Now that it is a million below freezing outside, and Christmas is a couple weeks away, my kids are getting crazy and bored being inside. And so am I. I decided to do a holiday activity each day of the 12 days of Christmas. I wanted low-stress and easy activities that the kids would enjoy, but ones I didn’t have to break my back to prepare for. I chose these because they are simple and fun. I am selfish, so I still want to leave time for my guilty pleasures, such as laundry and dishes and the other things I enjoy so much.
Here is my 12 Days of Christmas for Kids list:
1. Reindeer food
Make reindeer food using oats, sprinkles and cinnamon. There is a poem that goes with it, I didn’t attach it, because we were keeping it for us, but I read it to the kids. Here it is:
Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
Santa’s reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home
Isn’t that cute?
2. Christmas Cupcakes or cake pops
There are so many great holiday cupcakes out there and cake pops. I had some cute holiday cupcake papers, so I used those and had the kids frost them and decorate them using butterscotch chips, m&ms, coconut, sprinkles, and any other things I had laying around.
3. Reindeer candy canes
These are adorable. Take 2 candy canes and wrap brown yarn around them both. Face the hook part of each candy cane opposite of each other, to form the antlers. Attach a small red pompom to the front and add some eyes, and there you have it. Darling.
4. Present Wrapping Party
This is one of the kids’ favorite. Yes, it is messy. Yes, the presents look a little sad. But the kids love it, and it is so fun to let them be a part of this. I let the kids wrap the presents that they picked out for others. So, my kids pick out presents for sibling and for dad/mom, etc and I give them the paper, scissors and tape and let them at it. I am there to assist, but I let them do it as much as they want. They love it.
5. *Virgin* Hot Butter Rum and Holiday Movie
This is a family favorite. We are not drinkers, so we make a Virgin Hot Butter Rum batter, and add boiling water and it is done. The recipe is amazing. We watch a holiday movie, usually our kids pick is Elf. Recipe:
1 lb butter
1 lb confectioners sugar
1 lb brown sugar
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 bottle Rum Extract
Melt butter and add sugars. Mix in softened vanilla ice cream. Mix in nutmeg and cinnamon and add Rum Extract. Fill mug 1/3 full and add boiling water. Stir and enjoy. I make one batch for the holidays and keep it in an air-tight container and use it all winter. It is great to have on hand for a cold evening!
6. Christmas Advent Chain
This is fun and easy for the kids. It only takes some holiday paper, scissors and a stapler. Make it even more Christmas-y with green and red paper to make each link! Even my 3 year old made his advent chain by himself. He is awesome.
7. Drive Around Looking at Christmas Lights
Fun, easy, cheap and the kids love it. We usually do some research online, and find neighborhoods that have put a lot into Christmas lights, or businesses that do choreographed light shows. You can also make a day out of putting your own Christmas lights and decorations up! Lots of fun.
8. Hot Cocoa and a Books
This is fun, and cheap. We usually read holiday books, drink hot chocolate and just enjoy the time together. You can find tons of holiday favorites at the library, or begin your very own Christmas collection. A fun tradition is to get a new book each year that you’re sure the kids will love!
9. Snow Paint
I just discovered this. Use elmer’s glue and shaving cream. Mix them together and paint fun shapes, snowman, snowflakes, etc. When it dries, it is all puffy and cute and looks like snow. In fact, this is probably an activity that your kids would loving doing more than just once!
10. Make Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments
I used to do this as a kid! Find the recipe here. Not only are they fun to make with your kids, but they’re also wonderful decorations! The scent will fill your home and really make it feel like Christmas. If it begins to lose its smell, just sprinkle some cinnamon oil on it, or peppermint if you’re feeling extra Christmas-y!
11. Make Paper Snowflakes
My kids are obsessed with cutting paper into itty bitty tiny pieces and leaving them all around the house, so we do it in an organized fashion now, and this is a real family favorite. You can have competitions to see who makes the prettiest, the biggest, the tiniest, etc. Keep it light and fun for the whole family to enjoy!
12. Candy Garland with lights and cellophane
I am not doing this exactly, but it is a good tutorial for a larger version of what I am doing. I am using condiment cups with lids and I am using small lights. It will be tinier, like to hang on a Christmas tree, but I think it will be really cute. You can do whatever kind of garland you want and hang it wherever it looks best!