The holiday season is often full of joy and excitement; we frequently find ourselves hustling and bustling from here to there. But if you want to slow down and enjoy the quickly passing time with your little ones, here are some fun Christmas crafts and activities to entertain you and your kids this holiday season. Rest assured, these activities won’t break the bank, which is great because this time of year is already a strain on our wallets. And here’s a bonus: your kids might even learn something or build some skills. But don’t let them know that!
Easy and Fun Christmas Crafts for Kids
1. Sticker Snowflake
This Christmas craft is entirely too easy, but it will keep their hands busy for a long time. Very little work for you, but big-time payoff. Oh, and did I mention it’s virtually mess-free? You’re welcome. I grabbed a large piece of blue poster board at the dollar store and some plain white dot stickers. Yes, that means this activity cost only $2. It doesn’t get any better than that, right?
1. Using a black marker, draw a basic snowflake pattern onto your poster board. You can make it as simple or intricate as you would like!
2. Have your child use the dot stickers to cover the lines. Encourage them to keep the stickers only on the lines so you get a clear picture at the end.
Stickers are a great use of our refined fine motor skills, and honestly, what kid doesn’t LOVE stickers? If your little one has difficulty separating the stickers from the sheet, you can peel off the surrounding backing so all you leave behind are the dot stickers.
Bonus tip: I like to stick the entire poster board up on a wall so our kids work against gravity for the duration of the activity. It’s a great way to work on building the shoulder muscles required for fine motor tasks like writing and cutting. This one is a win!
2. Cardboard Village
I don’t know about you, but our kids love to help us decorate during the holidays. And I love finding ways they can be involved in the process. I can’t necessarily have them help me put out our fragile decorations, but they can certainly help with this Christmas craft.
1. Grab a bunch of recycled cardboard (I imagine you have some sitting around from all those deliveries this time of year) and a white paint pen. You’ll need tiny sequins, jewels, or glitter for the kids. Hopefully, the kids and glitter don’t give you anxiety as it does me.
2. Cut out a bunch of house shapes from the cardboard and decorate it with white paint or a paint pen. If you have older kids, they could help you with this step. For our younger kids, I had them help me decorate the houses with sequins and jewels, and they loved it!
3. Once the houses are completely dry, you can string them with yarn and hang them somewhere in your home. Or you can attach them in an accordion format and put them on your table display. The possibilities are endless with this one. Our kids were so proud of what they created, and it was great to have them feel like they contributed to our holiday décor this year.
3. Snowman Bowling
This great gross motor activity can easily be done indoors during those cold winter months.
1. Gather 10 Styrofoam cups and draw a snowman face on each one. I used a black Sharpie for the eyes and mouth and then cut out orange triangles for the noses. You’ll also need a lightweight object. I found a pack of snowballs at the dollar store, or you could also use a couple of pieces of crumpled-up construction paper.
2. Have your child stack the cups into a pyramid and use your snowball or another lightweight object to try and knock the cups down.
Having your child restack the cups is a great visual motor activity, and they will love knocking them down again and again! If you have more than one child playing, you can make it a game to see who can get the most snowmen knocked down with each round.
4. Reindeer Ornament
Who doesn’t love a homemade ornament idea? You’ve probably seen several examples of salt dough ornaments (capturing your little one’s handprints as a babe is a must!), but if you’re looking for another fun DIY ornament, here’s an idea that can be done in just a couple of minutes. You can make this as easy as a “place and paste” activity, or for older kids, you can also involve them in the cutting process. I did this one when our baby was just three years old, so I did all the cutting in advance, so all he needed to do was paste it together with some help.
2. Add some eyes and a mouth, and you have a sweet little Rudolph ornament!
I found the wooden ornaments at our local craft store for just a couple of bucks and already had the cardstock on hand. But even if you’re buying all the necessary supplies, this one still comes in at just a few dollars per ornament.
5. Pouch Cap Christmas Tree
This Christmas craft has always been one of my favorite DIY activities. I made this two years ago, and it’s still holding up, and the kids still love it!
Most parents of young kids or toddlers have a collection of squeeze pouches in their cabinets. Start saving those tops and putting them to good use with this fun activity. You’ll want to keep the twist cap and the plastic piece that the cap twists onto. Just cut them right off the pouch, rinse them, and set them aside until you have enough saved. We had two toddlers in the house when I originally made this, so I kept enough tops within just a few days!
1. Using recycled cardboard, I cut out a tree shape and a star, then painted the tree green and the star yellow.
2. Once they were dried, I used my hot glue gun to put the tree together. I used the hot glue gun to glue on the plastic twist-top portions. (Tip: leave the caps detached, so they don’t accidentally get glued onto their twist top.)
3. Once they have had enough time to dry completely, it’s playtime. Your child will love to “decorate” the tree with the pouch cap “ornaments.” As they twist the caps on, they work on practical fine motor skills.
I love finding ways to encourage our kids to engage in activities like this because it’s excellent skill-building disguised as play.
6. Marshmallow Painting
There’s just something about kids and painting. This Christmas craft and art project is easy and cheap, and your kids will love this unique spin on stamping. There are all kinds of unconventional ways to do paint stamping using foods. Apples, potatoes, and even broccoli can be dipped into paint and used as stamps. But this activity uses marshmallows!
I got a bag of jumbo marshmallows at the dollar store and some white craft paint at our local craft store, and I used the back of a piece of the blue posterboard I used in the sticker snowflake activity.
1. Using a black permanent marker, I drew a snowman shape and allowed our little one to dip his marshmallow into the paint and fill in the snowman shape.
2. After he was done filling in his snowman, I helped cut out the facial features, hat, and buttons from construction paper.
You could have your kids make their own unique snowman, and you’ll have a whole family of snowmen (and women)!
7. Stocking Guessing Game
This game sets up in just minutes and involves skill-building for your kids.
1. Grab a stocking and fill it with random objects or toys from around the house. Ensure there are no sharp edges since your child will grab the things without using their eyes.
2. Have your child reach into the stocking, grab an object, and then guess what it is without looking. The ability to recognize an object using your sense of touch, without visual and auditory information, is called stereognosis and is an important life skill.1 Imagine how often you reach into your purse or diaper bag looking for your keys, phone, or another object and can locate it based purely on your sense of touch!
You can mix this one up as many times as you want. And you can use easy objects your kids are familiar with, or you can increase the difficulty if you use things that are a bit more obscure. If your child can’t verbally communicate, you could have pictures of the objects, and your child can point to the image they feel inside of the stocking. This activity is an excellent low-key, easy-to-set-up way to occupy your little ones this holiday season. You can do this again and again!
I hope these Christmas crafts and activities will keep your little ones occupied during their holiday break from school. The holidays are often when we’re running from here to there, always on the go, so I encourage you to slow down and soak up the true magic of the season by seeing it through your children’s eyes. These activities are just one way to make your holiday season fun and festive. Happy holidays to you and yours!