Christmas is such an exciting time for families. The decorated tree, family bonding, exciting gifts, and time off from school make the holiday season a favorite for children and adults alike. But, school break and extended family time can prove stressful for parents, especially if they are working during their child’s break. 

To help you keep your little ones busy and create some fun experiences for all of your children, the team at Sawyer has rounded up some of our favorite Christmas activities for kids. Keep reading to get to the free Christmas games and printables!

Christmas activities for kids

Christmas activities for babies

It is never too early to get your baby into the holiday spirit! Check out some of our favorite Christmas activities for babies so that you can get the littlest elves ready for their first Christmas.

Lights in a jar

This is an easy activity that will keep your little baby happy and engaged. Just put some battery-powered Christmas lights into a thick plastic jar and let them twinkle away safely inside. Your baby will love rolling the jar around and watching the lights move. Just make sure that the lights don’t heat up. 

Christmas storytime

There are so many benefits of reading to babies, even if they do not understand what you are saying. It helps set them up to hit developmental milestones and succeed in school, plus it gets them ready to fall in love of reading. So, this holiday season (and beyond), make sure to incorporate storytime into your baby’s daily routine. Check out our list of the best Christmas books for kids so you can find some great ones for your family.

Christmas sing-alongs

Research done in 2018 found that when mothers sing to their infants, it increases closeness and bonding between the parent and child. Plus, as we’re sure you know, babies love music and adults love seeing their little feet kick and the joy on their face when they hear songs that they love. This holiday season, get the whole family involved with a sing-along that the baby of your family will love. Looking for inspiration? Check out our favorite Christmas songs for kids.

Explore Christmas rattling toys

As your baby gets into tummy time, their need to explore grows. To keep them entertained and let them discover new elements of the holiday, try creating these super easy Christmas rattling toys. Just buy a couple sand art bottles or use any type of plastic bottle with a top that closes securely and fill each one with different Christmas items. You can do real cranberries, plastic ornaments, glitter, fake snow (you can use coconut flakes for this), or pinecones. Then, let your baby rattle and explore!

Christmas sensory board

This is a great activity for your baby who might be getting a little grabby. If they are super interested in the Christmas tree, wrapped presents, and other Christmas decorations, make them a sensory board so that they can safely touch these items! Just hot glue the items you want to a piece of foam board and then let your baby go wild. Just make sure that you watch them while they play with this in case anything comes loose.

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Christmas activities for preschoolers and toddlers

We know keeping toddlers busy can feel like a Herculean feat. These Christmas activities for preschoolers and toddlers are proven to keep little fingers and minds engaged and excited for the holiday while keeping your house (relatively) clean.

Christmas arts and crafts for toddlers

Christmas sensory bags

This is a great activity for preschool-aged children because they can help set it up and then they get to enjoy the fruits of their (very minimal) labor. All you need is a quart sized ziploc bag, a marker, clear hair gel, green food coloring, and beads, sparkles, and sequins. Draw a Christmas tree on the bag, then help your toddler squeeze about ¼ of the bottle of gel into the bag and then add a couple drops of food coloring. Next, they can add in whatever “ornaments” they want. Finally, close the bag - you can use duct tape at the top to keep it closed - and then let them squeeze and play with it to mix the colors and move the ornaments! Sensory play is great for developing fine motor skills.

Sparkly pinecone ornaments

We love this Christmas craft because it gets your toddler outside, too. Head out into the yard to find some pinecones (the cleaner the better). Then let your child decorate with glitter and anything else they want to add. When they’re finished, add a wire hook, unbent paper clip, or some yarn to make the ornament attachable to your tree. Your toddler will love looking up at the Christmas tree and seeing their very own artwork there.

Paper bag Christmas puppets

Let your toddler’s imagination run wild! Set out some paper bags, red and white pom poms, googly eyes, and colored paper so your child can make their own paper bag puppets of their favorite Christmas characters. They can create Santa, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, or an elf. Then, let them put on a puppet show for you! Acting and pretend play are great for your child’s development. Plus, it makes perfect home video material.

Playdough Christmas crafts

We love playdough crafts for toddlers because it is a controlled mess and the little ones have so much fun! Set your child up with their favorite playdough colors and ask them to make you different Christmas themed items like a tree, star, gingerbread man, and more. Looking to add to the fun? Make your own playdough with your toddler beforehand!

Fingerprint Christmas lights

Toddlers love fingerpainting. For this craft, pour out different colors onto paper plates and have them dip a different finger in each color and stamp the paper. Then, you can draw lines or use yarn between the “lights” to make it look like a string of Christmas lights! Work with your toddler to create the rest of the scene. Are the lights around a Christmas tree or maybe around your house? Mixed media art is a fun way for your toddler to explore and get creative.

