Sunday, December 4, 2011

Short and Sweet: 5 Quick Christmas Activities!

Whether you are a fan of chaotic messes or not, the December forecasters are calling for mounds of crumpled Christmas wrapping paper, flurries of pine needles and occasional sprinkles of sprinkles. 'Tis the season for glitter and boxes and clutter. 
Embrace it and hang in there; you will have plenty of time to clean it all up in January and February when you are trapped inside your home staring at your walls.
Around here, the kids are beside themselves with energy from the combination of Christmas activities and sugar, so yesterday I tried to channel the excitement into some fun little activities for them.  Here are a few quick suggestions that will keep your little elves busy, happy, and involved in some fun this season.
Yesterday my kids came up with the idea of creating their own Christmas Party in their rooms.  Of course the party required decorations, which is where I came into play. The first thing we did was:

1. Make a decorative paper chain.
The paper chain has been around for many centuries and many holidays, but the timeless joy created by a few simple pieces of construction paper, scissors and staples (or tape) is classic.  It took me 5 minutes to cut strips of paper and staple them into this chain. This was nothing fancy, but the kids thought I was a super hero.

2. Glue and Glitter: Don't be scared of it.
You are going to be vacuuming up pine needles and dried leaves and cookie sprinkles for the next 4 weeks anyway--this is the perfect time to let the kids go ahead and break out the glitter.  If your kids are big enough to use the Elmer's to write something on paper, let them do it! Otherwise, make some signs for your Christmas Party or personalize (and glitterize!) those impersonal Christmas cards you know you will be sending out shortly.

3. Paper Snowflakes. Remember those?
We might assume that everyone knows how to make a paper snowflake, but this might be the first year for your child to experience the joys of folding, cutting and opening a wonderful paper snowflake. It's exciting and unique every time!  If you forget how to do it or want a little help, here is a great sight with some templates.  Simply print, fold and cut. 

4.  "I'm already tired of wrapping presents!"
You might be tired of wrapping presents, but it will turn into hours of fun for your kids!  My kids are planning to exchange gifts at their little party, so I simply provided them with some paper (those useless, oblong leftover scraps are the best!) some tape and scissors and let them wrap up random toys and books in their rooms. I gave my daughter an empty box to fill with little toys so it would be easier to wrap. They enjoyed the wrapping and are even more excited to let each other open the special gifts tomorrow!

5. Tripping over Amazon boxes?
Create the Polar Express!  Last week I counted 6 various boxes throughout the house that were the result of Cyber Christmas shopping. While I gathered the boxes to throw them away, I decided I might as well let the kids play in them for the rest of the day.  We didn't even decorate them, we simply lined them up and the rest is left to the imagination of your little ones.  If they have wrapped up their little presents, it might be fun to let them have a Christmas train and push their "train" filled with gifts around the house.

**More Bonus Thoughts**
If you have a Light Bright in your home, tucked away in the tallest shelf of your closet with the glitter and the Easy Bake Oven, now is the time for Light Bright to shine.  You will already be busy vacuuming up pine needles and cookie sprinkles, so you might as well be on the lookout for those tiny lights that are sure to scatter and hide across your carpet.  Pull out the green, red and white lights, and be prepared to see some smiling kids.
Finally, a word about tinsel and bows from Dollar General.  Remember, our kids are only little for a few years.  If you are willing to clean up some messes, you will reap the reward of fond childhood memories with your kids.  This year I got a packet of tinsel for $1 and it was by far one of the best dollars I have spent in a while.  The kids LOVED placing tinsel on the tree--the strands that are splotched all over our tree and the pieces that have gracefully fallen to the ground are marks that we live in a home filled with kids.  If you are unwilling to let them decorate the main tree, maybe you can let them toss some tinsel on a little tree in their room (or in the yard!) And although it is nice to carefully decorate and wrap each present and put all that Pinterest pinning to use, if you are willing to set aside a few gifts to let your kids help wrap (Grandparents, cousins, etc.) they will love being involved.  I picked up a large packet of sticker bows at Target for $1 and my kids really enjoyed removing the stickers and matching up bows with the gifts.
Enjoy making a mound of memories this season!

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” 

~Dr. Seuss


  1. Fun ideas and I am happy to report that we did two of these recently : ) I showed the kids the glitter and glue the other day, and just today, they spent the whole afternoon making snowflakes. I told them they could tape them on the sliding glass door. Thanks for the tips!!

  2. That's great, April! Yes--paper snowflakes are really fun (even as an adult! :) Merry Christmas to all!

  3. it is sooooo the grand scheme of things (and time), the memories outweigh the messes. so let 'em make a mess and don't stress! Take time to love their sweet little hearts. Enjoy the sparkle in their eyes in this season that celebrates a miracle just like they are.

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