Christmas activities for kids are a great way to bring the holiday to life. Christmas is a fun and exciting time for the whole family but no one pulses with holiday spirit more than children. Children of all ages love to be a part of holiday preparations and activities.
Fun Christmas Activities
Here are some fun Christmas activities for kids that will help to make the holiday season about more than just presents under the tree. The first three traditional type activities will involve things that kids may have read about in stories or have seen in movies. The holiday arts and crafts will keep them busy creating tangible Christmas memories. Finally, the last two activities are fun ideas for Christmas cookies.
Christmas caroling is a holiday tradition that has fallen away in recent decades. Hosting a caroling party can be a terrific family tradition. Children will enjoy such a ritual at every age. You only need a handful of people with the holiday spirit to create a caroling success. Invite family and friends to meet at your house dressed warmly. Hand out simple song booklets with the words to well-known Christmas carols and flashlights. Visit neighbors and sing your hearts out! After you have covered the block, head back to the house for cookies and cider or eggnog.
Children love the magic of mistletoe. Hang some in a strategic place in the house and watch your children work to avoid it or to get someone special to stand under it. Give each child a hug and a kiss whenever you can catch one of them under it too!
If you have older children, the holidays are a perfect time to get involved as a family in a community service. Children love to give to those who have less than themselves. Research your area to find a local shelter or soup kitchen where you can donate your time. Check with local churches to find a family who could use some financial help with present-buying. Visit Craigslist, which lists volunteer services needed for the holidays by region. Volunteering is one of the best ways to build empathy in children, and to help them to see and understand the world beyond themselves.
Create a simple countdown to Christmas that will help young children to visualize the wait! Make a paper chain using red and green construction paper. Cut 24 strips of paper and number the strips from 1 to 24. Let the children decorate each chain with crayons, markers, glitter, and other decorations. Hang the paper chain where the children can see it and reach it. Now children can pull off one link every day during the month of December and will not need to ask you how many more days.... When the chain is gone, the wait is over!
Make a Time Capsule
Help your children to collect photos and items representing the events of the past year. Cover a large box with butcher paper or wrapping paper turned backwards and let your children decorate it like a time capsule. Take special pictures on Christmas day and at special Christmas events, like visiting Santa and Picking out your tree, to put in the time capsule. When you put away your Christmas decorations, put the time capsule with them. Next year, wrap the time capsule (without looking) and place it under the tree to be opened and enjoyed by the whole family on Christmas morning.
Host a Holiday Cookie Exchange
Host a cookie exchange the week before Christmas. Every person who is invited to the party brings one type of homemade cookies wrapped in small packages. If you are inviting ten families, everyone will come with twelve small packages of their type of cookie. This allows for everyone to take one package of each type of cookie home including the host, and leaves one package to be placed on a tray to be eaten at the party. Allow children to help in the cookie-baking and preparation for the exchange. Children will enjoy decorating and will love to pass out the cookie packages they helped to make. Everyone loves to be included in a cookie exchange because you leave with a variety of delicious baked goods to use for the holiday however you wish.
Bake Cookie Ornaments
This idea has been around for decades and these cookies are so fun to make. Take any sugar cookie recipe and follow the directions to make the cookie dough. Refrigerate the dough for an hour to make it easier to work with. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters in Christmas shapes to form the cookies. Carefully place cookies on a cookie sheet, then use smaller cookie cutters or a knife to cut out a section in the middle of the cookie. Use a shish kabob skewer to make a small hole in the top of each cookie to hang them. Separate hard candies such as Life Savers or Jolly Ranchers by color into plastic baggies and crush them with a mallet or hammer. Sprinkle the crushed candy into the center of each cookie and bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 10 minutes or until candy is melted. Let cookies cool completely before removing them from cookie sheet. Hang cookies on the tree with string or ribbon.
Create Family Rituals
Children love to be a part of rituals and traditions. It's never too late to start a special family tradition together. Choose something everyone will enjoy participating in; that you can envision doing every year at Christmas time.