Christmas comes but once a year, and when it comes, it brings good cheer—and more free time for the kids home from school! While it is definitely the time of year to snuggle up on the couch with some hot cocoa and a good holiday movie, we understand you might be brainstorming ways to reduce the screen time during the break. If you’re looking for a Christmas without screens, every parent should try this!
Free Christmas Activities for Kids
First, talk with your kids about some things they would like to do during the break. They might surprise you with some good ideas! Consider making a Christmas bucket list together. We’ll help you get started with activities that won’t cost extra:
- Baking. Sugar cookies can be made from ingredients most of us have in our pantry and fridge at all times. Royal icing can be made with egg whites and powdered sugar to decorate them!
- Host a Christmas cookie exchange. Use those decorated cookies to host their friends for a cookie exchange party!
- DIY decor. With paper and markers, kids of different ages can make their own window decorations to hang in their rooms, such as Santa faces, wreaths, and snowmen.
- Christmas movie/story reenactment. Growing up, I loved to act out Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Being an only child meant I played all the parts myself! Have kids take turns choosing their favorite movie or story; gather their own clothes, blankets, and toys for their costumes and props; and then pretend they are in the story! It’s fun to just play this together and doesn’t need to be a big production.
- Put on a show. But, if your kids do have fun performing, why not put on a big show? Whether it’s a classic Christmas tale or the account of Christ’s birth from the scriptures for religious families, your kids can have a part to learn and rehearse the whole break, ready to perform for the whole family gathering on Christmas day! This can easily be done for free by using their clothes for costumes. You can search Pinterest for free Christmas plays for kids to find pre-written scripts. Here’s one option you can edit to fit your family.
- Games. Older kids can be given a bit more of a challenge to take classic board games and make up new rules. Christmas games for preschool-age kids can keep the younger kids returning to the same activity for a few days! One example of this is to make large cutouts of Christmas characters like Santa or snowmen and have them arrange the pieces with tape on the wall or windows.
We know technology can be used for a lot of good, including some good old-fashioned movie time around the holidays! But we also know your kids have so much potential when they put down the devices and get their juices flowing! This year, try one (or all) of these ideas with your kids for a more engaging Christmas break. Then have your kids share their creativity by taking a photo and texting it to Grandma on their Troomi phone. Trust us, they’ll love it!