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  • 10 Fun Christmas Activities for Toddlers

    October 21, 2023 14 min read

    10 Fun Christmas Activities for Toddlers

    Welcome to our updated guide for the holiday season! Christmas is a magical time for families, especially when you have a curious toddler to share it with. In this revised post, we'll explore 10 delightful Christmas activities designed to create lasting memories with your little one. From festive crafts to enchanting games, these ideas will keep your toddler entertained and help you all get into the holiday spirit.

    1. Christmas Tree Decorations

    One of the most cherished Christmas traditions is decorating the Christmas tree. It's a perfect activity for toddlers because they can have a hands-on role in getting the tree ready for the holiday season. Encourage your toddler to place soft, non-breakable decorations on the lower branches. Choose shatterproof ornaments or place the more delicate ones higher up. Allow your toddler to place the tree topper. It's a special moment and a great photo opportunity.

    Here are some simple yet adorable ornament craft ideas that you can make with your toddler. These crafts can add a personal touch to your Christmas tree and create lasting memories:

    • Paper Cup Christmas Trees: These little creations look adorable on the 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.  Here's a step-by-step guide to making Paper Cup Christmas Trees.

    Paper cup Christmas trees

    • Salt Dough Ornaments: Make salt dough with 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, and water. Roll out the dough, and let your toddler create shapes with cookie cutters. After they've dried and hardened, your little one can paint the ornaments to their heart's content. Here's a step-by-step guide to salt dough ornaments.
    • Beaded Candy Canes: Give your toddler a bunch of red and white beads, and have them string the beads on a pipe cleaner to create candy cane-shaped ornaments. You can then twist the pipe cleaner into a candy cane form.
    • Christmas Paint Kit: Another fantastic idea is to get a Christmas Paint Kit, where your toddler can explore their artistic side by painting their own ornaments. Here's a wonderful Christmas Paint Kit to help your child create unique and colourful decorations for the tree.

    These craft ideas allow your toddler to engage their creativity while making precious decorations for the Christmas tree. Remember to use non-toxic and child-friendly crafting materials, supervise closely, and cherish the wonderful messiness of creative moments together. Happy decorating!

    2. Holiday Storytime

    Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, there's something truly magical about settling in with your toddler for a cozy holiday storytime. Reading together not only fosters a love for books but also creates lasting memories. Here's how to make your holiday story time extra special:

    • Christmas Classics: Share timeless Christmas classics with your little one. Classics like "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore or Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" are sure to captivate your toddler's imagination.
    • Advent Calendar Books: Consider making an advent calendar out of books. Wrap 24 holiday-themed books, one for each day leading up to Christmas. Unwrapping and reading a new story each day builds anticipation and keeps your toddler engaged throughout the season. Or go for a store-bought option such as the Bluey Advent Calendar.
    • Personalised Stories: Find or create a personalised Christmas story featuring your toddler as the main character. These customised tales are not only heartwarming but also a delightful keepsake.
    • Pyjama Party: Have a Christmas pyjama party during storytime. Change into your holiday-themed PJs, and perhaps your toddler's favourite stuffed animals can join for the reading session.
    • Gift of Reading: Consider gifting your toddler a special holiday-themed book each year. These books can become treasured heirlooms that they'll look forward to reading every holiday season.

    By making holiday storytime an enchanting and heartwarming tradition, you're not only nurturing your toddler's love for books but also creating a cherished ritual that will stay with them for years to come. Enjoy your special moments of reading and bonding this holiday season!

    3. DIY Holiday Cards

    Creating DIY holiday cards with your toddler is a delightful way to spread festive cheer and personalise your greetings. It's a crafty activity that lets your child's creativity shine. Here's how you can make your own DIY holiday cards with your little one:

    Gather Supplies:

    • Start with blank cards or folded cardstock paper. These serve as the base for your cards.
    • Collect colourful markers, crayons, coloured pencils, watercolours, and anything else your toddler prefers for drawing and colouring.
    • Stickers and Stamps: Have an assortment of holiday-themed stickers and stamps that your child can use to embellish the cards.
    • Kid-friendly glue sticks and safety scissors will come in handy for attaching decorations.

    Choose a Design:

    • You can find inspiration for designs online. Many websites and craft blogs offer free templates and ideas for DIY holiday cards.
    • Handprint and footprint art is a fantastic way to capture your child's growth each year. You can create reindeer our of a little footprint as part of your card design (here's a step-by-step guide).

    Rudolph footprint Christmas card

    • If you'd like, use your toddler's holiday photos to make personalised photo cards. Include a recent picture or select a festive family photo.

    Personal Messages:

    Encourage your toddler to write or scribble personal messages on the cards. Their handwriting, even if it's just a few lines or doodles, will add a special touch.

