It is that time of year again!
Christmas can be a time of festive cheer and family memories. It can be filled with merry-making and delicious food. If you are lucky to live in the Northern hemisphere, then maybe you even get snow!
But Christmas can also mean days stuck inside with your kids while they run amok, hyped up on Christmas cookies and advent chocolates. That is why you need an arsenal of Christmas activities at your disposal this festive season.
You don’t need to go crazy at the craft store (although I understand the urge), as most of these crafts require paper, glue, paint, and creativity. Lots of them don’t even require supervision if your kids are older.
Christmas time is about family, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. So, why not get your kids involved in a few crafts to keep them busy. Their creations can also double up as festive décor for your home or even special gifts for the grandparents.
Even if you are not the craftiest mom around, these activities are achievable. So, put on some Christmas tunes, pour some eggnog, and let’s get to it!
1. Handprint Art
This is a fun and easy activity that your kids will love and requires minimal input from you. It is messy (which might explain why the kids enjoy it so much), so you might want to do it outside or at least put down some newspaper. Then you can get creative with the pictures you make.
Get your kids to paint their hands and get stamping. They could make Christmas trees, reindeers, poinsettias, or even wreaths, all using their hands. Let them draw on the details, or you can help if they are little.
This activity is great if you have children of different ages as they can all get involved, and your younger kids, in particular, will enjoy getting messy.
2. Santa Binoculars
If you don’t save your toilet roll tubes, then you should seriously start. They are a versatile play option for younger kids, not to mention the endless ideas for crafting.
In this craft, you can use them to create binoculars that not only look like Santa but can be used to watch for him. You will need two toilet roll tubes for each pair of binoculars and a festive string or ribbon.
Paint the toilet rolls tubes red and stick them together using glue and a strip of black insulation tape. Then, add a small rectangle of gold paper to the black strip of tape for the buckle.
Then use a strip of faux-fur or cotton wool and stick it around the front edge of the toilet roll tubes. Finally, add the string and enjoy searching the skies for Santa.
3. Pasta Noodle Ornaments
You will need some cards, dry noodles, glue, and paint for this activity. You can cut any festive shape out of your card, or you could even make a frame. Paint the cardboard shapes, and once dry, apply glue.
Then your kids can get creative and stick the noodles on in any design they choose. Once the glue has dried, they can paint over the noodles. You could even add sequins or glitter at this point.
Once the paint has dried, make a small hole at the top of the ornament, add some festive ribbon, and it is all ready for the tree.
4. Christmas Tree Playdough
Playdough might be one of the best inventions for mothers because it is guaranteed to keep your kids busy for hours. Playdough at Christmastime is no exception and offers you so many possibilities. Don’t have a good playdough recipe? We have got you covered!
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 3 tablespoons of cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 2 cups of boiling water
Mix everything together in a bowl and knead until it is smooth. If you want to add food coloring, then add it to the boiling water so it spreads more evenly. For this activity, you will want to use green food coloring. And then the rest is up to you.
The joy of loose parts play is that you can use what you have around the house, and your kids get to be creative. I like to use marbles, pipe cleaners, sticks, sprigs of greenery, and pinecones, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
Then stand back and watch the magic as your kids create whatever their little hearts desire.
5. Potato Stamp Ornaments
This activity might take a bit more work from your side, but it is worth it. Kids are always so excited about using food for something other than eating. You will need a few large potatoes cut in half. You can then cut some simple designs into them so that they look like baubles.
Pop a few different paint colors into bowls and let your kids get started. You could have paintbrushes for them, but if you let them apply the paint with their fingers, they will love it even more. Then they can stamp away, creating beautiful bauble pictures or even Christmas cards.
6. Salt Dough Footprint Reindeer
Salt dough is a bit like playdough in that it keeps your kids happily occupied. But unlike playdough, it sets, and you can have a special keepsake from your kids.
Salt Dough Recipe:
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of salt
- Up to one cup of water
Add the water slowly as you may not need all of it. If the mixture feels sticky, then add more flour and knead.
Give your kids a ball of salt dough and ask them to stand on it, leaving a footprint. You can then leave this out to dry or put it into a low oven for a few hours. Don’t forget to make a small hole at the top using a skewer!
Once the ornament is dry, your kids can paint them and add eyes and a red pom-pom nose. You can use pipe cleaners for the antlers and stick those on the back with glue or tape.
Then tie a festive ribbon through the hole you made, and you have a sweet ornament for your tree. Maybe put your child’s name and the date on the back.
7. Mason Jar Snow Globe
There is something magical about a snow globe, so your kids will love having their own one. For this project, you will need a mason jar, glitter or fake snow, glycerin, and a collection of small ornaments.
Your kids will choose their decorations and glue them to the mason jar’s lid. While the glue is setting, fill the mason jar almost to the top with water, add a few drops of glycerin and the fake snow or glitter.
Once the glue is dry, submerge the ornament in the water as you tighten the lid of the mason jar, then turn it over and watch the magic!
8. Paper Plate Elf
Paper plates should be a staple in your craft cupboard!
For these elves, you will need two paper plates stuck together, and then your kids can paint them. These plates will be the faces of the elves. Then you will need a few other features that your kids can stick on.
- Plastic eyes
- Pom-pom nose,
- 2 pink circles for his cheeks
- A triangle for his hat
- Cotton wool for the fur trim on his hat
Put all the elements on a board and allow your kids to complete the face of their elf.
