Christmas is a favorite time of year for a lot of children, and even adults. There are tons of fun activities that you can promote and set up for your child leading up to, and even following Christmas, to encourage the love for the holiday and the excitement that goes along with it even more.
Hands-on activities, like the ones listed below, are excellent ways to jump-start their imagination and keep them occupied throughout the Christmas holiday as well.
1. Christmas Bakery
Many preschool classrooms, kindergarten classrooms, and families with toddlers are into dramatic play. Take a look at this adorable and educational idea. There is so much to be learned and enjoyed with this dramatic play bakery. It will be a fun time!
Learn More: Turner Tots
2. Cardboard Box Gingerbread House
Save all of those cardboard boxes from online Christmas purchases you are making. A dramatic play space like this carries so many possibilities with it. Your students or child will have an absolute blast pretending they are a gingerbread kid.
Learn More: Crafty Kids At Home
3. Snow Sensory Bin
This idea starts with you making fake snow. Adding your fake snow to a Tupper ware container or clear plastic bin will be the beginning of a snow sensory bin. You can add in bells, sparkles, shovels, or whatever you'd like to be the bin more festive.
Learn More: The Best Ideas For Kids
4. Santa's Workshop
Dramatic play activities like this one here will get your little one so excited for the holidays. They can actually pretend they are in Santa's workshop and helping him out themselves! It will become one of my favorite activities. Anytime is the perfect time to play here!
Learn More: No Time For Flashcards
5. Snowball Fight
Celebrate the holiday season by playing in the snow. This snow can be played indoors. You can celebrate the first snowfall of the year with this pack or you can bring the snow to you if you live in a place where it does not snow.
Learn More: Amazon
6. Gingerbread Man Design
How sweet is this learning activity? This is the ultimate gingerbread man building station. Your children or students will have a fantastic time using their imagination with these types of activities. This pretend play is educational too! They can order the pompoms in sequence.
Learn More: Fun A Day
7. Reindeer Antlers
This is a simple craft that does not take a lot of time or use a lot of materials but turns out really well. When you have some time for pretend play, your students can be reindeer or Rudolph specifically! This headband craft is taken to the next level.
Learn More: Kids Craft Room
8. Holiday Patterning Activities
This type of patterning activity doubles as a pretend play task as well as a counting objects assignment. Being able to think of and execute patterns is a skill for the young ones to learn. You can use larger objects if your students struggle with fine motor skills.
Learn More: Pre-K Pages
9. Tree Cutting College
10. Gingerbread Art
Baking sensory tubs, like this one here, are perfect for dramatic play and pretend play ideas. You can add in playdough that you made from a scented playdough recipe as well. They will use their imaginations at every turn when using this tub.
Learn More: Pocket Of Preschool
11. Giant Gingerbread Man Craft
Pretend you are a gingerbread man and model this craft in your image. This is a hilarious craft because it is so huge! You can make one for each student or you can have one singular class mascot that you traced of yourself!
Learn More: Happy Toddler Playtime
12. Motor Skills Christmas Tree
The little ones can pretend they are decorating a Christmas tree in their house or classroom. This even makes an excellent gift idea to be used on the day of Christmas eve, Christmas, or even included in an advent calendar to be played with before Christmas eve.
Learn More: Oddly Superb
13. Christmas Playdough
Play dough is not just for preschool and kindergarten-aged children. Many children enjoy playing with play dough for many years after. Homemade playdough recipes, like the one included at the link below, are fantastic because you can add beautiful scents that remind you of Christmas.
Learn More: Growing A Jeweled Rose
14. Gingerbread House Playdough Tray
Adding on to the previous idea about play dough, this gingerbread playdough tray is perfect for those imaginative students. This blog post details and explains how to make a playdough tray like this one here.
Learn More: Early Learning Ideas
15. Christmas Slime
Similar to dough activities, many kids are big fans of slime! Whether they are making it from scratch or using store-bought slime, they can pretend they are Martians on the moon or they have sticky hands when they play with it!
Learn More: Hip 2 Save
16. Snow Castle
17. Jingle Bells Scoop and Transfer
If you are looking for Christmas-themed activities, this is another gross motor activity that would work well in your activity center. It will require some clean-up time but the educational benefits are worth the setup and take down.
Learn More: Busy Toddler
18. Play Dough Mats
Check out this list of 10 free printable play dough mats. You can utilize each type of Christmas image as they have snowmen mats, ornament play dough mats, and more! Sometimes, it helps to give children some ideas about what to create if they can't think of anything to make.
Learn More: Lemon And Kiwi Designs
19. Christmas Baking Set
Be transported to a bakery, even in your own house, as your child uses this cookie play food set. They will pretend to slice the cookie dough, place the cookies on the sheet, and pop the baking tray in the oven even!
Learn More: Amazon