Sitting by a crackling fire, Christmas music playing in the background, sweet scents of just-baked cookies wafting through the cozy house. It’s exactly what we need to bring joy and cheer to the end of this dark and stormy year.
We could all use an extra dose of holiday cheer, are we right? To help you get started early, we’ve compiled a kid-friendly bucket list to get you in the Christmas spirit! Hang it on your fridge and enjoy these fun activities with your family.
Open new Christmas PJs on Thanksgiving night
What better way to kick off the holiday season than opening matching family PJs on Thanksgiving night?! Pair Burt’s Bees organic family jammies with our limited-time holiday quilts for a seriously cute family affair. Find tons of other PJ ideas on PopSugar.
Pick the perfect Christmas tree
Finding the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree is always an event to look forward to. But picking the right tree for your home can be tricky. If cutting down your own tree, what should you bring? Many of us also want a certain style and need to consider size. What’s the perfect height? Freshly cut or from the “pile?” This Old House offers great tips on all the above. Looking to buy an artificial? We are loving Terrain’s faux trees this year!
Unwrap a Christmas book each night
Collect holiday books you already have, wrap a library book or purchase books from an online bookstore. Starting December 1st, have your children take turns opening a new book each night. Save “The Night Before Christmas” for Christmas Eve, of course. Here is an extensive list of books your kids will enjoy each night!
Bake & decorate cookies
It isn’t the holidays without the incredible smell of cookies baking in the oven. Toddlers will love The First Year blog’s No-bake Christmas wreaths while just about everyone will have fun decorating these adorable snowmen from Crazy Little Projects. For more cookie inspo, check out The Bump’s best list of cookies for kids.
Sponsor a child or family
If you want to extend giving to a child or family outside your circle, Doing Good Together™ is a great place to start. You can also contact your local Toys for Tots, Salvation Army or churches in your area for more ways to help.
Take a tour of your neighborhood holiday lights
We make it a tradition every year to drive around our neighborhood and look at lights. Order to-go hot chocolate, play Christmas music and drive slowly through the neighborhood enjoying all the twinkling lights. Find displays in your neighborhood using The Original Christmas LightFinder!
Have a Christmas movie marathon
There’s no limit to how many Christmas movies you can watch this season (or all year). First things first, Christmas PJs are a must — but you knew that. Parenthood Times lists the best kid-friendly favorites to stream from Amazon Prime. Good Housekeeping’s Netflix list helps you sort out which movies are appropriate for every age. Mommas - Mark your calendars now for Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas. FYI: it already started!
Make holiday play dough
Holiday-scented play dough is a fun and quiet activity for the kids to do while you wrap, decorate, make dinner, or enjoy a nice cup of hot coffee! Try these delicious smelling play dough recipes from Because I said so, baby. Use essential oils, Christmas cookie cutters and sprinkles and fill your little baker with all the smells and feels of Christmas baking.
Bake decorative cinnamon ornaments
These simple Cinnamon Ornaments from Coco and Ash are made of two ingredients, Cinnamon and Applesauce, so you know they’ll smell delicious. They’re easy to make and decorate, and add a little rustic charm to your holiday decor.
Make a hot chocolate bar
We’re not talking about a once and done thing. Oh no. We mean designate a spot on your counter for all the fixings for the season. Chocolate, candy canes, marshmallows and all your favorite candies and treats to spruce up your cocoa. Curated Interior found these adorable hot chocolate setups to give you all the inspiration you need.
Build a gingerbread house
Building a wintry fairytale cottage is not as easy as it looks! (We recommend hot glue.) If you’d rather not build a store-bought gingerbread house, Our Best Bites offers a simple way to make cozy miniatures houses out of graham crackers. Grab your favorite icing, chocolates and candies for a fun night for everyone!
Have a candy cane hunt
Rather than hang them on your tree, make a game out of those peppermint sticks just like you would an Easter egg hunt! If you have older kids, have them take turns hiding them for the younger children.
Learn how other countries celebrate
Kids curious about the world? This is a great opportunity to teach your children about other cultures and different ways to celebrate Christmas. Whychristmas is a great resource to find educational material and printable holiday coloring pages and activity sheets.
Make brunch and stay in your PJs all day
Fluffy pancakes on a cold winter’s morning is the perfect way to start your holiday weekend. Make them extra special for the kids with Hungry Happening’s Grinch pancakes or whip up some surprise Santa pancakes from Momma Review.