We’ve all got Pinterest boards full of wonderful Christmas activities for kids because this year we’re going to be organised enough to actually do some of them in December.
You’re going to have your Christmas shopping done, your meals planned and grocery delivery booked.
In fact, you’ll be free as a bird for the whole of December.
You’ll be able to do a different activity every night of Advent, and your whole home will exude an aura of warmth and family togetherness.
Sorry to shatter the illusions, but if your December is anything like mine, I’ll wager that it will be just as busy and chaotic as every other December.
Whether your children are at home with you 24/7 or going to school or preschool, the holiday season brings with it a whole host of extras – parties, trips to see Santa, school plays … and that’s before we’ve even considered the shopping and entertaining that goes along with a family Christmas.
I love having some easy Christmas activities for kids up my sleeve to help bring a bit of festive fun into our home every year.
I’m a realist though, and I know that most of those activities need to be super-simple, fuss-free, and quick to set up.
Forget anything where the set-up is longer than the actual activity.
Forget anything where I’ve got to spend £50 on art supplies I’ll only use once.
Be sure to click through from the images to get the details for each activity straight from the source.
(If you’re keen to do something a little bit Christmassy now, before the festive season really gets underway, how about these gorgeous oiled-paper lanterns? Perfect for adding a little touch of hygge to your home as the evenings get darker.
Making crystals is one of those magical kinds of STEM activity that's great for inspiring curiosity and wonder in our children.
We've made borax crystals quite a few times now, and it's an activity that my kids ask for over and over. It's nice to see this festive twist on it from Little Bins for Little Hands.
It's also a great exercise in patience, because of the wait for the crystals to actually form ... but that just adds to the magic of the whole experience.
Gingerbread houses are cute.
I've pinned my fair share of them. I've bought books about making them.
I've also got more than my fair share of gingerbread disasters and disappointments under my belt.
One day, I'll have oodles of time on my hands and will craft fantastical gingerbread sculptures that will impress my grandchildren.
Until then, I'm willing to accept that, for preschoolers, the whole point of a gingerbread house is to get covered in icing, and eat as many sweets as you can before someone tells you to stop.
I don't need to bake gingerbread to make that dream come true.
These Christmas tree cones from Primary Playground provide al of the fun of a gingerbread house, with none of the excessive time investment.
How much fun does this look? Awesome 3D Christmas tree to decorate, standing in a festive sensory bin full of all kinds of bits and pieces.
I love how this activity offers a new twist on the sensory bin. I think I'd like to try just straight sensory bin play the first day, and then introduce the sticky tree for a new dimension the next day.
This post from How Wee Learn has also got me thinking about other things I could try ... a sticky spider web with a Hallowe'en-themed bin perhaps?
We love slime in this house!
I get asked for slime-making supplies at least once a week at the moment, and it's showing no signs of settling down.
So, this Grinch slime is definitely on my list for December slime-making fun! I adore how lusciously glittery it is!
We're recent converts to using clear glue for slime because it's only just become available in our local shops, but it makes such a difference to how vivid the colours are.
There's a reason why traditional party games like this have stood the test of time. It's because they're super easy to set up, and they're good fun. Simple as that.
Pin the star on the Christmas tree is a cute twist on the traditional game of pinning the tail on the donkey. Perfect for the school Christmas party, or just for a rainy day activity in the run-up to Christmas.
I can see this activity from Clare's Little Tots being a great ongoing piece of art in our house this year. We've got a big window in the living room that would be the perfect place to set up this activity.
I've done a few pieces of big contact paper art with my children before, but mostly just using coloured tissue shapes. Those turn out beautifully. My favourite thing about this, though, is that it uses foam shapes which can be peeled off and restuck several times, making the fun last even longer.
Easy Christmas Activities For Kids
I’ve been pinning loads of Christmas activities for preschoolers, so make sure you pop over and check out my boards for more ideas.
The biggest tip I have for you when it comes to setting up fun and festive activities for your children is to dial back your expectations and to focus on the fun rather than the outcome.
If the contact paper Christmas tree ends up covered in all kinds of random stuff instead of your carefully-prepared decorations, then that’s okay.
If your toddler eats more icing than they put on their Christmas tree cone, then that’s okay too.
Choose connection over ‘correctness’ and joy over everything else, and you won’t go far wrong.
I’d also like to encourage you to step into the silliness now and again.
Look how much fun your preschooler is having as he tries to stick that star anywhere but the top of the tree! Join in … chase him around and stick it to his bum, or stick it somewhere while he’s not looking and challenge him to spot it.
Every play experience you set up for your child becomes even more valuable when you step into it yourself and join in at their level.