For even more Christmas crafts for kids, check out our full guide! You can also add your little one's beautiful fingerprint art to DIY holiday cards & gift tags.

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Christmas activities for families

One of the best parts of Christmas is gathering with family. Whether you are just keeping it small with your immediate family or seeing extended family this year, there are a lot of fun Christmas activities for families to enjoy together.

Gingerbread house competitions

The ultimate family activity during Christmas is, of course, decorating gingerbread houses. Depending on the size of your family, you can add to the fun by setting up teams and competing for the most creative designs. Designate one or two of your family members as judges and come up with a few categories so you can spread out the winners amongst the group. For gingerbread house inspiration, check out Sawyer providers Sweetology, LIFT Enrichment, and The Dynamite Shop, which all offer gingerbread house workshops in December.

Create Christmas cards and send some to people in need

Get the whole family involved as you create your own Christmas cards. It’s a fun way to get everyone at a table together, laughing and chatting while creating beautiful and fun Christmas cards. Then, you can send some of the cards to deployed soldiers or residents in nursing homes who likely will not be able to see their families this year. Check out our guide with ideas for DIY Christmas cards you can make with your family.

Bake and frost Christmas cookies

Gingerbread houses are great and all, but you can’t really eat them. Satisfy your family’s sweet tooth and get the creative juices flowing by baking and decorating Christmas cookies all together. This is such a fun activity for children and adults alike and it has such a sweet end result! Plus, there are so many benefits of cooking with kids like increased language skills, opportunities to use math, and hand-eye coordination practice.

Plan a Christmas play

If there is a fair amount of age range with the children in your family, a Christmas play is a great activity to get everyone involved. Task the older children with writing the story and giving out the roles, then let the fun begin. Keep some family members in the audience (grandparents, we’re looking at you), but otherwise, children will love to see their aunts and uncles and older cousins involved in the play. Make sure someone records it for nostalgic gold later! And hey, maybe you’ve got a new family tradition on your hands.

Do a family photoshoot

You have everyone together and dressed in their Christmas best, which means you are legally obligated to take some great family photos (okay, not legally, but you get the idea). Gather your immediate family around the tree to get some good shots and then set up a tripod or rest your phone on a pile of books to get a group shot of everyone. Check out our guide for some family picture ideas so you look, and feel, your best.

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Free Christmas games

Games are a great way to keep the family entertained and having fun while spending time together. Here are some of our favorite free Christmas games, including printable Christmas games, so that you can save money and time.

Christmas charades

You can download this free printable charades pack with fun Christmas themed words that will keep you laughing and guessing all night. For even more fun, handwrite some of your own cards that are based around your family. Personalized charades are fun for everyone!

Christmas Bingo

Download this Bingo board, which has fun Christmas items in each slot. Then, have a family member call out the options and see who gets Bingo first! It is extra fun if you let the winner receive a prize, like first choice of the cookies, the opportunity to open a gift before the rest of the children, or a chance to put the star on the tree.

Name that Christmas movie

This game shows 3 emojis and then you have to guess what Christmas movie title they represent. It’s a lot of fun for older children and adults, so maybe break it out after the little ones have gone to bed. You can download it here.

Christmas trivia

Any Jeopardy lovers in the house? This printable Christmas game gives you 25 fun trivia questions about classic Christmas movies and stories as well as the history of the holiday. Download the questions and get the waiting music ready.

I Spy Christmas

If your child already loves their I Spy books, this I Spy Christmas downloadable game will be a hit. Children need to find and label Christmas items amongst a lot of other things. Because you can print it yourself, feel free to break out the markers and let your child color the items, too! 

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Christmas printable activities

Here are some of our other favorite Christmas printable activities and Christmas games for kids.

  1. Christmas matching game | Download
  2. Christmas Mad Libs | Download
  3. Forgetful Santa | Download
  4. Christmas story prompts | Download
  5. Elementary school level Christmas cookie worksheets | Download
  6. Christmas activities for Pre-K aged children | Download
  7. Christmas rhythm game | Download
  8. Treasure hunt from Santa | Download
  9. Create an elf hat | Download
  10. Color by number and reindeer vocabulary cards | Download

Check out our guide with even more indoor games for kids so you can have fun while staying warm.

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With all of these fun and exciting Christmas activities for kids and holiday craft ideas, you should have more than enough inspiration to keep everyone engaged and entertained while home from school and together with family. For even more exciting activities, both in-person and online, you can check out the thousands of providers who offer classes and events on the Sawyer marketplace. Here’s wishing you a merry Christmas!

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