“Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching!” How often have you heard this? While bringing a feeling of excitement, this statement can also bring a twinge of desperation. Along with the holidays come school breaks and colder weather meaning bored kids in the house…holiday entertaining takes on a whole new perspective…”How do I entertain my kids through the holiday season?”
To make this time a memory of joy instead of a memory of dread takes a bit of planning. But, if done right, the planning can also be part of the fun! Here are some favorite ideas that have worked for my large family…tried and tested!
1. Daily Fun Activity Jar
Beginning the latter part of November, create a ‘Daily Fun Activity Jar’ with your kids! Do this by selecting a jar/container and decorating it. Next make a brainstorming-list with your children about all the fun things they would like to do during the holiday season. Make your list so that can be cut into strips.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Make gingerbread or graham cracker houses (be sure to already have all the ingredients on hand for when this activity is chosen).
- Make a real popcorn garland and hang outside for the birds to enjoy.
- Make homemade thanksgiving/Christmas cards and deliver them to neighbors and friends. (For Thanksgiving cards be sure your children include why they’re thankful for the person receiving the card.)
- Make Thanksgiving/Christmas cookies and give to someone (make sure to save some for yourselves).
- Visit Santa at the Mall
- Take a drive just to see the sights!
- Make a Christmas chain out of strips of construction paper.
- Watch a Christmas movie (this can be listed several times with a different movie you and your children want to watch on a separate strip).
- Play-day-in-the-snow followed with hot chocolate and marshmallows.
- Sip warm apple cider and cut out snowflakes to decorate the house or your child’s room.
Make enough strips to get you through the season. Cut and fold the strips, put into your decorated container. As each day arrives and the kids begin to get restless pull out the container and let someone pick what FUN activity that you will all enjoy that day!
The only rule I have is that if they don’t like what they chose, they cannot put it back and choose a different one. Note: some activities are fun to do more than once, add these back in the container to do again!
2. Secret 12 Days of Christmas
To do this, purchase an inexpensive Nativity set consisting of 12 pieces. With your children choose one family, friend, or total stranger to do the Secret 12 Days of Christmas for. Starting December 13th wrap and secretly deliver one piece of the nativity to them (usually starting with the barn/cave). Continue this each day until Christmas Eve when you will secretly deliver the last piece which is the Baby Jesus.
To make this more fun, have a treat waiting at home so that after each delivery you can gather together, giggle and talk about how fun this is for their secret friend and for you!
3. Fun Christmas Play
During the month of December, organize costumes, with your children’s help, to act out T’was the Night Before Christmas poem. Place each costume in a separate paper sack. On the night you plan to perform (usually Christmas Eve), everyone chooses a sack and play’s that part while someone reads the poem. This fun activity can be done on a small scale or large scale, just have enough costumes for the amount of people participating!
These are just a few ideas. With some extra thought and effort, this holiday season can be one you and your children will remember as the best! Just remember to include your children in the planning as well as the activity!
About the Author:
I’m Becky Jane..the mom behind My Eleven Reasons blog. When I’m not solving arguments, weeding or sleeping, you can usually find me on my computer writing about what just happened…with so many kids running around, there’s always something funny to post!