Christmas is an exciting time for toddlers and young children. Digging out the Christmas tree; decorating the house; writing wish-lists for Santa Claus. And yet, sometimes in our rush to get everything organised, we - as parents - can forget to include our kids in all the excitement.  With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at some fun and festive activities for your toddlers and young kids in the run-up to Christmas. Take a look.


Homemade Christmas Cards


There’s nothing nicer than receiving a genuinely home-made Christmas card. And this is an activity that young kids absolutely love!

Your options are pretty much endless when it comes to designs and styles. You could go for a more traditional card using stencils of Christmas trees or, snowmen, or Santa Claus. Or you could go for something more wacky. The choice is yours.

 

What you’ll need:

- Scissors

- Paper glue

- Variety of coloured card paper (green, red, white, black)

- Felt-tip marker

-Selection of potential decorations: coloured ribbon, tinsel, holly, glitter.

 

Tree Ornaments

 

Although many people opt to buy their own tree ornaments, making your own at home can be a great way to have fun with your kids. And you’d be surprised at some of the things you can make with a scissors and a bit of imagination.

Some popular options for kids are: card-paper ornaments in the shapes of snowmen and gift stockings, decorated with glitter; paper pinwheel ornaments decorated with tinsel; and hanging snowmen made with cotton wool and ice-cream sticks.

 

What you’ll need:

- Scissors

- Paper glue

- Variety of coloured card paper (green, red, white, black)

- Selection of potential decorations: cotton wool, ice-cream sticks, tinsel, glitter, ribbons.

 

Stockings

 

Stockings, admittedly, are a little more difficult to make at home, but kids love helping out when you make them. When it comes to home-made stockings, you have a couple of options.

One option is to buy some simple pre-made stockings and add decorations to them yourself. Get some fabric or felt and cut out stars or snowflakes, and sew them on. Your kids will love helping you decide on the patterns and watch you create your very own stocking.

Another option is to buy a length of felt fabric (green or red are best) and cut out the stocking shape yourself. All you have to do is draw an outline of a stocking on the felt and cut out two sides, and sew them together. You can decorate it accordingly with various patterns. Kids really love helping out with this one!

 

What you’ll need:

- Scissors

- Lengths of felt fabric (green, white, red)

- Sewing kit

 

Snowflakes

 

I’m sure we all remember these from when we were kids. These simple Christmas decorations for around the house are a popular favourite among young children. They’re easy to make - and look great when finished.

For some suggestions on how to make Christmas snowflakes, check out this guide: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Paper-Snowflake

 

What you’ll need:

- Scissors

- A selection of coloured paper (white, red, green).

- Optional: glitter, ribbon, etc.

 

Christmas Cookies

 

Christmas cookies aren’t as popular in Ireland as they are in the United States, of course, but they can be a great family-friendly activity. From gingerbread snowmen, to Christmas-themed shortbread, you and your little ones will have plenty of fun preparing the cookie dough, carving out the shapes, and watching them bake.

Here’s a great selection of cookie recipes from the BBC for inspiration: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/christmas-biscuits