How To Keep The Kids Entertained This Christmas (Crafty Edition)
Christmas is coming, and you still need to figure out how to keep the kids busy in the run-up to the big day and in that awkward period immediately after.
From making gingerbread houses to painting ornaments, we have something for everyone. And best of all, most of these activities are easy enough for even the youngest child to participate in.
So, buckle up, and let's get into it:
Make A Gingerbread House
Christmas just wouldn't seem right without the obligatory gingerbread house fun! Get some gingerbread cookie mix and icing, plus some decorations such as pretzels, candy canes, marshmallows, and whatever else takes your/their fancy. Then let the kids get creative with their miniature version of their dream home!
If you have more than one child or you're doing this as a group activity, how about making a gingerbread village or even a gingerbread map of your neighbourhood?
DIY Christmas Ornaments
Let your little ones express their crafty side by making homemade Christmas decorations for the tree or the house. From paper snowflakes and reindeer antlers to pom-poms and garlands, there are SO many options out there! Or why not make a few different types so the kids can show off their own unique style?
Stock up on plenty of glitter, buttons, coloured paper (or tissue paper), glue, kid-friendly scissors, and any other decoration-related paraphernalia, and let them go bonkers!
Christmas Card Making
This may be worth doing on the same day as the decoration-making - you'll already have all the supplies out (and probably spread across the entire house); however, it's merely a suggestion...
Making personalised Christmas cards for friends and family is always a winner. Grandparents will LOVE it, and it might save you a bit of money in the long run too. Get some plain cards or cardstock and get to work!
You can use stamps, stickers, pencils, paint, and even glitter - with a bit of help from you, your little ones will have some fantastic results!
Now, depending on where in the "cycle" you are regarding the Big Man (a.k.a Santa or Father Christmas), present-wrapping could be just the ticket for a few hours of fun. Take out the wrapping paper and scissors, plus sellotape and ribbon, and get cracking...
If you want to save paper, why not let them wrap the presents with fabric instead? An old scarf or shirt can make a great alternative. Plus, it's a bit of an eco-friendly bonus too ;)
Nope, not the digital versions - the real things: Board games, card games, and any other game you can think of. Chances are you'll have some of these tucked away somewhere in the back of a cupboard, so why not get them out for an afternoon of entertainment?
If you don't own any (or if there's something specific your kids have been hankering after), this is the perfect opportunity to buy them. Get a game for everyone or, if there's a large group of you, get something that requires more than two players, such as Monopoly or Pictionary.
Bake And Decorate Cookies
Christmas time is very much about the food, and so it makes sense to get the kids involved in some delicious baking and decorating shenanigans...
There are lots of simple recipes out there, plus you can get as creative as you like when it comes to decorating - think icing, sprinkles, chocolate chips... yum!
If you're feeling brave, you could even have a competition for the best-decorated cookie - a little bit of healthy competition never hurts anyone!
In our house, as a child, it was always a paper garland we would make to hang all over. Not only are they super easy to make (you need some cards, scissors, string, and a hole punch), but it's also fun to do as a group activity - plus, you have something beautiful at the end of it!
Would you like to try something other than paper? Some countries traditionally use popcorn; however, dehydrated orange slices and cinnamon sticks are a great choice if you want something more fragrant and natural. Or a pom-pom one?
Social media is fantastic for ideas and inspiration for these types of things; it just depends on the age of the kids who will be making them, the supplies on hand, and how much time you have!
Create A Festive Wreath Out Of Pine Cones, Berries, And Ribbon
This one is for the slightly older children in your life...
Collect pine cones and berries outside (or buy them if you have no luck in the park), then grab some string, ribbon, or twine to hang it all up. The kids can paint and decorate their wreath with whatever they have to hand - glitter, beads, feathers... You get the idea.
Watch Christmas Movies Or Read Christmas Stories Together
Christmas films are watched all year round; however, there is something extra special about gathering in front of the screen and watching them together in the lead-up to the big day.
If you want to avoid screens, everyone could take turns reading a Christmas story aloud - much more peaceful and calming than a movie! And remember all those fantastic childhood tales like The Night Before Christmas or The Little Match Girl.
Last but by no means least, here are some ideas for things to do in that awkward time after Christmas:
- Go Ice-Skating; ice rinks tend to open around this time of year, so grab your hats and mittens and take the kids ice skating! It's great exercise and fun seeing them learn a new skill.
- Go for a long family walk; there is nothing like blowing the Christmas cobwebs away with a nice, chilly walk! Wrap up warm and explore some local parks, woods, or a new route you've never been down before.
- Create your own little dance party; clear the room of furniture, put your favourite tunes on, and dance to your heart's content. This is great for the whole family, plus you get to have some fun and move around, too!
- Do some easy science experiments; this is an excellent way for the kids to learn, have fun and stay entertained. There are lots of experiments that use everyday household items, so you don't need to buy any kits or special equipment.
- Take part in some creative writing; Christmas is all about traditions, gifting and memories - why not encourage your children to write down their experiences so you can look back at them in years to come?
- Learn some magic tricks; if you have a budding magician in the family, why not teach them some simple card tricks or help them practice a few illusions? It's great fun and can be quite therapeutic at the same time...
- Do a Christmas cull; wrapping paper, boxes, food containers, etc. would be the obvious suspects, but what about starting the year on a fresh new page and getting the kids to declutter and donate some of the toys/clothes/books they no longer use to make way for the new ones they (no doubt) received from Santa mere days ago?
- Set some intentions/goals for the new year; this can be done individually and as a family - things to work for/towards for the next 12 months. It's a great way to keep everyone motivated and inspired.
And that is all, folks! So, if you're looking for some festive fun that the kids can get involved in, look no further.
We've got everything from gingerbread house making to painting ornaments.
Which ones will you be trying out this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below.