When kids are around, Christmas can be even more magical. Their sense of wonder makes things extra special. Since this is a season for making memories, even when you’ll be at home most of the time, we’ve rounded up some virtual activities, games, crafts, and food ideas to add even more fun to your day.
For many families, visiting with Santa is a time-honored tradition. Just because you’re staying home this, that doesn’t mean you have to skip that special time. Santa: The Experience offers a magical Elf-guided journey to the North Pole and ends with a 5-minute live video chat with Santa. Sessions are available now through December 24. Note that the times on the website are in Pacific time. Pricing ranges from $34.95 to $79.95.
On Sunday, December 20, the Los Angeles Ballet will present Clara’s Nutcracker Tea Party at 2:00 PM. Clara invites you into her home as she hosts her Nutcracker Tea Party. Guests of the Tea Party will enjoy interactive play with dancing, magic, crafts, and holiday fun for all ages. Cost is $39.99 to view the party. This is a live virtual event and admission information will be supplied at purchase.
A Candy Cane Hunt is a great game for kids, whether you have one or many. Best of all, it’s extremely easy to set up. All you need are a whole bunch of candy canes. You can get different colors and sizes for an extra challenge. Stash them all over, even outside if weather permits, and send the kids off to find them. Let the kids hide them for you next if you like. As long as the candy canes hold up (and aren’t eaten!), you can keep playing this day after day. If you can’t have candy canes for whatever reason, you can probably find some holiday themed trinkets at the dollar store and hide those instead.
Every season needs a scavenger hunt! This is another way to keep kids moving. A Christmas Scavenger Hunt can be as easy or complex as you like based on the ages of your kids. Your list could include characters, decorations, or other things around the house your family associates with the holidays. For the littlest ones, try adding easy clues like things that are Christmas colors like red, green, or white. Or have them find something that starts with each letter of the word Christmas such as cup, hat, rainbow, and so on. If it’s nice out, bring the hunt to the neighborhood while on a walk. Look for decorations, things in nature, and more. Stumped for clues? This blog has some ideas for you!
The Marshmallow Snowball Pickup Challenge is a great minute-to-win-it game that is fun for all ages. Place a pile of mini marshmallows on a table and everyone has a minute to pick up as many as they can to fill up a cup. This game has made its way around the internet specifically with chopsticks and takeout containers, but for those who don’t have those items, you can do this with a mug and spoon. Other modifications could be to see how long it takes to pick up 10 or 20 marshmallows or see how has the most after they’re all picked up – that might be a good one when you’re done playing and want the kiddos to help clean up. No marshmallows or not into having candy in the house? Try this with cotton balls or pom poms.
If you thought Christmas bows were just for sticking on presents, you were wrong! There are so many activities that can be carried out with a simple bag of bows. This article gives many ideas, but highlights include a pickup race, placing a bow on your head and carefully walking it to the other side of the room without dropping it, and a bow hunt (when you get tired of the candy canes). Other ideas could be to toss them into a bucket or bowl, similar to a ring toss game, sorting by colors, and matching.
Kids will love this tree-decorating-gingerbread-house mashup. Place ice cream sugar cones upside down and cover them with frosting. Then decorate them with candies, sprinkles, marshmallows, or even shredded coconut. You can really get into it with food coloring and many different decorations or keep it simple. After you’re done, the kids can eat their creations or just let them sit. If you have multiple children or just a lot of time and materials on your hand, make a whole forest!
Start the day off with some Santa pancakes. It has plenty of fruit to make it nice and healthy and a little bit of whipped cream to make it fun.
Sure, you could put some fruit in a bowl and serve it that way, but what fun is that? Start with green grapes arranged in a triangle, add some clementine slices for garland and raspberries as ornaments. Or arrange kiwi slices to form a tree and decorate it with berries.
Still looking for more fruit ideas that are good for a snack or to accompany a meal? How about these Grinch Skewers? A green grape, a banana slice, a strawberry, and a mini marshmallow, in that order on a toothpick and you’re done. Kids won’t be able to resist!
For lunch, serve up a plate of Reindeer Quesadillas. Turn this ordinary lunch into a special holiday meal by adding a tomato half, olive slices, and pretzels to slices of quesadilla.
Ordinary pigs in a blanket are tasty but they’re not exactly exciting. Instead, try a Reindeer Dog. A few cuts into a hot dog before baking it into a crescent roll. Cheese and a raisin make eyes and a swirl of ketchup for Rudolph’s nose complete the picture-perfect meal.
When snack time rolls around, try out these peanut butter cracker reindeer. This is an easy treat to put together, but they are certainly fun. You could also swap out the M&M with a small piece of raspberry or strawberry for Rudolph’s nose.
Grinch Popcorn also makes a festive snack. Marshmallow, tinted green of course, covers the popcorn. Sprinkle in some mini marshmallows and red M&Ms and you’ve got a treat even the Grinch would enjoy!
Children often call broccoli “little trees,” so making them into a Christmas tree is completely logical. Tomatoes and yellow pepper slices add some flair while pretzel sticks form the tree trunk. Add a sprinkling of cauliflower snow and you have a vegetable platter as healthy as it is festive.