Getting into the Spirit of Christmas: Blue Peter Style
Christmas Activities you can do at Home with your Children
As the festive season is now upon us, we have all become very busy. I wanted to, therefore, take the opportunity to share some really easy activities that you can do at home with your children.
There is an old saying that children are often more interested in the cardboard boxes they receive on Christmas Day than the gifts they have received. With this in mind, all of the activities below can be made at home out of items that can be purchased very cheaply and locally from your supermarket, or online.
Christmas Eve Boxes
Christmas Eve Boxes have become extremely popular over the last few years. Before you start worrying that you’ll be expected to go out and buy a load of more presents, it’s worth remembering that Christmas Eve Boxes aren’t about fancy gifts.
You can put things in here that you would have bought anyway, like a Christmas Stocking. Below are some other items that you can add to your child’s Christmas Eve Box:
- Festive Pyjamas: Getting your child a new pair of Christmassy pyjamas to wake up in on Christmas Morning
- Reindeer Food: Make a festive bag of reindeer treats with some biscuits, carrots, hay, or dog treats and pass them off as reindeer food
- Christmas Stocking: You may already have one that you use each year; however, if you put this in your Christmas Eve Box, your child can hang it up themselves
- Christmas Film: Most Christmas films are relatively old and can be picked up on DVD for a few pounds. Plus, you can start a tradition of watching one every Christmas Eve
- Nice List Certificate: This is a fun one! Congratulate your child for being good this year and make them a ‘nice list’ certificate
- Christmas Story Book: This is a lovely idea for you to read a festive story to your child
- Christmas Sweets or Chocolate: there are lots of Christmas-themed goodies around, and this one is super easy to pick up
- Festive Mug, Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows: Perfect for snuggling up and drinking while you watch your Christmas film
- Cosy Christmas Socks: December is the perfect month to own some comfy bed socks to keep those little toes warm
- Christmas Decoration: Getting each child their own individual Christmas decoration is a lovely tradition to start. They can hang their new decoration each year on the tree on Christmas Eve and keep them for their own tree one day
My top pick is this box from Hobby Craft at £3.50; however, you can also make a Christmas Eve Box from a cardboard box wrapped in paper of your child’s choice.
Making your own sensory bottles are a great way of engaging our very youngest children in Christmas. Most of our nurseries have these in their Baby and/or First Steps Rooms. I have outlined how to make these at home below.
CHOOSING A BOTTLE
Choosing the right sized bottle for those little hands is an important starting point; however, please feel free to use empty plastic drinks bottles if you wish to keep costs low.
ADDING CONTENTS TO THE BOTTLES
You can use whatever you like to add to the bottle; however, some of my personal favourites are:
- Christmas Confetti
- Food Colouring
- Rainbow Water Beads
The key is to fill the bottle 3/4 of the way up with water. To slow down the movement of the items in the bottle, add a touch of glycerine (optional). Then add your items and food colouring if you want it to be colourful.
Do ensure that the lid is firmly sealed to avoid children being able to open the bottle. You should then end up with something like this:
Mini Santa Cheesecakes
Baking is a great way to get children involved in Christmas activities. Try these Mini Santa Cheesecakes as an idea.
- 12 mini Oreo biscuits
- 250g cream cheese
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 24 fresh strawberries
- 150ml cream
- 2 tbs icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 24-cup mini muffin tin with paper cases.
- Use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time.
- Break each mini Oreo in half and use a knife to scrape the cream filling away from the lower Oreo. Place one mini Oreo into the base of each mini muffin cup.
- Divide the cream cheese mixture amongst the muffin cups, pouring it or spooning it over each mini Oreo.
- Bake in the oven fro 20 minutes or until slightly risen and just beginning to crack on the surface.
- Cool completely on a wire rack and refrigerate while you make the toppings.
- Whip the cream and icing sugar together until thick and fluffy. Prepare the strawberries by cutting off their tops (where the stalk is) to create a Santa hat shape out of each one.
- Put the whipped cream mixture into a piping bag and pipe a generous blog onto each cooled cheesecake. Place a strawberry onto each blog, pushing it down so that the cream oozes out slightly to become the hat’s fur trim.
- Top each Santa hat with a small dab of cream for a pom pom. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
While it is great to carry out these activities with your children over the festive period, please remember that ultimately this is a valuable time that you are able to spend with them.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.