This year I have decided to plan our December, leading up to Christmas, ahead – we are staying home for the holiday and need to keep a baby and toddler entertained. Hopefully this gives you a few ideas to keep your little ones entertained. I have also included a free printable gift planner below, pretty enough to stick on your fridge and get the planning done!
Decorate the Christmas Tree
This year Brooklyn is old enough to help us decorate. To ensure Blake joins in on the fun we will play Christmas music and sing along as we go!
Make Christmas Tree Decorations
Fill clear baubles with pom-poms like the one above from Simplify Create Inspire. We also want to make salt dough hand print decorations for both girls using the recipe below:
Salt Dough Recipe
- 4 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup table salt
- 1.5 Cups water
- Preheat oven to 120-degrees C.
- Mix all the ingredients with a spoon and kneading.
- Roll out the dough to about 1cm thick and help your child push their handprint into the dough.
- Use an object big enough to press a circle over the handprint.
- Make 2 small holes above the handprint (for the ribbon).
- Bake for 3-4 hours until firm (no need to be rock hard).
- Remove from oven and allow time to cool.
- Paint if desired. I plan on painting the name and year.
- Spray with a clear coat (optional).
Make Christmas Cards
This year we will be making our cards instead of buying them as a fun activity to enjoy with the girls. There are so many ideas, like the one above from Made to Sow.
Bake Christmas Cookies
Bake and decorate Christmas Cookies with icing and sprinkles, similar to the ones above from Betty Crocker.
Make a Christmas Sensory Board & Book
For Blake we plan on making a large Sensory Board filled with Christmas themed objects, similar to the one above from Toddler Approved. For Brooklyn we will make a Sensory Book with cardboard, string and several Christmas themed items, similar to the one above from Life Over Cs.
Make Christmas Marshmallows
Buy a pack of marshmallows, red and white straws, milk chocolate, white chocolate and sprinkles and make Christmas Marshmallows like the ones above from Ruffles & Rainboots.
Make Paper Plate Christmas Trees
Buy a few paper plates, green paint, pom-poms and ribbon and make paper plate Christmas Trees like the ones above from I Heart Crafty Things.
Read the Christmas Story
We would need to help Brooklyn understand the story of Jesus in a very visual way since she is still very young. The above printable from Printablee will come in very handy. To end off the evening, we will watch The Star (2017) which tells the story in a fun, captivating way.
Personalize and hang Christmas Stockings
We already have plain red Christmas Stockings which we plan on decorating and personalizing like the ones above from Powerful Mothering.
Paint a Burlap Table Runner
We will buy a piece of burlap and transform it into a Christmas Table Runner, similar to the one above from HGTV. I don’t, however, plan on it coming out as neat as I will allow Brooklyn and Blake to grab their paintbrushes and go crazy. This way it will have their personal touch and will be something we can treasure as the years pass.
Make a Mistletoe
We will make a mistletoe with Brooklyn and Blake’s feet, similar to the one above from Danya Banya, however, depending on how their dough feet come out, we might resort to green cardboard instead. We will also do a painted version to stick in their “Art Book”.
Carols by Candlelight
On 12 December we will be attending a Carols by Candlelight in our area. If there are none in your area, make your own candles in a paper plate and sing some Christmas carols.
Christmas Science Experiments
There are so many toddler friendly science activities which can be altered to use Christmas coloured ingredients, like the magic milk experiment above from Fun Learning for Kids. This is something that will excite both Brooklyn and Blake.
Make Button Christmas Trees
Ours might not come out as fancy as the one above from Busted Button but we will have a go at it with some cardboard and buttons.
Paint around a Solid Christmas Star
I don’t have an image of what I have in mind here – I will post the pic on Instagram once we have made it. In essence I will paste a solid black Christmas Star on a white sheet of paper (one for each of the girls) and let them paint as they wish around it.
Make a Pom-Pom Christmas Tree
We will have a go at making pom pom Christmas Trees like the one above from Target, using cardboard, Christmas coloured pom poms and a star.
Make Play dough Christmas Trees
Using green play dough, sticks and buttons, we will make different Christmas Trees and shapes, similar to the ones above from The best Ideas for Kids.
Make Cork Christmas Placemats
We will make our Christmas Placemats using cork sheets like the ones above from Crazy Crafts. Brooklyn and Blake will be given these blank sheets to paint with Christmas colours as they see fit. I will post the end result on Instagram.
Make Christmas Sensory Slime
We plan on making Christmas Sensory Slime, similar to the one above from The Imagination Tree. For Blake I will include larger objects.
Make Paper Plate Wreaths
There are so many ideas for this from felt, to ribbons to pom poms like the one above from Southern Living.
Make Cotton Wool Christmas Crafts
Make Christmas Sensory Bottles
We plan on making our version of Christmas sensory bottles, similar to the one above from The Chaos and the Clutter.
Christmas Movie Night
Since we are quite busy on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we will have our family Christmas movie night along with popcorn, hot chocolate and marshmallows on the 23rd. Some of our favourite Christmas movies include:
- Home Alone (all of them!)
- The Grinch (2018 animated version)
- Klaus (2019)
- The Christmas Chronicles (2018 and the new 2020 version)
- Jingle Jangle (2020)
- Jingle all the Way (1996)
- The Star (2017)
When the girls go to bed, we would watch:
- Office Christmas Party (2016)
- While you were Sleeping (1995)
- Just friends (2005)
- The Holiday (2006)
- Love Actually (2003)
- Deck the Halls (2006)
Traditional Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve, we will be going to family for our annual traditional Christmas Braai, my gran’s famous pasta salad and handing out the gifts. The focus here is just on spending time together and remembering what Christmas is all about.
I will help Brooklyn & Blake make “Christmas Crowns” – there are so many ideas on Pinterest.
This year on Christmas Day we will wake the kids up with Christmas music playing, hot chocolate and we will take a family photo. We will dig in the Christmas stockings for our Christmas stocking fillers and then spend the afternoon with family (possibly for a further Braai).
I will set up a small activity for Brooklyn & Blake to “paint the snow” using cotton wool & water based paint.