Christmas is an exciting time to be young—but there's no reason parents can't get in on the fun, too. When you're ready to take a break from your work-at-home job and the kids are in need of a boredom buster, here are five Christmas activities that can be fun for everyone.
Make Your Own Ornament
One of my favorite holiday traditions that I started with my son's first Christmas is making homemade ornaments for the tree. The first year, I put his tiny two-month-old hands in salt dough. Just mix two cups of flour with a ½ cup of salt and ¾ cup of hot water and either roll it out and use cookie cutters or use a mini disposable pie tin. The following year, I traced his handprint on felt and made it part of Santa's beard. This year, I'm looking forward to him being old enough to actually “help.”
There are thousands of ideas out there—choose one that speaks to your family, but that still allows you to watch how they grow over the years. Handprints, footprints, and pictures are all great ideas.
Feed the Reindeer
I remember coming home from school one day as a kid with a bag of “reindeer food,” excited to help guide Rudolph to my house. It goes a bit beyond leaving cookies for Santa and is also a fun fresh air activity that doesn't take you out in the cold for too long. Just let your kids sprinkle it outside in a trail leading to your house.
There's a few different recipes out there—I like this one from Organized Home—just avoid using things like glitter that could harm the non-magical creatures that may happen to ingest it. Better yet, ask your kids what they think reindeer eat and have them help create the recipe.
Make Your Own Snow
Kids love snow—but not every area can have a white Christmas and sometimes it's just too cold to go outside to play. Improvise by making your own. For older kids, it's a good science experiment to use while on break from school and for younger tots, it's a good sensory item.
You can create realistic snow with just baking soda and shaving cream like in this recipe. Or, for a more moldable option that allows you to make snowmen indoors, try the more Playdough-like option from The Imagination Tree made with corn starch, vegetable oil and glitter.
Countdown the Week of Christmas With New Books
Celebrate Christmas with gifts that are both fun and educational—books. Choose a dedicated amount of days, like the week before Christmas, for example, and let your child unwrap a new book every night to read that night. This is a great idea because it doesn't have an age limitation—older kids can read their own books while the youngest can share a book with mom or dad. To keep the costs down, you can look for books at a used book store or a thrift store, especially if you want to stretch it out past a week.
Create a Kid-Friendly Christmas Tree
Toddlers and even older kids are drawn to the Christmas tree—instead of worrying it will topple over on them if they touch it, create a kid-friendly version that they can redecorate as much as they want. Felt will naturally stick together and it's inexpensive. Cut out the tree from a large piece of felt and pick up smaller, colorful pieces to make the ornaments with. The ornaments can be taken down and put back up by even the littlest hands.
Christmas is a great time to be a kid—or to be a mom, for that matter. Dive into the season with a few activities your youngsters are bound to enjoy.