Oh how I love the Christmas season! It seems to always go by so quickly and I never have enough time to do all the crafts and activities I want to do with my kids. Looking to start some simple yet heartwarming Christmas traditions with your children? These kid-friendly indoor and outdoor activities for all ages will help your family bond over the holidays without breaking the bank.
1) MAKE A CHRISTMAS TREE OUT OF EVERYDAY OBJECTS.
Who said the best Christmas trees come from the ground? From glass ornaments to toilet paper rolls and accessories, kids can have a lot of fun throwing together what they can find to create the most unique and whimsical trees.
2) MAKE SNOWMAN SPOONS FOR HOT COCOA.
When the weather outside is frightful, grab a steaming cup of hot cocoa and one of these minty snowman spoons. It'll warm your kids right up.
3) ENJOY HOLIDAY THEMED PANCAKES.
Allow kids to get creative by making shapes and decorating pancakes as holiday-related characters. They can even take it a step further and make fun waffles
4) CREATE YOUR OWN ADVENT CALENDAR.
Advent calendars are a fun daily surprise that are sure to put everyone in the Christmas spirit. Have fun creating your own DIY version with the kids.
Everybody loves a festive wreath, and this is a great DIY Christmas decoration activity. Take the kids outside for a quick winter walk to gather evergreen branches and pine cones, trim some from the bottom of your Christmas tree or just buy some at the store. Attach your greens to a foam or wire ring (a bent metal coat hanger works well) and allow the kids to decorate it with Christmas ornaments and bows. Or make this preschooler-friendly paper wreath featuring tracings of your child's cute little hands.
Keep it simple with this foam wreath making kit perfect for kids and easy cleanup!
6) CHRISTMAS MOVIES.
Spending an afternoon or evening watching Christmas movies is a must! (You could also spread out your movie marathon over the course of a week.) Let each family member choose a favorite holiday flick to watch with the family. Cuddle up under blankets with a warm cup of cocoa and some popcorn to make it feel extra special.
7) CHRISTMAS COOKIES.
Peanut-butter blossoms! Spritz cookies! Gingerbread men! There are just too many tasty holiday cookies to choose from. Children of all ages can get involved in the kitchen on "cookie day." Younger kids can add pre-measured ingredients, stir the bowl and decorate cooled cookies. Older kids can pitch in at any stage.
Get the kids excited with these fun shapes including classics like Santa, Snowmen, Stockings, Christmas Trees and more.
8) COOKIE SWAP.
After spending days in the kitchen baking up your favorites, why not organize a fun family-friendly evening with your friends? Everybody brings some of their favorites to swap, and if it’s not a family secret include your recipe so they can be recreated for years to come. Not only will you get to share your favorites but you might find a new favorite while swapping with friends.
Hosting the cookie swap? Get this easy and convenient cookie swap party kit.
9) MAKE YOUR OWN HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS.
Homemade Christmas ornaments are the best! Save money and make memories with your children during a Christmas craft night.
10) TURN A COOKIE JAR INTO A SNOW GLOBE.
Forget your same-old cookie jar this year and replace it with this adorable snow globe made from an airtight jar. Use a fine-tipped brush to paint small white dots on the outside of a glass jar. Fill bottom of jar with snowball cookies. Place small plastic trinkets inside for a snow globe-inspired vignette.
11) MAKE YOUR OWN HOLIDAY CARD DISPLAY.
Instead of taping all of your holiday cards to a window or sliding door, grab your kids and get to work on this fun craft that adds to your Winter Wonderland. Cut three pieces of garland to desired length (we used a longer one in the center). Wrap the top of each garland around a wooden hanger, securing with hot glue and let it dry. Hang it up on the wall and use clothespins to secure the cards.
12) PICK OUT A CHRISTMAS TREE TOGETHER.
Rather than just letting them help you decorate the Christmas tree, you could also let them pick it out from the lot.
13) GO ICE SKATING.
Take advantage of the cold temperatures and go ice skating! Not only will you have fun, but the kids will be exhausted at the end of the day, and you'll be able to put them to bed easily.
14) GO SLEDDING.
Rather than shoveling the previous night's snow, bundle up the kids to go sledding. Unlike ice skating, they won't have to worry about falling on the ice.
15) HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS.
Decorating a Christmas tree is probably already on your to-do list. Make this holiday tradition even more special by adding a new kid-made Christmas ornament each year. Mark the year on your ornaments so that you can keep track of when each cutie was created! We love a hands-on DIY Christmas activity, and this one can easily become a family tradition that documents your child's growth and creativity each year.
Keep the kids busy the whole Christmas season with this 40-piece ornament making set.
16) HOT CHOCOLATE BUFFET.
There's nothing like a steaming mug of hot chocolate on a cold December night. Up your game for the holiday season with a buffet of toppings for your cocoa. Some ideas include whipped cream, marshmallows, crushed candy canes, shaved chocolate, chocolate chips and cinnamon dots. Get creative! The kids will love customizing their hot cocoa as a fun and easy activity for Christmas Eve.
Up the ante this year with these fun hot chocolate flavors including peanut butter cup, mint, Tootsie roll, and more.
17) DONATING TO CHARITY.
Show your family's giving spirit this holiday season by shopping for a toy or two to give to Toys for Tots or another local toy drive. Since your kids are the toy experts, let them do the picking. It will brighten your Christmas and someone else's, too, and can easily become a new family tradition for this time of year. Since the kids are also surely expecting new loot this year, go through their toy box together and find the (gently used) toys they're willing to part with for charity. It's a good lesson in abundance and selflessness.
18) BUILD A FIRE.
Before you start unwrapping gifts, build a roaring fire in the fireplace. It will get everyone into the Christmas spirit faster than you can say "time to open the stockings." Speaking of, make sure you take those down first, or you'll end up with melted candy.
19) HAVE A CHRISTMAS TREE SLEEPOVER.
Have a family slumber party underneath your Christmas tree to get the most out of its festive glow. Careful not to block Santa's route to the stockings if you do so on Christmas eve.
20) GIVE AN UNEXPECTED GIFT.
People who don't have friends and family around often feel left out during the holiday season. Ask a local nursing home or senior center if any of their residents need a little extra cheer, and bring them a token gift that shows someone's thinking of them.
21) VIDEO CALL A FAR AWAY FAMILY MEMBER.
Now that we've all gotten used to video calling our friends and family, you can bring even the most long-lost loved ones into your Christmas celebrations. Call before or after you eat, so everyone can devote their full attention to the screen.