24 Fun Activities to Make the Holidays Extra Special For Kids

Updated: Aug 26


Christmas with Kids

December is the most magical month! The weather is cooler and the atmosphere is very festive. The year 2020 was very challenging due to COVID-19, but I was not about to let the COVID-19 outbreak ruin Christmas for my family. Because of the pandemic, the grandparents were not able to travel and be with us during the holidays. I wanted to make this past Christmas time extra special so that when the kids remembered their 2020 Christmas, they would think of all the neat things we did and what a wonderful time it was instead of thinking that it was anything less than that.

Kids Holiday Activities
Holiday Bucket List

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My plan was to create a 24-day calendar of Holiday-related activities in order to make the countdown till Christmas day a daily special thing. I sat down to think about all the different things we could do that my boys would enjoy. One of the challenges was coming up with a list of activities that would be fun for both an eight-year-old and a three-year-old. The activities varied from craft projects, going out, dining in, storytime, baking, and even some STEM projects. Fridays are movie nights in our house, so naturally, they stayed that way with just one difference, it had to be a Christmas movie.


I created a countdown printable so that my kids could place a sticker as the days passed and we completed the countdown activity for the day. Scroll down to download the FREE printable.


1. Decorate the House

On the first day, I made a special pancake breakfast to kick off our countdown. Then we proceeded to decorate the windows with holiday clings I bought from Target's Bullseye playground and the Dollar Tree.


This could also be the day to put up the Christmas tree and Christmas lights. We always buy a live Christmas tree and therefore decided to wait a week or two before putting up the tree.




2. Ornament DIY


There are tons of ideas for kid-friendly ornament making on Pinterest. I chose a simple ornament DIY that would be fun for both an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old.








3. Holiday Movie Night #1



Fridays are our family movie nights so I decided to keep it that way with the slight chance of making it a Christmas movie. We made some Christmas popcorn (popcorn with red and green sprinkles) and lit our Christmas tree.




4. Send Christmas Cards


When I told my 8-year-old we would be sending holiday cards to his friends, his face lit up with excitement. He missed his friends, and he loved the idea of spreading some holiday cheer.


We went to Target and picked up a pack of cute holiday cards. My kids wrote or drew something special inside of the cards. They got to experience the process of sending mail. Writing the addresses, using a postage stamp, and placing the cards inside the mailbox with its flag up to signal the postal worker that there is outgoing mail.



5. Blanket Fort Storytime


The special activity for this day was to have story time inside a blanket fort. My boys got excited when they saw the fort. To make it a little more special, I got them each a new holiday book and some matching holiday pajamas. I also gathered all their other Christmas books and set them up near the fort. Click here for a list of top-rated holiday books to enjoy with your family.



6. Hot Chocolate Night


Chocolate night can be as elaborate or simple as you prefer. Perhaps you could make chocolate bombs together or simply make hot chocolate with marshmallows on top. Kids will enjoy it regardless!











7. Board Games By the Tree


We have a good number of board games, but not all of them were suitable for playing with a three-year-old. I picked two 4-player games that I thought would be fun for all and simple enough for a three-year-old, TheSneaky, Snacky Squirrel, and a kids monopoly game. After dinner, we sat by the tree and played our board games. It was a very fun night!















8. Make a Snow Globe


Making snow globes with the kids was such a fun activity. The kids enjoyed the process of making the Snow Globe and then played with them for days to come. I was glad to have found these plastic snow globes, I did not feel comfortable with my kids making snow globes with mason jars. The little pine trees and the figurines are from the Dollar Tree.


To make the snow globes you will need:

  • Plastic snow globe

  • Water

  • Glycerin

  • Small figurine

  • glue

  • glitter




9. Gingerbread House


Building gingerbread houses during Christmas time is kind of a must, right?

Target had the cutest gingerbread house kits this year! I knew my kids would want to eat the gingerbread house, so I opted for a small gingerbread house for them to make between the two. We built a pre-made house, but lots of people enjoy making the gingerbread houses from scratch too!







