Christmas Activites with Young Children
Start your Christmas traditions! Christmas is just around the corner and we have found some wonderful festive ideas that you can share with your little ones and help you celebrate! You may reminisce about Christmas traditions you had in your family as you were growing up. Recreating special moments that your children will cherish, and hopefully they will create traditions with their families when they are older.
Thanks to What To Expect® for ths article.
When Christmas is around the corner, it doesn’t take much more than a round of “Jingle Bells” to send your critter into a frenzy of excitement. Luckily, getting youngsters pumped up for yuletide is part of the fun — as are these Christmas activities for preschoolers and toddlers.
Explain the day. “This is when we celebrate the birthday of Jesus” should make it easy for your little one to understand why December 25 is so special — and why many people include church-going as an important Christmas family tradition. If you want to include a secular note, add “We also try to be extra kind and share with others, just like Santa does, and give gifts to show how much we love one another.”
Christmas crafts for toddlers and preschoolers. Toting your tot to Target to pick out another tie for Dad is fine. But to make your present more meaningful, go homemade. Another plus: Your little Christmas elf will be so proud to see the pleasure his gift brings that he’s sure to insist DIY crafts play a big part in future Christmas family traditions.
For toddlers: Buy a canvas from the craft store and use masking tape to spell out the name of your gift recipient (“Dad,” “Aunt Jen”) or a seasonal word (“Hope,” “Joy”). Then suit up your sweetie in an old shirt, arm him with a paintbrush and small plastic cups of craft paint, and let him go at it. Once the paint is dry, remove the tape and you will have a mini masterpiece painted by your pint-sized Pollock.
For preschoolers: Doting relatives will dig anything made by your cutie — but you might want to give them something they’ll use too. Set your preschooler up with fabric markers and a flour-sack dish towel or two (available in any store that sells kitchenware). To prevent bleed-through, spread the towel over a piece of cardboard and let him draw what he wants. Add a holiday message (and the artist’s signature, of course), and wrap it up with a ribbon.
For both: Grandparents love scrapbooks, especially when they’re made by loving little hands. Give your munchkin markers, crayons, and holiday stickers so he can decorate five or six pieces of cardstock or construction paper. Then let him choose photos from the past year to paste on each page. Next, ask your tot questions — “What’s the craziest thing to decorate a Christmas tree with?” “How do you get to the North Pole?” and “What’s your favorite thing to do at Christmas time?” Write down his answers (no matter how silly — that’s part of the fun!) and paste one Q&A set onto each page of the scrapbook. Bind the pages by punching two holes three inches apart and tying the pages together with ribbons, or simply staple the pages together. Feeling fancy? Take your sweetie’s scrapbook to a print shop to be laminated and bound.
Whip up Christmas goodies. Baking cookies and other treats (or buying them) are a regular feature of the holiday season. But too many sweets can wreak havoc on your little one’s appetite, not to mention his behavior. Counteract sugar overload with a healthy toddler meal like this lunchtime reindeer: Spread a thin layer of peanut butter and honey on whole-wheat bread and cut diagonally so that the tip of the triangle forms the point of the reindeer’s muzzle. Add pretzels for antlers, dried cranberries for eyes, and a fresh cherry half or strawberry for Rudolph’s red nose.
Count down with good deeds. Little kids can’t grasp the concept of time, which is why they constantly ask if it’s Christmas yet. That’s the reason advent calendars are a great Christmas activity for preschoolers and toddlers — it gives your cutie a concrete way to count down to December 25. This DIY version — an acts-of-kindness calendar — has the added bonus of teaching tots the true meaning of Christmas, which is what Christmas family traditions are all about anyway. Write down easy-to-do random acts of kindness on sticky notes: Take a Christmas treat to your local fire station, tape a quarter to the gumball machine at the supermarket (with an explanation: “A random act of kindness. Happy holidays!”), bring flowers to your favorite librarian, or bring a cup of hot chocolate to the nearest school-crossing guard. Place a sticky in each pocket of an advent calendar or on top of each day in a regular calendar. All these nice acts will help your child focus less on the toys Santa brings him and more on the joy of giving.
Share your traditions with us, we would love to hear.