It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! School’s out, kids are home and mum needs some ideas to keep little hands and minds busy.
Here are 10 fun Christmas activities for toddlers that will keep them busy and entertained. These crafts and games are easy to set up and the kids will love them!
So crank up that Christmas music and get busy!
1. Paper cup Christmas trees
These little tree creations look adorable on the actual Christmas tree. This activity is affordable, mess-free and perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. You can set it up for your kids to do on their next play date, as it's fun and easy to do with a group.
Use the gold glitter paper and star paper punch to make the star. Or you can simply draw a star by hand and cut it out with scissors. Glue it to the top of the cup.
Now for the fun part. Let your toddler decorate the Christmas tree with pom poms, beads or sequins using a bit of glue. You could even glue a bit of tinsel around the tree.
Voila! You have a handmade topper for your Christmas tree. If you'd like to hang your creation, you can tape a loop of string to the top of the cup.
2. Thumbprint Christmas Lights Photo Frame
We absolutely love this activity! It’s super affordable and makes a great gift for teachers or grandparents. And show us a toddler who doesn’t love sticking their little fingers into paint!
Photo frame with mat border
Coloured ink pads or finger paint and paintbrush
Fine permanent marker (black)
Be sure to choose a frame with a wide enough border so that your toddler has plenty of room to add their thumbprints!
It's easiest to start with the thumbprints. Apply paint to your little one’s thumb, and press the finger down to make the first Christmas light. Continue all the way around the mat border, alternating colours.
Then use the black marker to draw the little stems for each light and string them all together. Wait for the paint to dry before putting it back in the frame, and add a photo of your child.
3. Gingerbread House Decorating
Nothing says Christmas more than the smell of gingerbread. The best part of this activity? Your little one can actually taste the materials! Gone are the days of making your own gingerbread... luckily for us busy mums there are plenty of Gingerbread House Kits available to buy.
We know how frustrating it can be to plan activities for the kids... sometimes the thought of all the preparation can put a mum right off! If you’re having one of those days, but still want to do something Christmasy with the kids, then this is the activity for you!
Extra decorations and sweets (although most kits come with everything you’ll need)
Follow the instructions from the manufacturer and add extra icing sugar or sweets to decorate. We recommend buying extra - it’s difficult not to taste test the product beforehand.
4. Rudolph footprint Christmas card
What’s better than sticking your fingers into a pot of paint? Sticking your feet in, of course! This is such an adorable craft, and it’s suitable for babies as well.
Red card stock and white paper
Brown finger paint
Red pom pom
Paint your child’s foot completely brown and press it onto the white paper. It may take a few goes to get it right! Clean off excess paint with a baby wipe.
Once the footprint is dry, use the black marker to draw some antlers onto your reindeer. Glue on the red pom pom for the nose, and stick on the googly eyes. Finally, stick the footprint Rudolph onto the red card.
This craft is perfect for a Christmas card or simply as a beautiful memory of those tiny feet and toes. If you'd like to post the card, you can use a flat red button instead of a pom pom.
5. Candy Cane Hunt
It's like an Easter Egg Hunt but with candy canes!
Kids just LOVE to play hide & seek, and hunting for delicious CANDY CANES is sure to be a hit!
This activity is so simple:
Get a box or 2 of candy canes and take turns with your kids hiding them in a room and then finding them!
Here are some variations you can try:
Hide them all on your Christmas tree and search for them on there.
Set a timer and see which team can find them the fastest.
Play outside and hang candy canes in the trees & bushes in your garden!
6. Christmas Tree Fingerprint Art
This activity is so easy to set up and doesn't require any special materials. You could easily turn the art into a beautiful handmade Christmas card. Your toddler will absolutely love this activity too!
Black or coloured paper (to contrast with the white)
Crayon (or something to trace with)
Make a Christmas tree template from the black paper. To do this, fold the paper in half and draw half a Christmas tree shape along the folded side. Then cut along the lines to make your template.
Tape the Christmas tree to the white paper using a little bit of double-sided tape or rolled sticky tape. Next comes the fun part!
