Activity Advent Calendar

 

christmas ideas for kids

Christmas activities for kids

Christmas activities are suddenly top of mind: the kids are bringing home Christmas craft, shopping centres are getting crazy busy, I’ve set up a new ‘Elf on the Shelf’ Pinterest board and we’ve organised the family kris kringle. It’s usually around this time I start thinking about an advent calendar for the kids. I’ve tried the standard, open a door to reveal a picture, but my kids looked at me in disbelief and asked, ‘is that all it does?’. I then tried the chocolate ones, but I really don’t want to launch sugar filled kids on unsuspecting teachers each morning. I’ve thought of the Lego one, but it’s expensive and there would be fights over who got what.

So, I’m continuing with an idea we started a few years ago: a calendar of Christmas activities. Each day, the kids will receive an activity description – a plan and anything we need to do a new activity together. I’m still narrowing down my list to achievable activities, so I thought I’d share my ‘big list’ with you, in case you’re interested in your own set of Christmas activities for your kids. These are in no particular order . . .

Christmas activity ideas

  1. Put up and decorate the Christmas tree (although I do tend to get a little OCD over the arrangement of decorations and tend to reorganise them once the kids are in bed).
  2. Make Christmas cake or puddings.
  3. Closer to Christmas – decorate the Christmas cake.
  4. Make salt dough ornaments (use Christmas biscuit cutters for consistent shapes, paint when they’re dry then coat in varnish to make them last).
  5. Create paper chains and hang up.
  6. Create a star-shaped wreath from either collected twigs or thin lengths of dowel – get crafty and paint it and sprinkle liberally in glitter.
  7. Buy a present or make up a food hamper to put under the Kmart Wishing Tree or to donate to a charitable organisation.
  8. Make ‘stained glass window’ art (Cut shapes out of a piece of black paper and glue or tape coloured cellophane to the back, to fill in the shapes. Affix to a window and watch the light shine through.)
  9. Go into your nearest city to see the Christmas decorations and lights.
  10. Google great streets for Christmas lights your area and visit when the sun goes down.
  11. Make gingerbread – either individual biscuits or an entire gingerbread house, iced and covered with lollies.
  12. Write letters to Santa. You can even get emails or videos from Santa now, too. My 4 year old specifically asked this year if Santa has a computer so she could send last minute changes to her list.
  13. Make ‘reindeer food’ (oats and glitter) and put in zip lock bags for class mates.
  14. Get the kids involved in planning Christmas celebrations, if you’re hosting. You could get them to create invitations, make place cards and write a menu.
  15. Read Christmas stories – from your shelf, the library or take them shopping to select one each.
  16. Make reindeer biscuits. Google them – they’re a thing.
  17. Make Christmas sacks. How fancy you make them depends on how handy and patient you are: you could sew your own Martha-Stewart-style linen ones. Or just buy cheap pillow cases with some fabric paint and let the kids decorate their own.
  18. Crochet mini-stockings to attach to presents, decorate the tree. My husband’s grandmother made a whole load of granny squares then sewed them in half, diagonally. They’re big enough to hold a chocolate Santa or a candy cane and go up on the tree.
  19. Create tassel garlands, from either scrap fabric, ribbon or crepe paper.
  20. Collect pine cones (we found some on the side of a road on our way to gymnastics class) and decorate – paint and glitter to your hearts content.
  21. Plant a garden – especially good if you are entertaining over Christmas – get the kids weeding. Mine are about to create a new herb and salad garden, so we have fresh food for Summer.
  22. Make pom poms from scrap wool or wool from the $2 shop. You can use them to decorate presents or create garlands.
  23. If you’re seriously crafty, make your own bon bons.
  24. Create Christmas playlists – borrow CDs from the library, look on iTunes, ask friends what they have. Print out lyrics to Christmas carols and teach them to the kids. Maybe you could create a new carol singing tradition for Christmas Eve or Christmas day? The kids could create simple instruments – shakers, bells and rattles, to play along.
  25. Plan a Christmas movie night. Get out a good Christmas movie, make popcorn and milkshakes and snuggle up on the couch as a family.
  26. Make your own Christmas wrapping paper. Buy a big roll or white or brown kraft paper. Make your own ‘stamps’ by cutting shapes from sponges or go old school and carve out potatoes. Dip in paint and stamp away.
  27. Bake gifts for friends. Think: preserves and jams, biscuits, tarts and slices. Cordials are also a good easy one. Depending on the ages of your kids, they can help chop and stir and create labels.
  28. Make more garlands to decorate the house: I bought rolls of lovely wrapping paper and we cut out different shaped stars and thread them onto string. Make your own bunting from cardboard, paper or fabric. Use a cardboard template to trace around and then the kids can help cut them out and thread onto paper or ribbon.
  29. Make ‘kokedama’ (string moss balls). You’ll need to Google precise instructions and they do require a bit of set up to get it right, but my kids love this. They get very muddy hands and choose the plants.
  30. Plan a family photo day – even iPhones create great photos now. Get lots of fun, natural shots of the kids that you can edit and take to a photo printing kiosk and give to family at Christmas time.

So . . . stay tuned in December and I’ll share our activities throughout December at www.instagram.com/thesunshinecoll and www.facebook.com/thesunshinecoll . Then follow along and tell us what you’re doing. Be Brilliant!

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