' idea has been around for a fair few years now; it has become a cherished tradition for many households.
Adopting one of these jolly elves is a fun, cost-effective way to make your kid's Christmas extra special as they will love waking up in the morning to find out what shenanigans they got up to during the night... maybe they left something behind?
2. Make Candy Cane Reindeer Ornaments
These are super-cute and simple to make, with only a few materials needed such as candy canes, string, googly eyes and pom-poms. This is an activity the entire family can enjoy together over the holidays.
Speaking of decorations...
3. Get Your Little Ones To Help Decorating for Christmas
Deck the halls! Get your kids to help out with some of the decorations and let them unleash their creativity. Whether that be making Christmas cards or creating a homemade wreath, it is sure to get them in the festive spirit.
- Popcorn garland; these are a classic Christmas decoration - kids can help string popcorn and make fun designs with the different colored kernels. Grab your popcorn, thread or string and get to work!
- Deck the walls; having a tree in each of your children's bedrooms might be a tad unrealistic, however, it doesn't mean that they can't get creative with some string lights, decorations, and paper snowflakes. They may need a little help to "shape" the Christmas tree but once that's done, they can let their imaginations run wild.
- Make your own snowglobe; grab a regular glass jar (as long as it has a lid), paint small, white dots on the inside and, once dry, let the little ones fill the jars with some of their favourite Christmas-related things.
4. Drive Or Walk To See The Christmas Lights
The festive season is usually littered with all manner of different light shows up and down the country and they are fantastic, however, have you thought about taking a walk/drive around your local area?
Lots of families really go to town at Christmas time and it can be a fun, free activity to take the little ones out and show them some of their local lights. Wrap up warm, pack a thermos with hot chocolate and some snacks and it makes for a nice evening in the fresh air.
5. Make Gingerbread Houses
Gingerbread houses are always great fun - let the kids use their imaginations and create theirs! They don't have to be perfect; it's all about having fun with it.
Top tip: Don't forget to either buy or make extra gingerbread - things have a tendency to get broken or - ahem... chewed on and soon it is less house, more fall-down shed!
6. Donate Old Toys And Clothes To Charity
Christmas is a time for giving and teaching our kids to give back is a great way of showing them the spirit of Christmas.
Many charitable organisations accept donations throughout the year, however, at this time of year they really need it to help those that are less fortunate than us over the festive period. So why not have your little ones pick out some items they no longer use such as toys and clothes that can be donated?
If you have money to spare, there are also plenty of charities that exist to ensure every child has a present to open on Christmas Day. Letting your child/children choose and purchase the present, even with their own pocket money, can be a valuable lesson in learning how to give.
7. Make Christmas Cards And Send To Loved Ones
A great way of bringing the festive spirit into your home is having your littles make and send Christmas cards to family and friends. Not only will they have great fun getting creative with paper, glue, glitter and sequins but it will also teach them about the importance of staying connected with our loved ones.
You could even think a bit bigger by having your kids create cards to send to nursing homes or hospitals - a simple gesture can really brighten someone's day during the colder months.
8. Bake And Decorate Christmas Cookies
Christmas is a time for treats and baking is always a great way to get into the festive spirit. Gather some of your favorite recipes and let your kids get creative with decorating the Christmas cookies - make sure you have plenty of sprinkles, icing, chocolates and lollies on hand!
You could get them to help you make gingerbread villagers to go with that gingerbread house, festive tree shaped cookies to hang from the Christmas tree or even bake some special treats for Father Christmas.
9. Christmas Movie Marathon
Most of us have a favourite Christmas movie from our childhood that we can't help but watch during the festive season. Why not invite the family round and have a Christmas movie marathon - let your kids pick some of their favorites or even choose a selection that nobody has ever seen before!
Make sure to have some snacks at the ready:
- A DIY popcorn station is always a great idea - it's easy to make, fun for the little ones and it adds that cinema feel to the evening.
- A hot chocolate station also usually goes down well, too - have plenty of mini marshmallows, Maltesers, whipped cream and flavour-shots (for the adults) and go nuts!
10. Get Creative With Wrapping Paper
Instead of buying wrapping paper this year, why not get creative and make your own? It's a great way to bring the family together, have some fun and save money - you'll find that most of what you need can already be found in the home.
Grab old newspapers or magazines, plain paper that can be drawn on (packing paper from your Amazon deliveries is excellent for this), crayons, markers, glue, glitter and let the kids loose for a couple of hours... Your house will look like a bomb has gone off but it will absolutely be worth it to see the smiles on their faces as they admire their handiwork.
11. Have A Christmas Photo Shoot
Once upon a time, families would send out Christmas cards with a staged photo of the family all dressed up and smiling.
Well, why not recreate it this year? Have your kids pick out their favourite Christmas outfit, set up a simple backdrop - think fairy lights and tinsel - and start snapping away! They'll have great fun trying to get the perfect shot (and you can always bribe them with chocolate). Plus, you'll have plenty of beautiful photos to choose from for your Christmas cards.
Alternatively, you could do a "funny" shoot by getting all your props together (think fake mustache, dress-up clothes, clown wig - you get the idea) and make up your own version... It'll be sure to give the extended relatives a good laugh!
So this year, instead of breaking the bank (and your back) with all the holiday shopping, give yourself and your family the gift of lasting memories by checking out our list of fun things to do that won't break the bank.
Christmas is a time for family, togetherness and creating lasting memories. With the world feeling like it's on fire this year, we could all use a little extra Christmas cheer. That's why we've put together this list of fun (and occasionally free) activities that the whole family can enjoy.
From baking cookies to making gingerbread houses, there are plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit so go ahead and start crossing things off your list - after all, 'tis the season!