*Guest Contributor : Timann Esterhuizen from Elefeather Toddler Activities.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.
The advent calendars are out in the stores and we are all in year-end/Christmas prep as December is around the corner.
Now I know a lot of you are terrified of the thought of having to entertain your kids for six weeks of holidays, I am too, so I thought what better way to help us all out than to make a Kids Craft Advent Calendar!
25 fabulous activities and crafts to do with your kids leading up to Christmas, instead of a treat or a decoration behind each day of the calendar, instructions for a craft or activity to do that day! Sanity right?!
So lets get right into it!
*You can use these in any order you like, duplicate the ones you LOVE and leave out the ones that don’t work for you and your kids 😉
25 Days of Kids Craft Activities for December
1: Sort and Tidy out toys and toy boxes!
You’re probably thinking I’ve lost my marbles, well there is method to my madness. What better way to start the season of giving than helping your kids sort and tidy their toys. It creates an opportunity to have a seperate box for donations and allows you the chance to explain that giving is a blessing and that there are kids who could play with the toys that they don’t play with anymore. Also, it gets things into order before the long weeks of playing!
2: Park Outing.
This one you could repeat with different options going forward but the idea is to get out the house to a place where the kids can move freely and enjoy some imaginative play, free play and get some fresh air. This doesn’t have to be a costly exercise either, pack a lunch box with food from home, some water/juice and if your nearest park is close enough, take a walk there. Remember it is summer now so hats and sunscreen are a must.
3: Make Monster or Car boxes.
Take an empty box per kid, give them some crayons and draw a monster face or dinosaur face or unicorn face on the outside for them to colour in or paint. Cut out some eye holes. This should keep them occupied for around an hour, and it leads into all sorts of imaginative games and races, my boys usually end up chasing each other around the house with the boxes on their heads. It’s great fun!
4: Build a Christmas ornament.
Get some sea shells (if you have) or buttons, and get the kids to make a string of shells or buttons to hang around or on the Christmas tree. They may need help knotting the string and threading the buttons, but bank on about 30 minutes to 45 minutes for this one.
- You will need:
- 10 – 15 buttons or pumpkin shells.
- A roll of string/cotton/twine
5: Beach outing.
Where I live, this is as easy as 1, 2, 3. But perhaps you have no beach, so switch it up for a local dam/pond/river or estuary where the kids can explore nature, get their feet wet, possibly have a swim and build with sand. Remember sun hat and sunscreen, and the must have snacks to go along.
6: Picnic in the park.
This may seem similar to 2, but hear me out here. This time invite a friend with kids along. Pack a snack and share picnic lunch between you and enjoy a lovely mommy break while the kids play and interact with other kids!
7: Nature walk in a local botanical garden/nursery, wildlife park or beach.
I know a lot of us don’t live near anything like this, so split this into a splurge day or if you live near a botanical garden it could be a “normal” day for you. My closest botanical garden is the flower sanctuary in Thornhill, so it would definitely have to happen on a weekend when Dad could come along. This is also another outing that you could do with another family or mom and make a special day of it.
8: Make an Angel for the Christmas tree.
Using a toilet roll inner, the kids can paint and decorate their tube. Cut out wings and sprinkle with glitter or paint and decorate. Mount your angel on the tree! Kids love being part of the festivities and seeing their creations on display.
9. Play dough!
Here’s a simple recipe to make play dough at home with your kids. Hours of fun squishing and making shapes!
This one from Everything Mummy is perfect!
Ingredients – (makes 1 ball of play dough)
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1/4 cup of table salt
- 1/2 cup of hot water (careful if kids are helping you with this bit)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Food colouring of your choice
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the food colouring to your hot water – you’ll need to use a fair bit to get a vibrant colour. I find gel colours give such a better colour.
- Carefully pour the coloured water into the dry ingredients.
- Add the oil and mix.
- Once cool enough use your hands and turn out on to a clean work surface.
- Knead Knead Knead – the longer you knead the smoother the play dough will become.