    Personalised Envelopes:

    Don't forget to decorate the envelopes! Your toddler can add drawings, stickers, or handprints to make each envelope as special as the card inside.

    Share and Mail:

    Share your handcrafted holiday cards with family and friends. Mailing them is a wonderful way to bring joy and warmth to your loved ones, especially if you can't be together in person.

    For DIY holiday card inspiration and templates, websites like Pinterest, Etsy, and Canva offer a vast array of ideas and designs. This creative activity not only spreads holiday cheer but also creates memorable keepsakes for years to come. Enjoy crafting and sharing the joy of the season with your toddler!

    4. Gingerbread House Decorating

    Gingerbread house decorating

    Gingerbread house decorating is a time-honoured holiday tradition that the little ones adore. It's a delightful activity that combines creativity with the opportunity to snack on sweet treats. Gone are the days of making your own gingerbread... luckily for us busy mums there are plenty of Gingerbread House Kits available to buy.

    Materials:

    • Gingerbread House Kit, such as this kit from Coles for $16.50.
    • Extra decorations and sweets (although most kits come with everything you’ll need)

    Step-by-Step Guide:

    1. Prepare the Icing: Begin by preparing a batch of icing. This will serve as the "glue" to assemble your gingerbread house. If you'd like, you can colour the icing with food colouring to make it even more vibrant.
    2. Set Up a Workstation: Create a decorating station with a table covered in newspaper or a disposable tablecloth to catch any mess. Place all the lollies, sprinkles, and decorating tools within easy reach.
    3. Assemble the Gingerbread House: If your gingerbread house panels are not pre-assembled, carefully construct the house using the icing. Allow it to dry for a little while to ensure stability.
    4. Let the Decorating Begin: Hand over creative control to your toddler. Encourage them to decorate the gingerbread house as they please. From candy cane fences to gummy bear gardens, the possibilities are endless. Let their imagination run wild.
    5. Supervise and Assist: Be on hand to supervise the process and offer a helping hand when needed, especially if it involves any tricky construction aspects. But remember, the more they can do themselves, the prouder they'll be of their creation.
    6. Capture the Moment: Don't forget to capture the moments with photographs of your toddler's masterpiece. These will be cherished memories for years to come.

    Decorating a gingerbread house is not only a joyful holiday tradition but also a wonderful way to foster creativity, fine motor skills, and bonding with your toddler. As you both work together, you're creating lasting memories and a beautifully decorated gingerbread house that will be a centerpiece of your holiday celebrations.

    5. Festive Baking

    Festive baking is a delightful activity that involves the entire family in the joy of holiday preparation. It's a wonderful way to engage your toddler in the kitchen and get them excited about the holiday season. Here's how to make festive baking a cherished tradition:

    • Simple Festive Recipes: Choose simple recipes that are suitable for little helpers. Classic holiday treats like sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, and brownies are perfect choices. These recipes often involve rolling dough, using cookie cutters, and decorating – all activities that toddlers adore.
    • Kid-Friendly Tasks: Involve your toddler in age-appropriate tasks. Let them help measure ingredients, mix the batter (with your guidance), and use cookie cutters to shape the dough. Make sure to designate specific roles for them, like sprinkling decorations or placing cookie shapes on the baking sheet.
    • Creative Cookie Decorating: After the cookies or brownies have baked and cooled, set up a decorating station. Provide an array of toppings like icing, sprinkles, and edible glitter. Encourage your toddler to let their creativity shine as they decorate the treats.
    • Healthy Alternatives: You can also opt for healthier baking activities. Bake whole-grain muffins, banana bread, or oatmeal cookies with festive add-ins like dried cranberries or chopped nuts. These can be enjoyed as nutritious snacks during the holiday season.
    • Online Inspiration: The internet is a treasure trove of festive baking recipes. There are countless blogs and websites dedicated to holiday baking, many of which offer simple, kid-friendly recipes. Explore these resources for inspiration and guidance. For instance, you can check out websites like BBC Good Food, Taste of Home, or Delish for a wide variety of holiday recipes.

    Christmas tree brownies

    • Christmas Tree Brownies: For a fun and creative baking project, try making Christmas Tree Brownies. These are not only delicious but also great for decorating with your little one. Follow this Christmas Tree Brownies recipe for a sweet and visually appealing treat. Enjoy baking together and creating beautiful memories this holiday season!

    Festive baking is more than just creating delicious treats; it's about making cherished memories and instilling a love for the holiday season in your little one. So, put on your aprons and let the festive baking begin!

