Whether you’ve got toddlers or school-aged nanny kids to entertain during Winter Break, I’ve got some simple, some not-so simple, and some delicious Christmas-themed activities for you to try!
Kids LOVE decorating gingerbread houses! It could have something to do with that fact that they have direct access to a surplus of candy, but I choose to believe it’s because kids like to get messy and be creative.
- Gingerbread House Kit (Get them early before they run out!) — They all should come with candy and frosting, but you can always purchase extra for your desired look.
- Create a base for your gingerbread house by cutting off the biggest side of the box from your gingerbread house kit. Wrap it in tinfoil.
- On the base, build the gingerbread house from the walls and frosting provided
- Be creative! Add candy however you please, and maybe eat some as you work!
Beaded Candy Canes
This is a great craft that develops dexterity and focus. In the end, you get a fun decoration for your Christmas tree!
- White or Red Pipe Cleaner
- White and Red Pony Beads
- White or Red Ribbon (optional)
- Scissors (optional)
- Cut the pipe cleaner in half, if choosing to make a small candy cane. String one bead almost to the end of the pipe cleaner. Fold the end over the bead to create a stop bead.
- Continue stringing the beads onto the pipe cleaner, alternating colors.
- Finish by creating another stop bead, and bending the beaded pipe cleaner into a hook shape. Tie on a bow using the ribbon, if desired.
Handprint Santa Ornament
In all honesty, this craft is a little more adult-laden. Kids can help with the salt-dough recipe and pressing their hand into the dough, but unless you have a very talented artistic child, the painting portion belongs to the grown-up. As you can see, I am not the most artistically-gifted person, so you may want to look at the example and instructions on From ABCs to ACTs like I did. With that said, it is definitely worth the effort. I often make these as a Christmas gift from my nanny-kids to their parents, who always love them!
Bird Feeder Ornaments
The kids enjoyed the “cooking” part of this project, but they also had a great time choosing where to hang the ornaments. Then, they got to see a variety of colorful birds nibbling their creations!
I followed these instructions when making our bird feeder ornaments. I could give you the rundown, but I really think you’ll find Messy Little Monster’s layout very helpful.
Popsicle Stick Christmas Trees
This cute decoration can be used as an ornament, hung on a wall, or can rest on a shelf. However you want to display this simple and delightful work of art is up to you!
- 3 Popsicle Sticks (plus one more, if choosing to rest on a shelf)
- Green Paint
- Yellow Construction Paper
- Brown Construction Paper
- Yellow or Green Pipe Cleaner, or string of any kind (if choosing to hang)
- Paint popsicle sticks green. Let dry.
- Glue popsicle sticks to each other, creating a triangle
- Cut out a star from the yellow construction paper. Glue to the top on the front of the triangle.
- Flip popsicle stick tree over to its back. Cut out a rectangle from brown construction paper. Glue to the bottom of the triangle as the tree stump. (In our craft, we “colored” white paper brown because we didn’t have brown construction paper at the time. That’s an option too, but not as a first choice…) If choosing to rest your tree on a shelf, cut a popsicle stick the length of your brown paper, and glue it to what would be the backside of the tree stump once displayed. If choosing to hang your tree, cut a pipe cleaner to your desired length and form a loop, gluing the arms to the popsicle sticks behind the star.
- Once glue is dry, flip tree over to glue as many pom-poms as you’d like to the front.
Christmas Sugar Cookies
Every year before Christmas day, I bake and decorate sugar cookies with my nanny kids to share with their neighbors. Kids love mixing the ingredients, decorating the cookies, and of course, eating them!
This cookie recipe is dear to my heart. I wold love to share the recipe with you and the story that goes along with it!