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Christmas Activities for Kids Aged 1-5 Years Old

Do you feel the chill in the air, smell the scent of cookies baking in the oven, and love the feeling of family and friends coming together?  That can only mean one thing: Christmas is coming.  

Children are excited for presents from Santa, music, and decorating.  Parents are cooking, shopping, and planning.  Make time to slow down and connect. Kid-friendly crafting with your kids is the perfect way to make magical memories this holiday season.  

While you are enjoying the sight of your Christmas tree, take a look at the following fun  craft ideas and Christmas themed activities.  

Coloring Christmas Scenes

The simplest and fastest activity for kids is the free printable.  This is a classic Christmas activity.  If you have an Internet connection your kids can easily locate and print Christmas scenes such as Christmas trees, winter landscapes, Santa, and presents.  Most websites allow users to print pages in three easy clicks, or color the pages online.  Here are you can find free printables:

Hot Cocoa STEM Activity

Wondering what Christmas activity your child will love?  You’d be surprised at what is happening in your curious toddler’s developing brain.  Young children’s senses become sharper at this stage, and their understanding of the world around them is increasing rapidly.  Toddlers and young children alike love this Christmas learning activity. 

You need a few items to complete this activity, but they are easy to find, inexpensive, and there are many substitutions available.  The best part is, the whole project is edible when finished!  “Hot Cocoa Christmas STEM Activity!”

Here is the list:

  1. Any chocolate or light brown cereal
  2. Marshmallows, or lighter cereal (if the marshmallows are large, rip them up as part of the project!)
  3. Measuring cups or standard spoons
  4. Plastic or paper cups–you can simply rinse out cups from a coffee shop like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts
  5. A clean plastic bin or large shoebox
  6. Optional: candy canes or peppermints, crushed in a plastic bag

Fill the container about ⅔ with the chocolate/brown cereal.  This is your ‘hot cocoa.’  Add the marshmallows and (optional) crushed candy canes/mints.  These are your cocoa toppings.  Use the spoons or measuring cups to mix and ‘serve’ the ‘cocoa’ into the take out coffee cups.  Instant cocoa party!

Once set up, this project can set the stage for a Christmas math project with childrenChristmas activities include marshmallow counting, merry measuring, and divine division.  Younger children will enjoy sensory stimulation while comparing the textures of mushy marshmallows, crunchy cereal, and pointy candy canes or peppermint pieces.  Children of all ages will enjoy storytime play; and who doesn’t love a hot cocoa party?  Older children can practice dexterity and measuring.  In the end, cleaning up includes a yummy treat for everyone!

Handprint Art

Here is a simple craft and Christmas-themed activity that is also a keepsake.  This activity and the resulting craft is age-appropriate and fun for all children!  Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Handprint Art!  

You will need:

  1. White or cream construction paper or cardstock
  2. Brown, non-toxic finger paint
  3. Googly eyes, a red pom pom, and a red marker
  4. Glue 
  5. Optional: black marker (substitute for googly eyes)

Dip your child’s hand into the brown finger paint.  Before adding anything else is added, you now have your child’s hand print at this moment in time.  The fingers point up; these become the reindeer’s antlers.

Once the paint dries, add googly eyes with your glue or glue stick (or use the black marker to add eyes), stick the red pom pom on for the nose, and use the red marker to draw a tiny tongue. Rudolph!

Alternatively, use green finger paint to create a Handprint Christmas Tree.  Follow the same procedure to make a paint handprint, but turn the dried hand print *upside down* before preceding. The green fingers make the limbs of the Christmas tree. Use glitter to decorate, with markers or stickers.  Draw or stick a star on the top, and you have a Christmas craft to keep forever.  Don’t forget to add the year to the paper, so you always remember when you and your little one made this wonderful craft!

Christmas Sweater Activity

You don’t have to be an expert knitter or seamstress to complete a Christmas Sweater Activity.  Creating an ugly Christmas sweater is fun for children of all ages, and simple for parents to prepare:

  1. Search online for a sweater template, or make one yourself.
  2. Trace the template on several pieces of colored paper.
  3. Use crayons, markers, colored pencils to decorate your ‘sweater.’
  4. Add stickers, and glue pom poms, bits of string, feathers, buttons, and any odds and ends you have around the house.
  5. Punch a hole in the top and use string to hang your child’s creation on your tree or mantle.

Original Christmas Wrapping Paper

Here is another Christmas craft you can do with children of all ages that is also functional.  Christmas wrapping paper! 

Purchase a roll or two of plain brown craft paper.

Use crayons, stamps, stickers, markers, colored pencils, stencils, and just about anything you have in your house to decorate the paper.  You can even use the handprint art on your wrapping paper to make it extra special!  Then, wrap your gifts to loved ones in your own original Christmas paper.  

Visit Christmas Displays

Christmas lights are everywhere.  Homes, government buildings, and shopping plazas are decorated by the first of December every year.  If you are in a walkable city, take a stroll with your children around the best displays in town.  In the suburbs and more rural areas, pack up the littles in the car with some treats and hot cocoa, and map a course to drive to see the best decorations in the neighborhood.  Depending on the age of your children, displays can become STEM activities: parents can incorporate counting and lessons on electricity while viewing beautiful decorations.

Letters to Santa

Writing a letter to Santa is a holiday tradition grown ups and children everywhere love.  Grab a piece of paper and a pen (or open your laptop) and help your little one create a holiday list.  Don’t forget to encourage polite language and gratitude.  

Grinch Kabobs

Here is an easy and delicious  Christmas themed activity you can make with your kids–and it is healthier than cookies and candy.  This is called “Grinch Kabobs,” and you will need toothpicks, green grapes, banana slices, and strawberries (with the top leaves cut off, creating a smooth, flat surface).

Slide one green grape vertically onto a toothpick.  This becomes the Grinch’s oval face.  Place a banana slice horizontally through the toothpick on top of the grape, making the trim of the Grinch’s Santa hat.  Place the strawberry, flat side down, through the toothpick on top of the banana, creating the red part of the Santa hat.  Optionally, place a small marshmallow on top of the strawberry to make the white pom pom on top of the Santa hat.  Voila!  Grinch Kabobs!  Fun to make, yummy to eat!

Christmas Coding

Are your kids interested in coding?  Even very young children can enjoy a Christmas coding activity.  Platforms like Scratch, Tynker, and are perfect for little fingers to take their first clicks into the wonderful world of coding.  Each of these are user friendly.  Your child can simply log on, choose their ‘sprite’ (term for object or character) and create a Christmas game.  Some objectives can be ‘gift toss,’ ‘match Santa to the chimney,’ and ‘snowflake race.’  

Classic Christmas Stories

Reading together is a beloved Christmas activity.  Babies and toddlers love being read to, and children learning to read love showing family what they’ve learned.  Incorporate holiday classics into your daily routine as Christmas Day approaches. 

One of the most well read stories the world over is “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” and the poem can be found in long and short forms on the Internet.  

Children also love the time honored classics “How to Catch Santa Claus,” “Little Red Sleigh,” and “A Christmas Carol.”  

The magic of the holiday season is special for children of all ages.  As adults, we sometimes get distracted by our ‘to do’ lists and holiday countdowns.  Let’s all remember we have a limited number of holidays with our families.  We can all take a moment to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Which Christmas activities for your child were the favorites?