Kids Holidays. Excited? They are too and we all know that they expect lots of fun. Every… day….
Here are our carefully selected ideas to play with kids from newborn to 5 year old’s this Christmas holidays – before and after the special festive day! Fun for all the family is certainly guaranteed!
1. Trace the Body for Cards!
This is great fun for you mummy and these make the BEST sentimental cards for all the family to treasure. Apply the safe paints to your babies foot or hands to make a funny cards. Look here for our easy yet special ideas
Or simply outline the hand of your child and finish the cards with funny Christmas patterns and drawings!
2. Unwrapping Gifts.
There is always room for practice when it comes to teaching your baby to unwrap gifts BEFORE Xmas. This game is a wonderful way for your youngest one to develop fine motor skills and to teach them how to use their little fingers expertly!
Wrap several medium-sized toys with leftovers of wrapping paper or newspaper if you have none and let’s go! Show your baby how to open one and comment on what you are doing: ‘We’re taking this corner and pulling it like this, see?’ Then encourage your little one to unwrap the others.
This game is so comforting and good to wind down your newborn baby this busy Christmas period. Also with relaxing movement for you and your postpartum body after childbirth.
Put your baby into the carrier and let their eyes explore around the house which will be even more eye catching for your little bundle thanks to any festive decorations you may have up! To bring a touch of cognitive skills development – comment on everything you are doing and seeing. Feel free to describe colours and sizes and next Christmas your little one may already good at this!
4. Personal gallery
Even staying in the bouncer can be quite beneficial for your baby’s early learning. Especially when the festive time is so full of bright and sparkling images in magazines and journals.
Sit your baby in a bouncer or baby seat and hold a bright picture from a magazine in front of him or attach it to the seat handle. You can leave him on his own for a while to examine the picture himself, or you can comment on the picture, describing what is on it.
Either way, this should give you some time to make or eat a snack, or spend 10 minutes reading your own magazine! Go on – every mum needs some Me-Time, especially in the postpartum phase!
5. Playdough Crafting
We are happy to share these simple and festive ornaments you can make with your children if they are now old enough to use playdough and handle small pieces. Perfect activity for winding down your child before bedtime whilst developing their fine motor skills.
Show your child how to draw & paint the awards or medals and how to cut them out from paper. Apart from the fine motor skills development this game gives a good opportunity to for the children to talk and encourage the behaviour you want them to follow.
Give your child rewards for good behaviour, separate to any reward charts you already use, just pick out some recent good behaviour and reward them for being nice to family and friends. This will stick in their memory and encourage future good behaviour!
Actually this game can be quite useful throughout the year not only during the weeks before the Santa comes…
6. Body Painting
Simple activity of body painting can help to calm down the children after highly energetic activities.
Face & body painting involves another person so they can draw on the each others’ face, so if you have more than one child, relax and put your feet up at least for 5 minutes whist your kids do the drawing themselves. Maybe, if you ever wanted a secret tattoo yourself, you can let your child use their talents for the day!
Why not help your toddler or older child attention and memory skills by telling them to look around the house for patterns and shapes for inspiration of what to draw!
8. Drawing together
This becomes so easy now to get the kids involved, with plenty of videos on YouTube that suggest ways to create drawings for different age kids whilst developing their fine motor skills essential to the first years of the child development.
Try this one in the video:
9. In Disguise
Christmas is the perfect time for dressing up! Who remembers this as an classic favourite!
Give your child your clothes, anything you don’t mind being used; the more imaginative you are with your suggestions, the more excited they will be! Help your children to separate the summer and winter clothes, the outdoors and home clothes. And also help develop their creativity. Hopefully they are at the age where they don’t need much encouragement to try it all on! Using your smart-phone camera adds more fun to this activity as well as trying the kid’s clothes on your partner….!
Plenty of Xmas cards? Let your little one play with them…
Give your child a bag to put across their shoulders and a hat then spread out their toys all over the house because they’ll all be waiting for the Christmas cards. Mark them with the name of the toy or just say to your child “this letter goes to the Teddy Bear who lives on the second shelf”. Then relax on a sofa mum and one by one your child will deliver all the cards to all the toys in their different homes!
You can add a touch of the reading and writing skills development during this game. If your child has started reading, ask them to read the names of the toys with your help. Or even write them down on the envelopes!
7. Photo Gallery
Looking at photos is a timeless activity always sure to settle your young children down and this also feeds your baby’s brains to develop her cognitive skills.
Apart from the normal photos to remind you of the events and birthdays of the year that have passed, find some Xmas story photos on Pinterest to get help create festive magic in their mind that they can then associated with Christmas and re-iterate the link with good behaviour!
Have fun by using a Xmas Photo booth app to make cards of the images. We’ve tried it and it certainly made our family laugh! They are plenty for iPhones/iPads and Android Phones & tablets too.
12. Measuring sizes
Apart from the new toys your dearest ones got from Santa, there is plenty of opportunity to use the moment of the year when … there are so many empty boxes until they get recycled!
Just give your little one a soft measuring tape and show them how to measure the boxes. If your child is ready for the concept of comparing then ask them to rank the boxes from the bigger (taller) to the smaller. It will take him a while …. So in the meantime be sure you grab a hot drink and take your 5 minute Me-Time!
13.Where is O?
The same idea of re-using festive cards before re-cycling them.If you child is not able to read yet take a chance to introduce the letters to him/her.
Show your child a letter “O” on one of the cards you’ve received this festive season and help your child find all the “O” or “S” letters on other cards. This is a great way for your early learners to understand the letters and prepare your children for reading.
Unless your children is old enough and can read the whole lot of festive greetings!
14. Postcards crafting
Do not rush to recycle your festive cards just yet…. this activity will give you the opportunity to spend more quality time with your family without buying anything (your family budget needs some rest too after Christmas 😉
Let the children cut off elements of the card illustrations themselves if their interested in this activity, then take a big piece of paper and let them stick the elements onto it the way they want, using glue or just sellotape. The more elements the kids cut off the cars, the longer they’ll be engaged with this activity.
Easy, fun and so beneficial for developing your child’s fine motor skills. Ta-da!
15. Fruit BBQ
Time to settle the kids down? And a chance for some healthy snacks before bed too if the kids are still hungry.
These simple arrangements of fruits on stick are a great hit with children making them far more exciting for snack time. Follow our Pinterest board for more ideas!
- Box house
Take an empty dry, large size box and make few holes in it to look like windows and a door. Yes – it is a house! Let your little one put small pillows or covers inside their new house for more comfort…and toys of course. Suggest to your child they paint it – that might win you some more time and let your child make the house of their dreams! Engaging siblings into this game always make the house happier too. Why not to decorate it as a North Pole house for Santa?
- Outlining body
So many funny images can be made by simply outlining objects and body parts. Huge fun for all the family members.
It’s always a winning solution for getting kids into bed. Encourage them to re-invent the stories. Festive period gives you the opportunity to create lots of magical plots and storylines. You begin – and see how far your child can get with ideas like “…and Santa realised he forgot all the gifts at his house in the North pole, so then …” or “…and Rudolph got cold or became naughty and ran out of time, so…”.
20. Making Hand Shadow Puppies
As the light days are so short in winter (unless you’re enjoying your Christmas in Summer!) playing shadows is an intriguing game to play when your at home.
Here are the ideas we’ve picked up for you to teach your children the fun shadows like these whilst helping to develop their fine motor skills.