Looking for ways to keep the kids busy in the run up to Christmas and over the winter holidays? If all you want for Christmas is a five minutes’ peace, here are our top tips for festive fun that will also help boost everyone’s wellbeing at this wonderful but exhausting time of year.
Getting the kids involved in Christmas crafts is a great way of keeping them busy while also sparking their creativity and helping improve their motor skills and concentration. And as an added bonus, you could find your home transformed into a winter wonderland! But don’t worry if you’re not the crafty type, these simple ideas will help get everyone into the DIY festive spirit.
Random acts of kindness
You may feel you already have enough on your plate looking after your own family. But helping others can also help you feel less stressed and more calm at this busy time of year – and encouraging the kids to be kind is a great way of helping them to make friends. Here are some simple ideas you could try:
- Send someone a funny cartoon or a picture of a cute animal.
- Ask the kids to draw a picture to send to a friend.
- Check in on someone who’s on their own – a simple text or WhatsApp message could make all the difference.
- Donate to a charity or foodbank.
- Ask the kids to choose some toys to donate to children who have less than they do, or switch one present on their Santa list to one that can be given to a children’s charity – for example, the Salvation Army and Mission Christmas run a Christmas present appeal every year.
- Offer to pick up some shopping for an elderly neighbour.
- Tell a friend or family member that you appreciate them.
Christmas story corner
A great way to calm everyone down when things get hectic is to snuggle down together for story time – books aren't just for bedtime, after all!
Plus reading together is a brilliant way of lighting up your child’s brain, helping them make new connections. That's because, when we hear a fact (such as ‘a forest is made up of lots of trees’) a bulb in our brain lights up? But when we hear a story (for example, one set in a forest, like Little Red Riding Hood or The Gruffalo) lots of bulbs light up like a Christmas tree as we make connections between the different characters and ideas in the story and think about what it all means.