The nights are once again growing darker and colder, as we inch closer to Christmas and the depths of winter beyond. With 70% of the UK spending Christmas with their children and spouses, one burning question on the mind of the nation is how exactly to entertain the little ones over the winter break. Here we’ve picked out seven brilliant ideas for occupying your children, and keeping them excited during the winter.
A Visit to Santa’s Grotto
No Christmas is complete for a family without a visit to see Father Christmas himself. Get your young ones excited for the festive period by setting aside time for them to see the elves, speak to Santa and tell him what they really want this Christmas.
If you’re looking for a super-cheap craft activity with very little mess, look no further than snow painting! Simply gather some snow outside on baking trays, and dissolve some poster paint or watercolour paint into some cups or glasses. Your toddlers can use the snow as a canvas of sorts, and play with colour in a fun and unique way.
A Collage Christmas Scene
This can be a unique way to engage your children’s creativity, and only as messy as the paper offcuts they make. You’ll no doubt have collected print media by the bucketload, from newspapers to the Argos catalogue; you can supervise your toddlers in cutting out characters and colours to make a festive scene of their own.
Lollipop Stick Snowmen
There is so much festive fun to be had with craft materials, and numerous projects to soak up hours of your toddlers’ attention and time. One particularly easy idea is to use lollipop sticks to make a snowman’s face! Lollipop sticks form the base, with felt, card and googly eyes for decoration. All you need is a suitable wood adhesive to put it all together!
Of course, there is no substitute for the real thing when it comes to making snowmen. If you’re lucky enough to catch some decent snowfall in your area, take your toddlers to the garden – or to a local park – and teach them the basics of making snowmen. Don’t forget to bring fruit and veg for the nose, eyes and smile!
Snow is unfortunately not a guarantee over the Christmas period, but you can surely make it one, with a beautiful DIY snowglobe project. Take a tall receptacle with a lid – mason jars work great – and help your toddlers make a scene to glue to the inside lid. You could use pipe cleaners to make a Christmas tree! All you need to do is fill the jar with silver glitter and water, install the lid and hey presto! A magical snowglobe from scratch.
A Festive Puppet Theatre
Puppet theatres are endless fun for all the family, and an inexpensive way to occupy your toddlers. Making one is as simple as putting together craft projects you’ve already made to create a background and ‘props’, and having your children design the ‘curtains’ for the front of the stage. After that, the festive fun makes itself.