It’s that time of year again! The festive cheer is starting to sink in and little ones are busy thinking about what to put on their Christmas list in anticipation of Santa’s arrival.
During this special time together, it makes sense to embrace the period and make the most of one another. Here at St Peter’s Lympstone, we’ve gathered some great ideas to keep the family entertained over the festive period.
MAKE A WREATH
After all, it is Christmas, so why not dress up your front entrance with a beautiful wreath crafted by your child? It’s a fun activity that can contribute to a multi-day project, teaching kids some crafty methods while also broadening their creative possibilities.
You might begin by encouraging them to sketch out a design and asking them to consider what colours or textures they might use. They can draw and colour the design, or perhaps they’d rather use mixed media to map out the design with collage?
You could also take a walk as part of the activity. Encourage them to look for plants that they might want to use. You can forage ivy, fir branches, moss and other festive plants you find.
Go Ice Skating
Christmas ice skating is a lovely activity for the whole family, whether you glide effortlessly around an ice rink or struggle to let go of the sides. It’s all part of the fun!
Rinks go up all over the UK at this time of year, so make sure to keep an eye out for your local venue.
The Benefits of Ice Skating For Children
Ice skating is a great activity for children for a number of reasons:
- It provides a thrill and unbeatable happiness boost!
- It increases balance.
- It aids in the development of motor coordination.
- It strengthens your muscles and improves your posture.
- It boosts cardiovascular health and endurance.
Depending on their age, we recommend supervising your child as they do this activity. Baking is great for getting youngsters to think academically and systematically while doing so in fun and practical ways.
Whatever you decide to make, baking is a fun project for the whole family to do together. It also gives your child a sense of independence by allowing them to take initiative and focus while learning a new skill. Not to mention, you’ll be able to dine on some delectable treats by the end!
Try creating mince pies, gingerbread men or sausage rolls to get in the festive spirit. If you feel up to the challenge, you may even try your hand at building a gingerbread house. This provides another opportunity for kids to get creative with all the endless possibilities!
Christingle services are designed with children in mind. If your family does participate in the tradition, encourage your child to prepare their own Christingle, teaching them about the meaning behind it.
Traditionally, a Christingle is formed from an orange with a candle piercing the top. A red ribbon is wound around the orange’s centre, and four little cocktail sticks are used to attach some treats. These elements represent:
- Orange – the world
- Candle – the light that Jesus brings to the world
- Red ribbon – the love and blood of Jesus
- Four cocktail sticks – the four seasons or North, South, East, and West
- Sweets – God’s creations; the ‘fruits’ of the earth.
Although this is traditionally a Christian ceremony, making a Christingle may be a pleasant family activity, and the Christingles can be utilised as a festive, mostly edible, ornament!
Christmas Scavenger Hunt
If you want to get creative, you could customise a scavenger hunt or make it yourself or, if you’re busy over the Christmas period, there are plenty of online templates you can use to create clues for the kids to follow.
The clues can lead them to chocolate, small gifts or maybe little clues about any surprises planned for them over Christmas.
Scavenger hunts can help children develop their problem-solving skills and communication skills as they work together to hunt down their prize.
After a busy day, why not cosy up in the evening and have a games night? You can choose a selection of board games, or you can create your very own quiz.
If you make a quiz, a great place to start is by setting everyone a category that they have to write a few questions for. It will be their job to do some research and find out some fun facts. You might even make family orientated bonus questions like ‘what’s mum’s favourite Christmas song?’
Make Your Own Festive Decorations
Put your arts and crafts skills to good use by making your very own Christmas ornaments.
There are endless ways to get creative, with homemade salt dough ornaments an easy, yet effective option. Lollipop sticks can also be used to make little Christmas trees.
The kids can choose their favourite Christmas figures and designs, then spend the day creating them in preparation for decorating the tree the next day!
Another lovely activity for you and your children to take part in is creating dried orange garlands. This environmentally friendly option is festive and smells amazing!
How to Make Dried Orange Garlands
- Preheat the oven to 120°C.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, slice oranges crosswise 1/8′′ – 1/4′′ thick, and press slices dry with paper towel or cloth.
- Bake for about 2.5 hours in a single layer on a baking sheet. After about 1.25 hours, flip the slices over.
- Remove any slices that are beginning to brown after 2.5 hours in the oven, and return the remaining slices to the oven to dry and gently brown.
- After the slices have cooled, poke two holes in each one about 1/2 inch apart with scissors.
- Oranges should be threaded onto twine. To keep the twine from unravelling, wrap the end with a piece of tape.
We hope you’ve found some enjoyable ways to spend your Christmas holiday with your family. If you have any more fantastic ideas, please share them with us; we’d love to hear them!
From all of us at St Peter’s Prep, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!