Keeping kids entertained during the Summer holidays can be hard work.
Their excitement levels are sky-high in the lead up to Christmas, which means their energy tends to escalate to a level that even the fast-paced parent struggles to compete with. But finding the right activities to do is an art within itself. You don’t want to be spending too much money on taking them out, but keeping them inside gets tiresome too. Balance is essential!
Now is the perfect time to start planning some Christmas activities for your children. Organising some magical moments in advance gets them into the holiday spirit and helps channel their excitable energy into something a little more manageable.
From seasonal crafts and cooking, setting up the tree, Christmas light hunting and letters to Santa, there’s an activity for every child to enjoy.
1. Get crafty and creative
Seasonal crafts and cooking is fun regardless of what age you are! Not only will it get those creative juices flowing which is ideal for any growing brain, but it will encourage them to do something fun and different. And keep them out of (too much) mischief too! Baking Christmas cookies is always a great one to start with and can be decorated and put in packaging for gifts for friends and family.
The list is endless with Christmas crafts and creativity, whether it’s in the kitchen – supervised, outside or in the playroom; Pinterest is loaded with ideas. Encourage your kids to make an advent calendar, tree decorations, fruit mince pies or other crafty and tasty goodies. Homemade items can be great for the home or utilised as DIY gifts for family and friends – ultimately saving on spending costs and teaching your little ones the true meaning of giving.
2. Create a Santa wishlist
Encouraging your kids to create a Santa wish list will keep them entertained for ages trying to decide all the things they want. Get them to write down something they want, something they need, something they’ll wear, something they’ll read and something they’ll play with.
You can help them online shop for ideas (and find some good bargains in the process!) Whilst this should definitely be monitored, using the computer with them to create a Santa wish list teaches them essential computer skills and the value of things they want. If they’re a little older, use the time to come up with present ideas online for family and friends too.
3. Fill a Christmas box for charity
It’s all fun and games for kids to decide what they want for Christmas, but it’s important to encourage them to give back too. Filling a small box with toys, books and other goodies less fortunate kids would love is a good way teach your child what Christmas is all about. You can raid the pantry for canned goods to donate or shop for a gift. Most major shopping centres encourage an option to do this (or put a present under the tree) or go to your nearest op shop to see how you can help.
4. Christmas light hunting
There’s always the standard Christmas decorating to do with the kids. Set up the tree, put up any lights or decorations in the house and wrap presents. And you have the usual activities too; carols by candlelight, the Christmas pageant or concert and visiting Santa for photos. A personal favourite of mine though is Christmas light hunting!
A Christmas light spectacular is something almost anyone can enjoy, but it’s just as much fun as watching your kid’s faces light up with joy. Every year, the newspaper is filled with the houses that have the best lights to bring you the most dazzling, sparkling and Christmas-y decorations around or search online by location. Make a list of places to visit and spend an evening or two driving/walking around with your kids to find them.
5. Christmas movie slumber party
Another Christmas favourite are the nostalgic movies that get revisited every year. Make a list with your kids of the best ones to watch and hire them over a Christmas movie slumber party. Home Alone, Elf, Christmas cartoons, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Santa Clause and The Grinch are a few good ones to get you started.
Most free TV channels have a few classics they play too so check the guide for any good ones there too. Let them invite a friend or two over – or have a slumber party as a family and see how many you can get through. Complete with some popcorn, the lounge decked out with blankets and pillows and a few Christmas decorations to set the scene, it’ll keep them entertained for hours!
Which activities will you be enjoying with your kids? SHARE WITH US in the comments below.