7 creative Christmas activity ideas for children
It's nearing holiday season and time to plan fun things to do with your kids. Here we round up seven play ideas and activities to keep your little one in the festive spirit.
Oh little Christmas tree!
Write to father christmas
The letter to Santa may come with its own particular set of worries – here’s hoping they don’t ask for a unicorn again this year – but it is such a lovely tradition. Don’t hold back – sling in the glitter, add stickers, use all the pens and pencils. Letters sent via the Royal Mail before early December will receive a reply; the address is Santa/Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ. Or, if you don’t fancy the mess, download one of the ‘write to Santa’ apps.
Toddler-proof the Christmas tree
Let’s face it, the pretty glass baubles will have to be packed away for a few years, so head to the supermarket and stock up on big, jolly plastic baubles with no little bits that curious toddlers could choke on. Then just prepare yourself to redecorate the tree over and over, after your enquiring tot investigates the new addition to the home.
Visit Nature’s craft shop
Give a wintry walk with the kids a crafty purpose by picking up free supplies while you wander. Pine cones, in particular: brilliantly, they look great daubed with coloured paints, which is really easy for a little person to do without too much help.
Get creative with crafts
Crafting with tots can be nicer in theory than reality. So keep projects simple and set everything out before you start – how about a paper plate Santa face with cotton wool beard? Simply draw the face, slather on the glue and get them to chuck on the cotton wool. Wreaths of handprints are cute: all you need is a few green paw prints, then you can finesse the rest yourself later.
Make their own decorations
Nothing says Christmas with children like a tree that looks as if it’s been dunked in a nursery school art box. Be canny and use up random jigsaw pieces to make reindeer decorations – glue three pieces together for the face and antlers, paint them brown, add googly eyes, a red pom-pom nose and string to hang.
Stage a Christmas Bake-Off
This is the time for eating everything in sight, so let little ones help with the making too. Getting them to stir up the Christmas cake and pud is a lovely tradition to start; you could involve them in baking biscuits for gifts too – perhaps with a note in the box: ‘Yes, they did wash their hands first.’
Build an edible gingerbread house
If you’re an Instagram addict, you’ll know that assembling a gingerbread house with your mini-me and posting pics online is mandatory – rather like all those endless shots of friends on inflatable flamingos in the summer. The good news is, there are about a bazillion gingerbread house kits available online and they only cost a few pounds, so you won’t have to try to bake it. And, unlike those flamingos, you can eat it afterwards. Yum.
Compiled by Lizzie Catt
For lots more creative, crafty Christmas ideas to try with your little one, why not visit the Ideal Home Show at Christmas?
As well as being a treasure trove of wonderful gift and tasty food ideas for the whole family, there are activities to keep kids of all ages entertained. There's live music, face painting and crafting tables - and Santa himself will be making an appearance. Plus, on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November the team from Build A Bear will be on the Christmas Theatre at the London Olympia show. A grand day out, indeed - ho ho ho!