Updated: Dec 22, 2020
As many families hunker down for a holiday season that will be spent largely at home, you may be wondering what to do with your kids. How can you keep your preschool- or kindergarten-aged kids entertained? Fear not! We’ve put together a list of fun and easy holiday activities for kids that are perfect for keeping your little ones’ brains and hands busy.
Children of any age can always benefit from developmental activities that build motor skills. Check out these options that foster that growth:
Holiday Sensory Bins
A sensory bin is a collection of items placed into a bin that a child can explore using sight, smell, and touch. Create a holiday-themed bin using items in different colors, such as red and green, blue and white, or another combination. Be sure to include items that offer different tactile sensations, such as pine cones (rough) and water beads (smooth). The materials you use can be anything that is safe for your child to play with, but keep an eye out for any items that might be choking hazards.
Creating paper snowflakes is a perfect holiday craft for kids ages 5 years or older, or any child who has developed the fine motor skills needed to cut shapes in paper. A paper snowflake activity simply involves paper and scissors!
Start with a square piece of paper that is folded diagonally to create a triangle, then fold that triangle in half. Repeat the folding several more times and trim any overlapping ends. You should end up with a single, tall pointed triangle.
Have your child begin cutting out shapes alongside the edges of the folded paper triangle. Encourage them to experiment—there is no right or wrong in making a snowflake!
Carefully open the cut piece of paper to reveal a unique snowflake.
Music can be an amazing developmental tool for kids, engaging both the mind and the body. As a result, incorporating some musical activities into your child’s holiday season can be immensely beneficial and enriching for them.
What better way to ring in the New Year than with some homemade noisemakers? This holiday activity for kids is an excellent way to promote creativity and music appreciation at the same time.
Simply place some dried beans, rice, or corn kernels in the well of a paper plate. You could also add little bells for some special jingle!
Then hot glue another paper plate on top of the first plate so that the bottoms of each plate are opposite each other and the dried items are in the cavity created by the two plates. Stick a popsicle stick in between the two plates before the glue dries; this will serve as a handle.
Next comes the fun part! Have your child decorate the noisemaker using paint, stickers, adhesive jewels, or other items.
Tissue Box Guitar
Making a tissue box guitar is a super easy and fun activity that preschoolers and older children alike will enjoy.
Begin with an empty tissue box and empty paper towel roll. Have your child decorate both the box and roll with paint, crayons, colored paper, or stickers.
Attach the paper towel roll (the neck of the guitar) to one end of the tissue box (the body of the guitar) and stretch rubber bands across the tissue box opening.
Have your child strum and pluck the rubber bands and see what different kinds of sounds they can come up with.
With noisemakers and guitars in hand, you and your kids will have everything you need to throw a concert in the living room or march around the house in a holiday parade.
Food Preparation Activities
Sometimes, the best holiday activities you can do with preschoolers are the ones you might be doing anyway, so everyone don an apron and head to the kitchen!
For many people, baking is a traditional part of the holiday season. If you’ll be in the kitchen making your grandmother’s famous pumpkin pie, let your little ones help! Give young children tasks such as rolling out pie dough or using cookie cutters to create holiday-shaped cookies. Older children can help measure ingredients and get a fun lesson in math at the same time.
While using a stove may be too advanced for most young children, you can still incorporate cooking into a holiday activity plan for kids. One fun way to get children involved in household cooking is to start with planning holiday menus. Have your child pick one or two side dishes to accompany a meal, such as mashed potatoes and green beans. When it comes time to cook, assign kid-friendly tasks to your child, such as washing potatoes and plucking the ends off green beans. They can also help measure and add certain ingredients during or after the cooking process to help complete the side dish.
Allowing children to learn and practice the basics of baking and cooking will help foster an appreciation for the craft but also encourage the growth of important life skills.
Keep it Fun
This year has been challenging for everyone, including children. At Cresthill Academy, we encourage families to take time to enjoy these holiday activities and watch kids grow and thrive right into the new year.
To learn more about Cresthill Academy, New Jersey’s premier organic child care center, contact us today. We offer a variety of day care programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners with locations in Harrison, Hoboken Uptown, Hoboken Downtown, East Hanover, and Lyndhurst, New Jersey.