Advent Aunt day 19: 8 Fun Activities for Kids this Christmas
Editor’s note: This guest post was written by Anna Ranson, who writes the award winning early years play and education activities blog, The Imagination Tree. She is a former Early Years Co and art teacher and Mum to three young girls. Join over 20, 000 followers of The Imagination Tree on Facebook to receive daily play prompts, inspiration and to join in the play community!
In the busyness of the Christmas period the kids can get exhausted and cranky and we can easily forget to just stop and enjoy some simple, quality activities with them. Collecting some Christmas and winter themed books into a basket by the sofa is an easy way to start, as well as noting down some new and easy activities to try out when stuck for ideas.
Here are 8 favourite activities that we have tried and loved!
Sensory Snow Dough Try making this wonderful sensory play substance that is made from just 2 ingredients you can find in the kitchen cupboards! Introduce Arctic play figures, squeeze it to make snowballs or simply run your hands through it and enjoy the crunchy sounds it makes, just like real snow!
Easy Ways to Create Wrapping Paper Using a large roll of plain brown paper or some wallpaper lining paper, simply dip cookie cutters into paint and print all over it until completely covered. Alternative ways to decorate the paper are to cut simple shapes from potatoes and print with those, or use sponge shapes, stickers or free doodles! Not only is this a great time-filling activity but it can also be used to wrap that special gift for Granny.
White Clay Ornaments Using this simple recipe with ingredients from the cupboard, create a beautiful array of ornaments for the tree or to decorate around the home. They look so special and can make wonderful gifts too!
Cinnamon Sparkle Sensory Tub If you have a toddler or preschooler then you could have a go at putting together a sensory tub to encourage open-ended play through tipping, scooping, filling and emptying. By introducing some wonderfully tactile elements and the scent of cinnamon it immediately feels and smells like Christmas! If you haven’t made a sensory tub before you are in for a treat!
Gingerbread Play Dough Making no-cook play dough is our all time favourite go-to activity as it takes only 4 minutes to make from scratch and can keep the kids absorbed for up to an hour at a go! Throw in the fact that it can be stored for months and you can add any colours and scents under the moon, and it’s the perfect play activity! Adding ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg to our no-cook recipe makes a wonderful gingerbread play dough which can be cut into men and decorated with buttons for pretend play baking.
Jam Jar and Tissue Paper Luminaries To lighten up the dark afternoons and evenings you can make some beautiful luminaries by upcycling jam jars. Simply layer pieces of coloured tissue paper all over the outside of the glass using PVA glue and a paintbrush. You can decorate with sequins, glitter and jewels over the top to make them really sparkly too. Pop a tea light candle inside and watch them glow!
Spin Art Christmas Trees If you have a salad spinner which you’re not using you’re in for a treat! Spin art paintings are completely self-contained mess and take just a couple of minutes to set up and clear away, which is a huge bonus. You can create some spin art Christmas trees by cutting the shapes from card to fit inside the basket of the spinner, then squeezing on lots of ready mix paints and glitter glues, closing the lid and spinning! These can be used to make cards or strung into a garland.
I hope you have some time to try a few of the above activities and really enjoy your Christmas holiday time together with the whole family!