Toddlers contain endless energy and short attention spans; they require a lot of attention from their parents and carers. Finding activities to do with your toddler that stimulate their minds and their bodies can be hard, especially when there’s only a limited window of time in their attention span. Play allows children to use their imagination and creativity by developing dexterity, physical and cognitive strength.
As a parent, you want to let your child have fun but also learn – but they can definitely do both at the same time. Setting up crafts and activities for the holidays is extra fun because everything can have a theme to go with the holidays you celebrate. Try some of these activities and change things to suit your family and your children if you need to!
Pocket envelope advent calendar
An advent calendar that will only require a few things (and may gain you some precious time keeping the kids busy!) Number your pocket envelopes with however many days you want to count down, let the kids colour them in, put stickers or glitter on and simply blue-tak or tape them to the wall. If you want, put slips of paper with affirmations or promises of treats inside each one. Find more advent calendar ideas.
Invisible watercolour drawings
Christmas crafts simple enough for little hands can be hard to think of, but wax watercolour drawing is fun for kids of all ages. Use a white crayon (or a candle) to draw Christmas shapes on paper or card and then let your little one use watercolour to paint over the top and reveal them.
Christmas tree thumbprint art
This Christmas craft is perfect for the kids who love finger painting. Try using different coloured paint or designs to create a portfolio of Christmas paintings. This technique can also be used when constructing homemade Christmas cards.
Cardboard roll gingerbread man
Gingerbread men made out of cardboard rolls! Put your cardboard rolls to use by making them into gingerbread men/women. Then hang them on your tree or around the house for some festive spirit.
Potato stamp wrapping paper
Your children will have a blast with this craft and will enjoy telling friends and family that they made the wrapping paper the gift came in. If your kids are young, create the potato stamp yourself and let them do the stamping part.
Holiday craft for parents
- Best Craft and Cookery Special
- Paper Christmas: 16 Paper crafting projects for the festive season by Emily Dawe
- Handcrafted Christmas: ornaments, decorations and cookie recipes to make at home by Susan Waggoner
- Handmade Christmas: over fifty gorgeous projects to craft your own Christmas
Mason jar gifts for family and friends
- Homemade jasmine bath salts
- Banana bread in a jar recipe
- Toffee blondies in a jar recipe
- Peppermint sugar scrub in a jar
- Drawing and stationary jar
Fine motor pre-school activities
Help your child’s finger and hand skills with crafts that encourage writing, cutting and grabbing. These craft activities are fun, festive and help your child develop their fine motor skills.
- Post-it Matching Hunt A post-it note matching game that can be personalized for your child.
- Sticker Christmas Tree Use up leftover stickers by creating a tree stencil and let your little one "decorate" it with stickers.
- Sensory Board Make this easy Christmas sensory board for kids to exercise their fingers and mind.
- Pom Pom Push Draw a design on your choice on to an empty cereal box covered with craft paper and cut holes to create a fun dexterity game.
- Corkboard Construction Using a toy hammer, a corkboard and a cut out of a Christmas tree shape practise hammering with push-pins.
- Sorting Activity Using just ornaments and some muffin tins, create a fun sorting activity for your toddler.
Interested in finding out more about fine motor skills in pre-school age children? Steam these documentaries for free on Kanopy with your library card.
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