With the holidays quickly approaching and that festive time of year coming to a head, many parents are wondering what can I do with my children during that time when school is out but Christmas hasn’t happened yet, and we have no new things to keep them occupied and entertained. I know as a busy mom of 2 school aged children, finding things to keep them activitly engaged and entertained can be a heavy task. I remember when they were little and I thought it was hard, but honestly sometimes I feel that the toddler years were a little easier because I could just give them some playdoh and they would play for hours. The downside to the toddler years is that I had to be there, I couldn’t go and get any holiday prep done because they always needed my attention. I guess really, there are pro’s and con’s to both age groups.
Let’s talk school aged children and that dreaded time as a parent that school has ended, our kids are all hyped up on Christmas treats and our bank accounts are pretty low because we have done all our Christmas shopping. What can we do with our children that will keep them happy, engaged and for us not to hear the dreaded words “I’m bored”.
Each year I wish I had of spent more time getting organized with activities for my children. I’m a busy working mom and it always happens that I have to plans to search pinterest for wonderful ideas and activities to do with my children but the next thing you know Christmas has come and passed and I was not able to do all the things I had dreamed.
This year I decided that I wanted to put all my ideas into one area and make it a little easier for my fellow parents to find one (or several) activities to keep their children entertained this holiday season. Some of these activities your children can do on their own (giving you some time to do that last minute holiday prep) and some you will do together as a family, which in my opinion is really the true meaning of the holidays.
7 FUN, FESTIVE AND (ALMOST) FREE HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Christmas Scavenger Hunt
I don’t know about your children but mine love a good scavenger hunt and I really feel that this is a great activity for children of all ages. Even children who can not read yet will love hunting around to find the items on a list and it’s always the best when you are the first one to find all the items. For those young non-readers, hide pictures of items around the house and make sure to include images on the scavenger hunt list. No time to create one? No need to worry, I have done the work for you. I’ve included 2 versions of a Christmas Scavenger Hunt for you to use this holiday season. One with pictures (I’ve included the images to print, cut and hide around your home) and this one is perfect for your little ones. Then I also have one for school aged children who can read, this one is a mixture of items inside and outdoors. Both of these scavenger hunts are great ways to keep your children entertained so you can get a little holiday prep done. Just click this link to head over to print the one you would like to use.
Bake & Decorate Cookies
Who doesn’t love to get into the kitchen and bake some cookies? I don’t know too many children who wouldn’t jump at the chance to bake and decorate cookies. This could be a great time to teach your older school aged children how to read a recipe card and have them make, bake and decorate the cookies, from start to finish. Younger children? Grab an apron and get mixing. Cut cookies into fun Christmas shapes and once the cookies are complete and cooled, have a bunch of sprinkles, icing and fun holiday toppings and let your kids have fun. Don’t have the time to bake cookies? Pop by the store and buy some already made, then buy all the fun sprinkles and icing and have fun decorating. It’s all about spending time with our kids and creating the memories. They will not remember if you baked the cookies from stratch, they will remember the laughs, smiles and giggles from your time together in the kitchen.
DIY Gingerbread Playdoh
We love to play with play-doh and what a better time to make some fun, delicious smelling playdoh than during the holidays. I love all things gingerbread during Christmas, so it is a no brainer to me that we make this simple, easy playdoh that’ll leave your house smelling delicious. Just remember that this will have to be done together because it is made on the stove top.
- 1 CUP FLOUR
- 1/2 CUP SALT
- 1 TBSP CINNAMON
- 1 TSP GROUND GINGER
- 1 TSP GROUND NUTMEG
- 1 TSP GROUND CLOVES
- 2 TBSP CANOLA OIL
- 1 CUP WATER
- Add all your dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix together.
- Once they are all mixed, add to a pot on the stove and slowly add in the water and the oil.
- Continue to mix together on the stove over low heat until all the ingredients are combined and is the consisency of playdoh.
- Once finished have fun playing.
I always enjoyed crafting with paper and making paper snowflakes as a child. One thing I really like about them is that no two are alike and really there is not wrong way to make them. Simply take a square piece of paper and fold it into a triangle. Fold the triangle in half and then into thirds. Cut the bottom off so it is a perfect triangle, then cut out little shapes and open it up to reveal your sweet little snowflake.
Create a Christmas Bucket List together
Your kids will love to sit down and tell you all the things they would like to do over the holidays and what better way then to create a Holiday Bucket List. You can write out your list one popscile sticks and then pick one every day, every few days or on the weekends, really how often you do it is up to you. You can also just have a list printed off on paper and you can check it off each time you do something together.
Have a Craft Afternoon
My daughter loves to craft, give her paper, glue and scizzors and she will create so many wonderful creative things. Why not set up a space in your home with supplies that you may already have or make a quick trip to the dollar store for a few things and let them use their imaginations. Kids want specific crafts to make? Here are a few that won’t break the bank with supplies and are fun for the kids to create.
- Styrofoam Snowman
- Reindeer Candy Canes
- Popscile Stick Christmas Trees
Want to know how to make these, stay tuned and subscribe, I’ll be having a post soon with step by step instructions.
Family Movie Night
We love to cozy up on the sofa, wear matching jammies and watch some of our favorite Christmas movies. When December rolls around, we make it a point to watch at least one Christmas movie a week (although we try to watch more because there are so many amazing holiday movies to enjoy). I love that my daughter loves to watch Hallmark Christmas movies as much as I do but some of the movies we are like to watch I’ll list below.
- Home Alone (Top choice by far and watched every year)
- Jingle All the Way
- All I want for Christmas
- Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
- The Muppet Christmas Carol
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964 Cartoon- Classic Version)
- Frosty The Snowman (1969 Cartoon- Classic Version)
So that is it friends, 7 Fun, Festive and (almost) free activities to do with your children during that holiday break. I hope you are able to enjoy some of these ideas during your time together as a family. You can find all the free printables under the FREE PRINTABLES link at the top of my page and I have included a free, fun I SPY that you can print and take with you for that night that you may need to occupy the kids. Thanks so much for spending a small amount of your day with me and we will see you all really soon.
Take Care & Happy Holidays,