Christmas Activities for Toddlers
Holidays with toddlers are magical. They bring you back to your childhood, with memories of decorating cookies, putting together gingerbread cookies and making ornaments for everyone in the family. But you wonder why those memories don’t involve food-coloring stains on the kitchen counter, eating glue sticks and paint on the walls.
Why didn’t anyone warn you that Christmas activities for toddlers are a little more complicated than you expected? You still want crafts and creativity to be part of the season. So how do you make the most of the holidays with toddlers without cleaning up glitter for the next six months?
These Christmas activities for toddlers will keep kids busy during the holiday season and help you maintain your sanity.
Duplo Block Christmas Pictures
Help kids get into the holiday spirit by helping them shape Duplos into different shapes. This helps them practice their fine motor skills, improve their spatial awareness and learn colors.
Print out some free templates from Teaching Mama. The pictures include the following:
- Christmas tree
- Candy cane
- Santa Claus hat
Feel free to laminate the printouts so they can be reused throughout the season. Have your little one place the appropriately colored bricks over the images of the blocks. This is an ideal activity to do when you’re traveling. Just grab a bag of bricks and pack your laminated templates. This is a wonderful quiet Christmas activity for toddlers during holiday dinners and get-togethers.
Baking Christmas cookies with your toddler usually ends up with flour everywhere. Plus, no one is sure that they actually want to eat the cookies afterward because who knows where those hands have been?
Instead of saddling yourself with the stressful task of making cookies from scratch, what if you just had your toddler help with the fun part?
Make egg yolk painted Christmas cookies, and let your little one go to town with the paint. After you cut and roll out your dough, place the raw cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Mix an egg yolk with ¼ teaspoon of water and a few drops of food coloring. Have your toddler paint the cookies with the mixture before you put them in the oven. Your kiddo will be proud to see (and eat) their creations, and you won’t get sprinkles everywhere.
Christmas Book Advent Calendar
Kids love opening presents. Don’t make them wait until Christmas!
Create an advent calendar with books. Wrap each book separately, and place it under the tree. Every night of the 12 before Christmas, have your toddler choose a book to unwrap and read together. This is a wonderful tradition that can last a lifetime.
Some of our favorite holiday books are:
- Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
- Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin
- The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden
- Dream Snow by Eric Carle
- Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
- The Mitten by Jan Brett
- The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- The Littlest Elf by Brandi Dougherty
- The Berenstain Bears’ Old-Fashioned Christmas by Jan Berenstain
Holiday Sensory Bin
Sensory bins aren’t for the faint of heart. It’s not uncommon for a toddler to simply dump the bin out all over the floor. But cleanup is fairly easy with a broom and dust pan, and this activity can keep your little one entertained for a while.
Fill a bin with colored rice. If you need instructions for how to dye rice, click here. Then, add fun extras, such as fake candy canes, jingle bells and ornaments. Make sure that all of the items are age-appropriate and safe for your kids to play with. Don’t include choking hazards or sharp objects.
If you’re not quite ready for the potential mess that a holiday sensory bin can create, leave it to us. At Giggles, we do crafts with the kids. Many of them have holiday themes. Our rice table is always a big hit.
Felt Christmas Tree
Give your toddler their own Christmas tree to decorate. Cut a triangle or pine tree shape out of green felt, and tape it to the wall. Then, cut ornaments, stars and other shapes out of various colors of felt. Those will stick to the felt tree without adhesive.
Your kiddo can decorate and redecorate the tree to their heart’s content.
Jingle Bell Magnet Jar
Another quiet Christmas activity for toddlers involves an empty plastic water bottle and jingle bells. Choose a bottle with smooth sides. Fill it with water, and then add some jingle bells. (Make sure that they’re magnetic before you put them in the bottle.
Seal the top of the bottle tightly. You might want to add some hot glue to prevent your child from opening it and spilling the water.
Give your little one a strong magnet wand, and watch them explore the magic of science. The wand will work its magic to attract the magnets inside the bottle and mesmerize your child. This is a great way to help kids find a moment of peace during the busy holiday season.
Christmas Tree Collage
Tearing paper is a great way for children to develop the muscles in their hands. Pull out some green construction paper, and instruct your toddler to tear it up into little pieces.
Then, draw a triangle on a sheet of paper. Give your child a glue stick (they might need some help with this), and have them paste the pieces of paper within the triangle. Voila—they made a Christmas tree. They can decorate it with stickers to really hone those fine motor skills.
Don’t have time to do these activities with the kids? That’s ok—that’s what we’re here for! Drop your child off at Giggles for some holiday fun. We love to do holiday activities with toddlers, and kids beg to come back. Plus, we make the mess and do all of the cleanup so that you can just relax.
Our unlimited membership options are affordable and let you bring your child for four hours a day, Monday through Saturday. You’ll wish you had one when your child keeps asking to go back to Giggles.