10. Read about the Nativity
Keep this one for a “bad weather day”. Read the story of Jesus’s birth from the bible, kids bible or picture book. Then let each kid pick their favourite scene (the wise men, the shepherds, the star in the sky) and draw and colour these scenes together afterwards.
You can find the accounts of Jesus’ birth in Matthew 1: 18 – 15 and Luke 1 & 2
11. Master a board or card game.
We recently bought the Lion Guard Slide Surprise board game, it’s suitable for ages 3 and up. My boys have almost mastered it, learning and playing the game with the correct rules has proven difficult, but that’s part of the learning for them. Learning to take turns, share and that you don’t always get to win.
12. Bake together!
You could put this into the routine once or twice a week. You can make something simple like packet muffins the first time around, then try something a little more involved once you’ve tested the baking waters.
I always do a baking activity in the morning, cause then I have snacks available for the rest of the day!
13. Plant a small herb garden.
You can get ready potted herbs at your local supermarket, or you could order a packet of EcoSprouts and watch them grow from seed. This is a fabulous activity to involved all the kids, outdoor fun, planting and watering.
Now over to the pro,Timann!
Lets welcome to the blog Timann Esterhuizen, a mom of two and creative behind Elefeather Toddler Activites! I have followed Timann for ages, and LOVE her activities that she does, not only with her two boys, but makes available for us moms too!
14. Pine cone Christmas tree
Straight forward – find acorns and decorate like Christmas trees.
15. Colored rice play can be so versatile.
Making colored rice with uncooked rice, add food coloring and spirit vinegar into a ziploc, mix and dry. Fun, Easy and just add some kitchen utensils.
16. Magnetic fun
I bough these amazing wands from Playworld in PE. You can add magnetic balls or just paper clips and to make it even more fun, things that are not magnetic, so that they can try and figure it out.
17. Felt Christmas tree.
Cut felt into different size squares and then cut a small slit in the middle. Get a stick, secure it and let them put the felt squared on from big to small and add pom poms as decorations. Lovely as a decoration for your home during Christmas as well.
18. Making Robots
Dad’s will love this one. Grab some of your wood off cuts and nuts, bolts, pipes and screws from the garage and go wild. Use your imagination and make your robot come to life 🙂
19. Soap foam
Such a lovely cheap activity. I bought the bar of Soap for R8/9 and it made a huuuuge tub of soap foam.
1 cup of grated soap to 3 cups of warm water and use and electric beater to make it fluffy. Easy peasy. Add some utensils or even sea animals and you have a fun outside messy play activity.
20. Chalk paint
Grated chalk – I used the big outside chalk which are already colored. smashed them with my baking roller (stress relief for mamma – fun activity for us too) and then added spoons of boiling water. So do one at a time to get a nice consistency. You can make it as watery as you like. This is lovely as it washes off, just like chalk 🙂 So the kids can go wild.
21. Primary color activity
This is actually lovely as a learning activity as well. Mixing and exploring colors. I froze the 3 primary colors and added glasses and water and he could mix and match how he wanted to.
22. Pushpin fun
You can go crazy with this one. Draw any pictures or their names etc etc on old cardboard and give them pushpins to complete the picture. Amazing for their pincer grip and for fine motor skills 🙂
23. Frozen dome fun.
Colored water – animals or theme of your choice. Lego men could also work. Freeze in a tupperware.
Then add salt, water and a pipette or 2. And let them explore which makes the ice dissolve faster – salt or ice.
24. Elefeather Busy Boxes – available to purchase from Elefeather.
25. Take the perfect family selfie!
Get the family together, include the dog if you can. Find a place to sit together – your lounge couch or outside on the patio, under a tree or in a green pasture. Set your camera up on a stand (make-shift one or chair will do) and set the timer. Get ready to take at 10 tries and make it fun for everyone by including one where everyone pulls a face!
I hope this Kid’s Craft Advent Calendar has given you some inspiration for the December holidays, and that you and your family have a wonderful time being together and making crafts and memories together!
Thanks for stopping by! Kim.