    6. Visit Santa

    Taking your toddler to visit Santa Claus is a classic Christmas tradition that never loses its charm. It's a magical experience filled with wonder and excitement. Here's how to make this visit special for your little one:

    Toddlers first visit to Santa

    • Choose the Right Venue: First, find a location where your toddler can meet Father Christmas. Many shopping centres, department stores, and community centres host Santa visits during the festive season. Look for one that offers a warm and inviting atmosphere.
    • Prepare Your Toddler: Before the visit, talk to your toddler about meeting Father Christmas. Explain who Father Christmas is and why they'll be visiting him. Reading books or watching movies featuring Father Christmas can help build anticipation. Encourage your child to prepare questions or think of a special Christmas wish to share with Father Christmas.
    • Timing Matters: Select a time that aligns with your toddler's schedule. Avoiding naptime or mealtimes will ensure they're in good spirits and fully enjoy the experience.
    • Capture the Moment: Bring your camera or smartphone to capture the precious moments. You'll want to remember your toddler's expressions when they meet Father Christmas.
    • Dress for the Occasion: Dress your toddler in festive and comfortable clothing. Think about what you want them to wear in the photo with Father Christmas – perhaps a cute Christmas outfit.
    • Waiting in Line: There might be a wait to meet Father Christmas. To keep your toddler entertained, bring along a small toy, book, or snack. Playing games or singing carols can also help pass the time.
    • Meeting Father Christmas: As you approach Father Christmas, keep a close eye on your child's cues. Some toddlers are excited and rush forward, while others may be a bit apprehensive. Let your child set the pace. If your toddler is initially hesitant, allow them to observe other children meeting Father Christmas before their turn.
    • Taking Photos: Ensure that you get a few good photos, but don't push your child if they're not comfortable sitting with Father Christmas. Some children prefer to sit on a nearby bench with Father Christmas nearby or standing beside him.
    • Interacting with Father Christmas: When it's your toddler's turn, encourage them to speak to Father Christmas and share their Christmas wishes. It's perfectly fine if they're shy or say nothing at all – the experience itself is what matters most.
    • Share the Joy: After meeting Father Christmas, take some time to talk to your toddler about the experience. Ask what they liked or didn't like and reinforce that it was all in the spirit of Christmas joy.

    Meeting Santa is a delightful adventure that introduces your toddler to the magic of Christmas. It's a wonderful way to immerse your child in the holiday spirit, and the memories will last a lifetime.

    7. Christmas Themed Games

    Christmas-themed games can bring immense joy and excitement to your toddler during the holiday season. These games are perfect for keeping your little one entertained and engaged. Here are a few ideas:

    • Candy Cane Hunt: Organise a delightful candy cane hunt in your home or garden. Hide candy canes, and let your child embark on a sweet treasure hunt. As a variation, you can set a timer and see which team can find them the fastest.
    Candy cane Christmas hunt
    • Pin the Nose on Rudolph: Create a large poster of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer without his iconic red nose. Make red noses with double-sided tape. Blindfold your toddler, spin them around, and let them try to pin Rudolph's nose in the right place.
    • Christmas Bingo: Play a game of Christmas Bingo with your little one. You can find printable Christmas Bingo cards online, and it's a fantastic way to improve their matching skills and vocabulary.
    • Santa Says: A festive twist on "Simon Says." Play "Santa Says" and have your toddler follow fun Christmas-themed commands, like "Santa says, touch your toes like a reindeer."
    • Musical Christmas Statues: Play Christmas music and have your toddler dance around. When the music stops, they have to freeze like a Christmas statue. This game is a great way to get them moving and grooving.

    These games are not only entertaining but also provide an opportunity for your toddler to learn and develop new skills while enjoying the holiday spirit. Have a jolly time playing these Christmas-themed games with your little one!

    8. Christmas Crafts

    Get your toddler's creative juices flowing with delightful Christmas crafts. These activities not only bring out the festive spirit but also offer a chance for your little one to create memorable holiday decorations.

    • Santa Advent Calendar: One of the most exciting ways to count down to Christmas is with an advent calendar. Try a Santa-themed advent calendar like this one here. Each day, your toddler can add a piece of cotton wool to Santa's beard. This not only builds anticipation for Christmas but also helps with counting skills. 
    Santa advent calendar
    • String of Lights Photo Frame: Another fantastic craft idea is to make a String of Lights Photo Frame. You can create your own using a simple photo frame and some finger painting, like the one found in this adorable example. It's a fantastic opportunity for your toddler to add their unique touch to holiday decor and showcase cherished family moments.

    Thumbprint christmas lights photo frame

    • Christmas Tree Fingerprint Art: Let your toddler's artistic side shine by creating adorable Christmas tree fingerprint art. All you need is some paint, a blank canvas, and your child's little fingers. This delightful craft will result in a unique and personal piece of holiday artwork that you can display proudly. Use this step-by-step guide for inspiration.

