9 Christmas Activities for Young Kiddos

 

One of my absolute favorite things about being a parent is celebrating holidays with my daughter. Every holiday is suddenly new again and getting to see it through the eyes of my child is truly a special experience. I'm such a traditional person and though Penelope is still so little, I am already finding ways to introduce her to our holiday traditions and excited to create new ones for our family. At 22 months old (today!), Penelope is young, but certainly old enough to partake in some holiday fun. I came up with 9 things to do with your own toddler this holiday season!

 

Bake something. This past weekend, we had our annual holiday cookie baking with my mom and I was super excited to include Penelope in the action. She has been playing with our Christmas cookie cutters for weeks and I kept telling her that we would use them to bake cookies at Grandma's house. Penelope did a great job of using the bottom of a small measuring cup to flatten out cookies on the baking sheet and was so proud of herself. This totally made my heart sing, as a Mom and as a baker. Let them pour on sprinkles or roll balls of dough. Maybe try their hand at placing cookie cutters. 

 

Decorate the tree. Choose non-breakable ornaments and let your child place them on the low branches. Or, give them a boost to the higher branches. We are getting our tree this coming weekend and I'm pretty excited to let Penelope hang the first ornament. 

See some holiday lights. Many towns and counties have local events with holiday lights. Check your local listings for what's happening in your neighborhood. I'm sure even toddlers will appreciate twinkling, beautiful holiday lights! Our local zoo is having a lights and movie spectacular throughout the month of December. I cannot wait to bring Penelope later this month for Frozen weekend!

 

Build a gingerbread house. Again, not something that toddlers can do on their own, but I'm sure P will enjoy adding some gumdrops and tasting the 'glue'. She was pretty excited to hold the box in the shopping cart on Sunday when we picked this baby up.

Add a toy nativity set. My mom had the great idea to get a toy nativity set with the baby Jesus for Penelope to put under the tree. I love this idea. A simple, fun way to start teaching Penelope about the religious aspects of Christmas...not to mention it will be a nice distraction from the actual tree.

 

Watch Christmas movies! I do this anyway and P loves her movies. I know that some animated Christmas classics will be great for her (like Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch...any others you'd recommend?).

Listen to Christmas music. Another one of my favorite holiday activities. Penelope and I listen to music during bathtime every night. Typically it's my Disney playlist on Spotify, but Christmas music will be making an appearance.

 

Local church events. Check out what your local churches are doing for kids around Christmas time. Shaun's parents' church has a Breakfast with the Baby Jesus a few weeks prior to Christmas. It includes crafts, breakfast, prayers and some caroling around the alter. A great way to get kids involved in church at a young age! 

Give back. We always donate toys at Christmastime and I always know there is more we can be doing to help those less fortunate than us. It's my hope to teach Penelope as she gets older that we are truly blessed and lucky for all of the things that we have and not everyone is as fortunate. When she is old enough to understand, I hope to help her donate some of her own toys or clothing to those who need it. This year, she can help wrap the gifts and come with us to bring them. A small task for her, but one that I'm excited to show her early on.

 

{what a difference a year makes!}

So those are some of the things I plan to do with Penelope this holiday season!

 

What traditions do you follow with your kids?

What else is missing from this list?