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Time with your kids is always well spent, but that is especially true during the holidays.
Do-it-yourself projects can be overwhelming, but these Christmas activities for kids are simple and fun for the whole family. Most of the materials and items needed in these activities you will have in your home already, but if not, everything will be easy to find.
Christmas Tree Noodle
This is an easy activity to get you started.
- Bowtie pasta
- Green acrylic paint
- Cookie sheet (or pan)
- Construction paper (or cardboard)
Dye bowtie pasta Christmas tree green. To do this, add a small amount of pasta in a Ziplock bag, add green acrylic paint and mix together. Then spread the pasta on a cookie pan to dry.
While the pasta is drying, decide on the color of construction paper you will want to glue the pasta on.
Once the paint on the pasta has dried, use school glue to press the pasta on the construction paper. Decorate the tree with poms and other ornaments with a hot glue gun.
Popcorn Garland for Your Christmas Tree
This will make an excellent decoration for your tree, and it is fun to eat along the way!
- Sewing thread
- Plastic sewing needle
- Fresh cranberries
Whatever popcorn you choose, make sure not to use any butter, so the popcorn is not greasy. An important step is to leave it out for a day or two so the popcorn gets dry and hard.
You will need about an arm’s length of sewing thread or fishing wire. You can always tie a few together later if you want your garland to be longer. Tie a knot on one end and tie your needle on the other. Make sure to get a plastic needle, so your kids do not poke themselves.
Push the needle through the popcorn and gently move the popcorn to the knotted end. Then add a fresh cranberry to make a pattern. You can let your kids be creative here, using orange slices or whatever fruit they had for lunch.
When decorating your tree, hang the lights before adding your new garland!
Christmas Candy Sorting Game
This is a fun and frantic holiday sorting game. Perfect for younger kids around four to nine years old that are energetic.
- Various holiday candies
- Large jar or cup
- Timer (use your phone)
It is best with two or more kids, but even with one, your kids will get a kick out of this. Fill a jar full of various candies. With a minute on the timer, they will sort each one by type, but they are only allowed to pull from the jar, no dumping the candies out on the floor!
Ultimately, you can decide on how many candies are the prize. For older kids, shorten the time from 60 seconds to something shorter.
The Tallest Tower is a Fun engineering and building game for every age.
- Plastic cups
This is a great activity for young and older kids, and it is easy to clean up. Just like the Christmas Candy Sorting Game, it is excellent for one or multiple kids.
On a flat, sturdy surface, stack plastic cups as high as you can. Make sure they only use the cups, no tape or glue, to keep things fair. For older kids, use a timer to add an extra challenge.
It might take a few practice runs, but they will widen the base and find new and creative ways of building the tallest tower.
Ornament Counting Mats
Kids love decorating the Christmas tree, and this activity allows them to add to it with their own ornaments. The twist is it is a counting exercise for little ones learning numbers.
- Foam Christmas Ornaments
- Mini ornaments
Write the numbers you are working on with your child. We are working on adding and subtracting with my four-year-old.
Have them set aside the correct number of mini ornaments before gluing them on the foam. For older kids, use multiplication and division.
Santa’s Sleigh Automaton
KiwiCo is well known for making some of the best educational toys for kids.
This kit comes in multiple parts. Your kids will love having their own Christmas toy that they made. It is a fun engineering hand-cranked automaton for the holidays!
KiwiCo makes subscription boxes for every age kid. For more information, take a look at this full review of KiwiCo subscriptions.
Stocking Activity Wish List
This is a fun activity for kids who are unsure what to get for Christmas. As they will show you what they want the most.
- Construction paper
- Pictures from clipping magazines (you can print these out too)
With colored construction paper of their choice, draw out a Christmas stocking. Your kids will choose what toys are on their wish list for Christmas.
Glue toys from magazines or print out pictures of toys from Amazon. It is a great way of finding out what they want for Christmas, and you can take a picture of them holding their stocking to send to friends and family that buy gifts for your kids as well.
You can add these small craft Pom Poms on the stocking for more craft decorations.
Sprinkle Writing Tray
A fun and tasty sensory activity for little ones learning numbers and letters.
- Large tray
- Christmas sprinkles
- Alphabet flash cards
You can do this throughout the year, but it is fun during Christmas. Spread out a bag of colored sprinkles on a large tray. If your child is beginning to learn their letters, use a deck of letter cards and pull randomly. Have them write the letter in the sprinkles.
For kids more advance, you can call out letters and numbers as they write. As a reward, they can have some sprinkles each time they write the correct letter.
As the name suggests, floam is like slime and foam combined. Kids love it for its strange texture, and parents love it because it is not as messy as slime.
- 1/2 Cup of Polystyrene Microbeads
- 2 Tablespoons of Borax
- 1/2 cup + 3 Tablespoons of Hot Water
- 3 Tablespoons of White Glue.
- Food coloring
Add the borax and ½ cup of warm water inside a plastic bag. Add the glue to this mixture. Use about ½ cup of the microbeads with the food coloring of your choice.
It is a fun texture that kids will get a kick out of. It is not a solid or a liquid. Take a look here for more ideas on what you can do with floam. This could also make a great DIY Christmas gift for friends!
Popsicle Stick Star Ornament
Decorating the tree is always more enjoyable with you make your own ornaments!
- Popsicle sticks
- Short string (to hook on the tree)
You can have your kids power their way through some tasty popsicles, or you can get a bag of them. Either way, this is a fun activity for all ages.
Paint the sticks with your favorite colors. When the sticks are clean and dry, set them in a star pattern. Lift the ends of the sticks and place a small dot of glue. You can make a hook to attach the ornament to the Christmas tree with the short string.
Your kids do not only have to make stars. Let the creativity flow and construct houses, people, and animals, whatever they can think of.
Fake Snow Sensory Bin
It does not matter how the weather is outside; your kids can make snow inside.
- Foaming shaving cream
- 1 lb baking soda
- Large bowl
This can get a little messy, so make sure to lay down an old bedsheet or some paper on the table first. Pour all the baking soda into a large plastic bowl. Spray half the can of shaving cream and mix it with the baking soda. The shaving cream and baking soda clump up like snow as you mix. Spread on a baking sheet, and make a snowman!
For an added splash, add food coloring to the mix. Another fun surprise is the chill the shaving cream in the refrigerator before starting.
Donating new and old toys is an excellent way of clearing out the closets for Christmas toys. It also teaches a valuable lesson in giving to someone in need.
Have your kids spread their toys out in the living room. Make three piles. Keep, maybe, and donate. I know a few toys my kids would never think of giving up, like my daughter’s stuffed animal she sleeps with every night.
You might be surprised how willing kids are to donate toys and other items if they know they are going to another kid that would love them as much as they did.
For more additional activities for kids, you can check out these easy STEM experiments for the whole family.
This article originally appeared on Hello Sensible.