1. Make Play Snow. If the weather outside is frightful, keep the brood inside and make some play snow. All you need is 2 cups of corn flour, half a cup of vegetable or baby oil, and 3-4 tablespoons of silver glitter. Mix it all together and cover the bottom of a deep tray or washing up bowl, add play animals, and let the kids feel, play, and dig into the snow.
2. Go on a Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Type and print a list of festive things that the kids might find on a walk through your neighborhood, including door wreaths, festive lights, robins, red berries, Christmas trees, decorations that move, pine cones, a star, holly, and trees with no leaves.
3. Take the Kids to a Carol Concert. Carol concerts don’t usually cost anything, unless they are taking donations for charity, so you can entertain the kids and get in the festive spirit for next to nothing. Check local community Facebook pages to find out where concerts are happening.
4. Host a Christmas Movie Party. All you need to host a brilliant Christmas movie afternoon for kids and their friends is a DVD and box of microwave popcorn. If you have cinnamon in the cupboard, sprinkle over the popcorn for a festive touch. Specify a festive dress code to get the kids even more excited – and have Christmas music playing as everyone arrives.
5. Make wrapping paper. Forget expensive rolls of patterned paper and create your own at home with the help of the kids. Buy rolls of brown paper, then get your kids to stamp their feet in brown paint and make imprints over the paper. Make sure they leave a fair amount of space between each footprint. Your job is to add eyes, noses and antlers with paint and a fine brush – and when it’s dry, you have the most adorable homemade paper for loved ones.
6. Go on a Winter Walk. If you live in the UK, get the family together and enjoy a crisp walk in the countryside. Plan your walk to end up in a country pub, complete with roaring fire to warm up, making a full afternoon or morning’s activity cost the price of a coke and packet of crisps. Visit Walking Britain for routes.
Make Decorations. Salt dough decorations are very easy to make (blog post coming soon with our creations!) Add one cup of salt, one cup of flour, and half a cup of water to a bowl, mix it together until it forms a dough, and then use it to make decorations. You can make festive shapes like stars or angels, or make imprints of little hands or feet to remember for years to come. Then poke a hole in the top for hanging and bake at 100’C/200F for 3 hours. Once cooled, you can paint, seal, and hang on the tree!
Take a Festive Photo Every Day. Get the kids involved in a project to take a new photo every day of December, asking them to help choose the theme, find their outfits, and decide where to take it. Themes to try include the nativity, party, winter warmers, santa’s grotto, and love.
Feed the birds. Create popcorn and cranberry garlands for the birds in the garden. String unsalted and unbuttered popcorn with fresh cranberries on thick thread (try wool, upholstery thread or fishing line). Use a big needle and a thimble – smaller children can pass you the popcorn and cranberries and let you do the threading. Then head outside to string up the creations for the birds to enjoy (popcorn and cranberries are perfectly safe for them to eat). You can then sit by the window and watch your garden residents enjoy your creations.
Track Santa. Log onto website www.noradsanta.org from 1st December and you and the kids can track Santa and his reindeer’s progress for free. Make it a daily ritual to log on – and once you’ve found out where he is, you can spend some time researching the country he is currently flying over together (from atlases, books and the internet), so that your kids can learn about the world as the big man travels around it.