Help your toddler to dip one finger into the paint and make finger prints all around the white paper, using Christmasy colours like red, green and gold. Be sure to do fingerprints all along the edge of the cut-out to help the Christmas tree show up well at the end.
When you're finished painting, slowly and carefully peel up the cut-out to reveal your snowy Christmas tree!
7. Christmas Tree Pom Pom Push
This activity take just 10-15 minutes to set up, and it buys you a whole lot of "mum time" with a toddler independently playing and having fun.
Plus it helps develop their fine motor skills and sorting skills.
Print out the Christmas Tree Printable on green construction paper (or you and your child can colour it in together), and glue it to the box lid. You can also cut out a yellow star to put on top of the tree.
Use the craft knife to carefully cut out the smaller inside circles on the printable. You can cut out different colours and shapes to glue over the holes to make the game a bit more challenging.
When your toddler is ready to play, give them craft poms in the colours of the “ornaments” and let them enjoy pushing the poms into the holes of the box. For older toddlers you can encourage them to put the colours in the correct holes, or just let them play!
Your toddler will have an absolute blast playing this!
8. Santa advent calendar
This is a fantastic activity for busy mums that is ridiculously easy to set up. Simply download the Santa print and use cotton wool to make Santa's beard. It's also a great alternative to the sugar-loaded chocolate advent calendar. Your kids will love counting down to Santa's arrival!
Optional: hole punch and ribbon to hang your calendar
Optional: mason jar to store the cotton wool
Download the Printable Santa calendar from Etsy, and print on the A4 card stock.
Why not print it out twice, and use the lid of a mason jar to make a round cut-out of santa's face. Stick the cut-out on the mason jar lid, and you have a cute storage container for your cotton wool.
Punch a hole at the top of the calendar and tie some ribbon through it, or just attach it to the fridge with a magnet.
Glue a cotton wool ball onto the corresponding number of Santa's beard every day. When his beard is full, he will be arriving the next morning!
9. Christmas tree brownies
Your toddler will love helping you bake and decorate these Christmas tree brownies. To make things easier, you can use store-bought mixes for the brownies and icing.
1 box chocolate brownie mix
1 tub white vanilla icing mix
Green food colouring
Zip lock bag
Grease and line an 8″ x 8″ square baking pan and bake the brownies according to the package directions. Allow them to cool completely before removing them from the pan.
Use a large sharp knife to cut the brownies into triangles. (Cut in three rows, then cut in alternating diagonals, as in the photo shown below). Don't worry if the triangles aren't perfect... you can always trim them to the right shape. You'll have plenty of volunteers to help eat the scrap pieces!
Unwrap the candy canes, and use a sharp knife to gently cut/break the candy canes into 1.5" long pieces. Push the sharper end of the candy canes into the bottom of the brownies to make the trunks.
Prepare the icing, and keep adding green food colouring until you're happy with the colour. You'll may need a LOT of drops.
Spoon the icing into a zip lock bag. Seal the bag and cut off a corner using sharp scissors. Starting at the top of the tree, gently squeeze the icing out of the bag moving in a curvy zigzag as you go down the tree.
Finally, let your toddler decorate the trees with sprinkles. Enjoy!
10. Paper plate Reindeer
This little reindeer is really cute and so easy to make using basic craft supplies. We love the finished product and your little one will love helping you put it together! You can make 4 reindeer out of 1 paper plate.
brown construction paper
red paper or red pom pom for nose
Paint the paper plate brown. Once the paint has dried, cut it in half and then in half again.
Cut out a red circle for the nose and 2 white circles for the eyes (or use a large hole puncher if you have one).
Glue the red circle (or red pom pom) at the tip of the paper plate triangle, and glue the white circles in place. Use the black marker to draw eyes inside the white circles.
Cut antlers out of the brown construction paper and stick them onto the plate.
That's it. Your reindeer is ready for play or to decorate your little one's room!
Bonus: Letter to Santa Template (FREE Printable)
We have a bonus activity for you... an adorable FREE letter to Santa printable for you to download. Your toddler will love sitting down with you to create his wishlist, and it will become a special keepsake.
Christmas is such a special time for our little ones, and the perfect opportunity to take time out and do activities with them. We hope you enjoy these activities as much as we did!