10. Holiday Movie #2


It's movie night! Have fun with it! Pick a holiday movie, make some popcorn, or even make food that is themed around the movie you will watch.





11. Peppermint Christmas Slime


My kids had never made slime before, and they were amazed! This might have been the DIY activity they enjoyed the most. I should warn you though, it can get messy.
















12. Drive by Lights


By the 12th day of December, there are plenty of houses with their Christmas lights displayed. Research which are the neighborhoods near you that go all out with Christmas lights and then go for the drive.







13. Make Reindeer Chow


Reindeer Chow is just Muddy Buddies with red and green M&Ms. The hardest part about making these was resisting the urge to eat it all! We made enough for us and to send to our family and friends.














14. Christmas Around The World


I wanted us to learn about Christmas traditions from other countries. We located the country on the map, learned about a Christmas tradition of theirs, and proceed to make a craft.



















15. Fake Snow DIY


We currently live in Florida, so if we wanted snow here, it would have to be fake. Even if you live in a place where it snows, this DIY is perfect for a sensory bin. I gave each of my kids a bin and they mixed the ingredients themselves. When they were done mixing we gathered some of their animal figures such as penguins and polar bears. There are plenty of fake snow recipes out there, find one that works for you. They are mostly super simple and have plenty of fun!




16. Christmas Mad Libs


We have so much fun doing mad libs as a family. So much so that I made a Pinterest board dedicated to mad libs. If you have an elementary-aged child, mad libs is a great way to practice nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. We took turns filling in the blanks. I made sure to have my toddler fill in the ones that were more appropriate for his age (colors, body parts, or numbers), and my second grader filled in verbs, nouns, and adjectives.










18. Holiday Movie # 3


It's movie night again! Because it was the last movie night before Christmas we chose to watch Star, a cute movie about the first Christmas.





17. Holiday Musical Performance


Has your kid been learning to play a new instrument over the past year? This could be a good time to show off that new skill. No instrument? no problem! Just sing some Christmas carols. I had my kids learn the song Feliz Navidad and my oldest learned how to play it on the piano. They performed for the Grandparents via video chat.




19. DIY Tree Garland


This was our first time ever attempting to make a tree garland. I opted for a simple one, a popcorn garland. The popcorn garland was really the missing piece that our tree needed, it made our tree look so much more festive and cozy.















20. Open a Gift Early


What kid wouldn't love to open a gift early? I know my kids were looking forward to this day once they saw it on the Christmas calendar. This year the Grandparents had mailed a few presents, and I decided to make some of those the present they would open on this day.






21. Candy Cane Marble Maze


This activity doubles as a STEM activity. All you need is a cardboard box or shoebox, candy canes, hot glue, and marble or a small ball. Little ones can practice counting the candy canes, while the older kids can design and arrange paths for the marble.













22. Stick-on Snowman

Another super simple activity is this Stick-on Snowman activity. For this one you will need:

  • Press N' Seal plastic food wrap

  • tape

  • Sharpie

  • cotton balls

  • Wiggle eyes

  • Colored paper (for the nose, hat, and button cutouts)

  • 2 sticks (optional)

All you need to do is cut a piece of the Press N' Seal to the size you want and draw the shape of a snowman on the sticky side. Tape the Press N' Seal to the designated area (wall, floor, sliding door, etc.). Have the kids make the snowman using cotton balls, wiggle eyes, cutouts, and sticks.


23. Picnic by the Tree


It could be any tree, but we had our picnic by the Christmas tree. We pushed the coffee table towards the front of the tree and had our picnic. Make it fun, choose a menu that you know your family will love. My kids love pizza and fries and so our menu consisted of homemade pizza rolls, sweet potato fries, and little strawberry Santas for dessert.


24. Bake Cookies


Christmas eve is the perfect time to bake cookies for Santa. It is hard to go wrong with this one, most children LOVE cookies. This activity can be as simple as picking up some store-bought cookie mix or as elaborate as making it all from scratch.





Click here to download the 24 Days 'till Christmas Countdown.


Happy Holidays!

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