I’ve talked before about squeezing in family time, play and routines during the Christmas or holiday season. Yes there are so many more things to fit into our day but it’s also a great time to add in activities that everyone can do together. Christmas holiday time is also the time when there are many more people around.
Here is our list in no particular order of family time activities that we make sure we stop and do during the holiday time.
Making play dough
We are big fans of homemade playdough, especially the cooked type because it keeps so well and you can do so many different things with it. The whole process of making playdough is fun and easy for two people to do together.
Add some Christmas cheer by raiding the kitchen cupboard at home and adding a delicious scent or Christmas favourite. Be inspired with candy cane, allspice, peppermint, creamer flavors to make a festive playdough to remember. The smells of Christmas time are always special. It’s not just the making though, playing with playdough is good for everyone- young or older. Who can resist making that snowman or building a reindeer?
Make your own board game or memory game
Grabbing a board game from your pile is great. At Christmas lulls making up a game and playing it together is a lot of fun. We’ve used playing cards before and added post it notes on top to make our own matching or memory game.
Make a Christmas ornament
We made a handprint Christmas wreath for each member of the family. We took down our family pictures and replaced them with these wreaths. There’s plenty of wrapping paper about at this time of year and you can reuse paper straight of presents. The crumpled effect adds some texture to the handprints.
Dressing up in a Christmas colour
This is a new activity for this year. The boys all love to dress up. As part of their 16th Advent calendar activity was to ” Dress up in a Christmas colour- either Green or Red”. I knew they both had plenty in their rooms to be going on with. A lot of running around and experimenting lead to 11 pieces and 10 pieces each. They used some imagination to add toys, outdoor coats and a ruler to name a few interesting additions. Also they worked together, it wasn’t just about who could win but everyone suggesting new items and seeing if they can add them somehow onto themselves. I guess you could choose other colours or themes.
How many items can you have in that one colour?
Reading the Christmas story by candlelight
Candlelight brings such a hush over our family when we have it at the dinner table on special Friday nights. We’ve introduced a special retelling of the Christmas story by the children. After the nativity plays and carol concerts they are pretty good at retelling the story. We also have the story as a running theme through our 2nd advent calendar house. Sit around the table and retell the story of Christmas.
Singing carols late at night to the stars
After all those practices at school; the songs and the singing as we Christmas shop the children are in fine voice at this time of year. Traditionally we went around carol singing but with young children this isn’t always easy. This year we wrapped up warm, went upstairs, closed the door, opened the window and sang outside to the stars. With the cold air, dark night and stars to keep us company we had the best time before coming in for hot chocolate.
We have 3 advent calendars so that one child gets to open something each day. We have very different things to do with each one.
Delivering something crafty or yummy to your neighbours
This is our practical way of giving at Christmas. We make cookies as one of our early advent activities together. As well as sending them to family we made some for our neighbours. It’s a chance to meet greet and talk. The boys were able to see gratitude and feel good about themselves and giving and not getting anything in return but good feelings. Our neighbours stopped and spoke with us for a while and we were gone for a long time. Small talk and small children is very interesting.
Also with Daddy away for the year we made sure he had lots of cookies and if you know of other troops away from family at Christmas they really appreciate receiving traditional Christmas food. ( Even after Christmas!)
Get to know a new tradition by asking family
Ring up a grandparent or ask a relative overseas a tradition they see or can remember from times past. Telling stories around the fire make for great memories.