8 Holiday Activities to Do with Kids

By Robyn Burnett

Kids' Holiday ActivitiesWhile unwrapping gifts may be a favorite holiday tradition (especially for the youngest family members), there are so many wonderful ways parents can share the season together before and on Christmas with kids. Here are some creative ideas for family fun to celebrate the holiday countdown while keeping with the spirit of the season.

Ceiling Paper Snowflakes

Paper SnowflakesCreating your own DIY paper snowflakes is a wonderful winter activity that also doubles as a Christmas decoration for your home or tree.

How Kids Can Participate:

Older kids who can handle scissors can make snowflakes themselves, and younger kids can help fold the paper, and hang the snowflakes. To hang, simply thread a piece of string through on of the holes and tie. Place them all ove rthe house to create a winter wonderland indoors.

Get Creative:

Add a little festivity to your flakes by writing a fun activity idea in the centre of each one before hanging them up—something like ‘bake cookies’ or ‘make holiday placemats’. Help one snowflake ‘fall’ every day and enjoy the activity as a family. It makes for an ‘advent’ful holiday adventure.


Holiday Card Gift Box

Christmas Card BoxWith all the effort people put into sending holiday cards, it’s always a lovely idea to find a memorable way to showcase and preserve them each year.

How Kids Can Participate:

This is a really fun Christmas craft that even the kids can do. Grab some glue and a medium-sized cardboard box and get ready to get creative. Cut the front image part of each card off and paste all around the outside of the box (conversely, you could do the opposite and paste the inside ‘greeting’ part of the card instead).

Get Creative:

Once the box is done, give it a special holiday purpose: use it to collect items for the food bank; collect gently-used clothing to donate for charity; use it as a ‘last gift’ box with a few small presents to open on Christmas night. Whatever its purpose, your decorative holiday box becomes a new tradition.


Memory Wreath

Xmas Memory WreathThe holiday season itself is a great reason to get your yearly family photos in order, but rather than stuff them into another album, why not transform them into a holiday wreath?

How Kids Can Participate:

Together with the kids, choose your favorite photos of the year and print them out. Paste them onto pieces of cardboard of equal size that have been wrapped with holiday paper. Taking a regular wreath of any size, use hot glue to paste the photos around in a decorative fashion.

Get Creative:

You could even have a piece that commemorates the year. It’s a lovely way to celebrate your family and acts as a decorative yearbook!


Cookie Ornaments

Cookie Xmas Ornament‘Tis the season for baking, but while we love to decorate an abundance of cookies, eating them all can seem like an indulgence. Don’t worry about wasting them: turn them into colorful ornaments instead!

How Kids Can Participate:

If you love cooking with your kids, have them help bake up these decorative Christmas treats! Before you bake, have your child use a straw to punch out a hole at the top of each cookie. Once baked, decorate cookies with icing and sprinkles, and have your child thread a ribbon through the hole and hang on the tree.

Get Creative:

If you want to preserve these treats for later years, layer them with a spray shellac and store in plastic freezer bags. (Be sure to save a few to nibble on as you work!) These also make for fun gifts for the kids to give to friends and neighbours.


Out with the Old

DonationsDonations are incredibly important at this time of year, and this is a wonderful opportunity to teach your kids the value behind helping others who may not have as much.

How the Kids Can Participate:

Given that gifts are in their future, it’s time to help your kids organize their stuff and clean their rooms. Namely, this is an opportunity not onlt to teach children about charity, but to let go of some of the things they no longer play with or need. Got through their things together nad make joint decision on what to keep and what to donate. This is an excellent exercise that allows the kids to have some control over what they keep versus what they give away.

Get Creative:

Explore various charities with your children and decide together which charities wil recieve your donations.  Choosing particular charities together in advance makes it a true group effort, and gives your kids insight on how organizations work to help society.


Christmas Shopping

Christmas ShoppingOne of the magical moments of the holidays is helping kids discover the spirit of giving!

How Kids Can Participate:

While the brunt of the shopping falls upon Mom and Dad, there’s no reason why the kids can’t get in on the act. Sit down with your child and come up with a list of names of people she’d like to buy gifts for. Pick a budget for each person—something small, such as $1 to $5 per gift. Once you have your budget, head out together for a special afternoon to a dollar store and let your child choose which gifts to buy for those on her list. Let her pay for the gifts at the cash register and help her wrap them up.

Get Creative:

If getting your child to the store is too challenging (or if she's too young), pick up a handful of refundable things from the store. Once home, sit eyour child down and display your purchases, putting everything out at the same time so she can choose which one goes to which person.

Be sure to have your child pick out a gift for kids in need that you will donate. This will allow her to feel like she’s contributing which teaches her the spirit of giving and about charity. Also, this makes for a great holiday bonding experience!


Seasonal Songs

Christmas CarolingCaroling is a classic holiday tradition: so why not pull everyone together to sing a few songs? Whether you choose to keep it as an intimate group, or decide to transform it into a full fest, a caroling party is a great way to get into the spirit of the season.

How Kids Can Participate:

Have your kids choose which songs they would like to sing. Pull up the favored songs online and [print out lyrics. (Printable lyrics to classic carols are easy to find online.) The kids can decorate the sheet music and can divide up the parts. If you decide to venture out of the house, consider pulling together a group to sing carols at an old age home or go door-to-door for charity.

Get Creative:

End your singing session with some hot chocolate and you’ll be singing the praises of your caroling night for years to come.


Christmas Wishes

Christmas Wwish ListWhile gifts are great, sometimes what we want for our loved ones is something bigger than what we can buy. Teach your kids about wishes that extend beyond the toys and presents they hope to receive this holiday season.

How Kids Can Participate:

Together, pick out some festive paper and envelopes. Create a designated envelope for each family member: one for Mom, one for Dad, and so on (include favorite friends, too!). Have your child write a wish for each family member and place the wish in the appropriate envelope. Seal the envelopes and place them into a small gift box. Wrap the gift box with a label that reads DO NOT OPEN UNTIL DEC 2013. This will make for a lovely gift to open as a family next year and when you can see if the wishes have come true!

Get Creative:

Have kids decorate the gift box with photos, drawings, glitter, and ribbons. 

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