9. Paper Chain Snowman
I don’t know about you, but paper chains are a quintessential part of my childhood Christmas memories. This is a simple activity that your kids can be hands-on with and will also benefit their fine motor skills.
It might be helpful if you prep the strips of white paper for smaller kids, but definitely let your older kids be involved in cutting the strips.
The snowmen are made by making chains of white paper. At the top, use a black chain for the top hat. Then draw on buttons and a face, and you have a sweet snowman chain ready to go.
10. Puffy Paint Pictures
If you have never tried puffy paint, then you have been missing out!
Puffy paint is exciting to use, and this homemade recipe means you can whip it up at a moment’s notice.
Puffy Paint Recipe:
- 2 tablespoons of self-raising flour
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- Food coloring
Mix the flour, salt, and food coloring together. Slowly add the water until you have a spreadable paste.
Then using a popsicle stick or a teaspoon, spread the paint into the design you want. Finally, you could let your kids get creative or print out a few festive pictures for them.
Once the paint is on, pop the picture in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Keep an eye on the paint, and you should start to see it puff up. Remove it from the microwave, taking care not to burn yourself as it is hot. Once cooled, your kids can feel it.
This activity always goes down well in our home.
11. Salt Dough Ornaments
With some simple cookie cutters, you can have a whole Christmas tree full of handmade ornaments.
Using the salt dough recipe from earlier, you can let your kids roll out the dough and make festive shapes. Then, make a small hole in the top and bake the ornaments until they are hard.
Once cooled, your kids can decorate them using acrylic paint. Add some festive ribbon, and these ornaments can grace your tree or even be used as gift tags.
12. Popsicle Stick Frame Ornaments
This is a great activity when you are looking for a personalized gift for grandma. Your kids can paint popsicle sticks and then stick them together with glue to make a frame. They could be square, rectangle, or even triangle-shaped.
Once the glue is dry, your kids can decorate their frames with stickers, glitter, pom-poms, tinsel, or any other festive frills that catch their eye. When the frames have been decorated, print a photo of your kids with grandma and stick it onto the inside of the frame. Add a festive ribbon, and it is ready to be hung on grandma’s tree.
13. Tape Resist Tree Art
Cut out a large triangle from a cardboard box. Using tape, create geometric patterns on the triangle cut out and then stick it to the wall. Let your kids paint the triangle and once the paint has dried, remove the strips of tape.
What will be left in a cool, geometric Christmas tree that your kids can then decorate with pom-poms?
14. Paper Plate Christmas Wreath
Another fun paper plate craft is making wreaths. You might need to help your kids cut out the center circle of the paper plate, but then the rest is up to them. Using a sponge, your kids can paint their wreaths and then decorate them with pom-poms, mini pinecones, or festive ribbon.
15. Popsicle Santa Ornaments
These popsicle sticks Santa ornaments will make such a sweet addition to your Christmas tree. Paint a small red section at the top of the stick for a hat and paint the bottom of the stick red for Santa’s body. Don’t forget to leave a small section near the top plain for his face.
Then add a nose and some eyes as well as a cotton wool beard, followed by a black belt and a little yellow pom-pom buckle. Make a loop at the top with some ribbon, and your ornament is ready for the tree.
16. Pine Cone Christmas Trees
If you live somewhere you can forage pine cones, then this is a fun craft for you. Not only do your kids get to make something, but you also get to have a family adventure as you scout out pinecones.
Once you have collected and cleaned your pinecones, let your kids paint them and decorate them with mini pom-poms or glitter. Then use some left-over salt dough, make a base and press your pine cone into it. Allow the dough to dry and display your collection of trees.
17. Letter Ornaments
Letter ornaments are such sweet keepsakes and make a lovely addition to your Christmas tree. Cut the first letter of everyone’s name out of a strong card. Cover it in glue, and then use wool (in the color of your choice) to cover the letter.
Wrap the yarn around the letter until it is completely covered. Add a festive ribbon, and they are ready for your tree.
18. Pine Cone Gnomes
If you found a good spot for pinecones or came home with a few extras, then why not try your hand at pine gnomes? You will need a circle of paper or felt a wooden bead and some glue.
Make a cone from the felt or paper and glue it onto the top of the pinecone. Glue on the wooden bead for a nose, and you have a sweet and simple pinecone gnome.
19. Reindeer Bunting
Festive bunting is such a fun addition to your Christmas décor, and this reindeer bunting is no exception. You will need some triangles cut out of the brown card, some red mini pom-poms for the nose, some plastic eyes, and some beige paper cut into horns.
Let your kids have fun sticking on all the bits that make up the reindeer’s face. Then string them together with some twine and hang them up.
20. Toilet Roll Snowmen
This is another quick craft that you can make with your kids, and all with materials easily found at home.
Collect your toilet roll tubes and use them to create snowmen. Paint them white, and once dry, decorate with a paper carrot nose, plastic eyes, some buttons, a scarf or hat and even stick arms.
You could make a lovely Christmas village with your pinecone trees, pinecone gnomes, and toilet roll snowmen.
Christmas activities are a fun way to spend time together as a family. There is something so magical about Christmas, and if the last two years have taught us anything, it is this. Nothing is more precious than spending time with loved ones.
Christmas activities with your kids don’t need to be complicated or involve fancy craft materials. You can do them with things you have lying around the house. Most importantly, though, what your kids really want is to spend time with you.
So whether you are making a simple Christmas card or creating a whole Christmas village, your kids will love it so long as they do it with you.