    Christmas tree fingerprint art

    • Paper Plate Wreath: Craft a festive paper plate wreath with your toddler. Simply cut out the center of a paper plate, let your child decorate it with paint, glitter, or glued-on decorations, and then add a ribbon for hanging. It's a wonderful way to add a handmade touch to your holiday decorations.
    • Letter to Santa: Bring the magic of Christmas alive by helping your toddler write a Letter to Santa. You can use a free printable template like the one found here. Your little one can express their wishes and excitement for the holiday season, and sending it to Santa Claus is sure to bring a big smile.

    Free letter to santa printable

    These Christmas crafts provide an excellent opportunity for you and your toddler to bond, create festive decorations, and build anticipation for the holiday season. Plus, they make wonderful keepsakes that you can cherish for years to come.

    9. Christmas Movie Night

    Create a magical atmosphere by hosting a special Christmas movie night with your toddler. This tradition is not only enjoyable but also a perfect way to share cherished holiday classics and create lasting memories.

    Christmas family movie night

    • Film Selection: Carefully choose age-appropriate Christmas movies for your little one. Classics like "The Polar Express," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "Frosty the Snowman" are great options. For older children, you can introduce them to "Home Alone" or "Elf."
    • Cozy Set-Up: Set the scene with a cozy and festive movie-watching area. Lay out comfy blankets and cushions on the floor. You can even build a fort or pitch a play tent to make the experience even more special.
    • Festive Snacks: Prepare a selection of festive movie snacks. Hot chocolate with marshmallows is a cozy drink choice. You can also make simple, fun, and delicious snacks like reindeer-shaped cookies, gingerbread people, or snowman-shaped sandwiches.
    • Movie Time: Turn down the lights, create a warm and inviting atmosphere with LED candles, and start the movie. Encourage your toddler to interact with the film, like singing along to the songs or calling out when they spot Santa. It's all part of the fun!

    A Christmas movie night is a magical experience for toddlers. It allows them to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of Christmas and create wonderful holiday memories. Plus, it's an excellent way to relax and enjoy quality time together during the festive season.

    10. Holiday Charity and Giving

    Teaching your toddler the importance of giving back during the holiday season is a valuable and heartwarming tradition. It instills empathy, kindness, and a sense of responsibility in your child while spreading joy to those in need.

    • Toy and Clothing Drive: Involve your toddler in a toy or clothing drive for children who may be less fortunate. Together, sort through their gently used toys and clothes to choose items to donate. Explain to your little one that these items will go to other children who will cherish them just as they did. Take your child with you to the donation centre or drop-off location to make it a more tangible experience.
    • Food Drive: Engage your toddler in a food drive to help those who are struggling to put food on the table. Take them shopping for non-perishable items and have them choose items they think other children might enjoy. Drop off the items at a local food bank or collection point. Explain to your child how their contribution will help families have a special holiday meal.
    • Homemade Gifts: Encourage your toddler to create handmade gifts to share with loved ones. Whether it's crafting a heartfelt card or making Christmas decorations, these gifts carry sentimental value and teach the joy of giving a piece of your heart.
    • Kindness Calendar: Create a "Kindness Advent Calendar" with your toddler. Each day, open a door to reveal a kind act or good deed your child can do. These can include acts like complimenting a friend, helping with chores, or even sharing their toys with siblings. This not only reinforces the spirit of giving but also builds a habit of kindness throughout the season.
    • Volunteer Together: Participate as a family in a local charity event or volunteer opportunity. Whether it's packing meals for the less fortunate, assisting in a community cleanup, or helping at an animal shelter, your toddler can join in and experience the joy of giving their time and effort.
    • Count Your Blessings: Create a "Blessings Jar" where your toddler can place a note each day, expressing something they're grateful for. At the end of the holiday season, read these notes together and discuss how fortunate you are. This simple exercise helps children appreciate what they have and understand the importance of helping others.

    Instilling the value of giving back during the holiday season can become a treasured tradition for your family. It not only makes a difference in the lives of others but also instills essential life lessons in your toddler, helping them grow into compassionate, empathetic, and caring individuals.

    As the festive season approaches, these engaging Christmas activities for toddlers will fill your home with joy and create lasting memories. From decorating the Christmas tree to heartfelt crafts and holiday movie nights, these activities will bring families together in the spirit of love and togetherness. And let's not forget the essence of the season: teaching our little ones the joy of giving and spreading kindness. As your toddlers embark on these delightful activities, remember to capture these precious moments through photographs. Years from now, you'll treasure the memories created in the warmth of your home during the most wonderful time of the year.

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