This is a collaborative post.
Christmas is such an exciting time of year, especially for children. To make this festive period the best it can be, (while also taking care of a few rainy/snowy days stuck inside!) why not prepare some festive indoor activities that will help to shape your family Christmas.
Keep it simple with a selection of things to do for the whole family, including preparation for the big day itself…
Making Christmas Cards
This is usually something left way too late and rushed, ruining the fun of sending Christmas cards to those you love. In many homes, receiving Christmas cards becomes part of the festive decorations with cards strewn across the walls on string or specially-selected festive hanging racks, so it’s worth spending the effort in sending handmade ones.
Hobbycraft has a section of its blog dedicated to card-making ideas including; a winter trees version, a bauble bunting card and a Christmas cracker one too. The possibilities are endless, all you need is some nice card, lots of glitter and some supervision with the scissors! A great few hours together being crafty.
Putting Up the Christmas Tree
Possibly the best family activity indoors at Christmas is putting up the tree. The excitement starts with the retrieval of the decorations and the tree (if artificial) from the loft or garage, ready to be sorted through and put onto the tree. Untangling the Christmas lights is a two-person job, so there’s more than enough tasks to go around to keep the whole family busy.
You can even help to open your living space with the use of bi-fold doors, giving more room for the tree, the gifts and all the beautiful decorations. You can combine your living room and dining room into one large space to accommodate the festivities and then, when it’s all over, you can close off the rooms again for their separate purposes.
Real Simple has a short video giving tips on the decoration of your tree, including using a triangular pattern in your decoration placement and the use of floral wire to strengthen some of the weaker branches of the tree.
Choosing the Entertainment
Picking what festive films and TV to watch on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day is a nice activity for the family, as well as giving you a plan of action for these days indoors – no one wants bored, whining children!
Here’s a list of some of the best Christmas films to keep everyone entertained:
- Home Alone
- The Muppets Christmas Carol
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Miracle On 34th Street
- White Christmas
- Santa Claus the Movie
For TV options, invest in a TV guide and get the whole family involved in choosing what you will watch. Make a list of the options and have a family vote to make sure everyone is happy with the plan of action.
Once everyone has their gifts sorted, the daunting task is how to wrap them all! Especially those gifts that don’t fall into the usual square or rectangular formation. The Telegraph has a great guide for ‘wrapping a Christmas gift like a pro’ so be sure to take a look at this before you begin.
Choose gifts for members outside of the family and then you can all come together to learn how to impressively wrap the gift, without any spoilers!
Putting together a Christmas soundtrack for the big day is so much fun. Grab all the festive CDs you have lying around and check iTunes or other music libraries for their top picks for Christmas. Choose about 30 songs to create the perfect playlist so this can be played as soon as everyone is up on the big day. It can be played softly in the background while everyone opens their gifts as well as through Christmas dinner.
Charity Clear Out
In preparation for the new toys about to join your children’s collections, encourage them to choose the toys they don’t use anymore to give to charity. Some may find this hard, especially the younger ones, but telling them that other children could get more use out of their unused toys as well as the promise of more gifts coming on Christmas Day should do the trick.
This is also a great opportunity for you to get rid of some of your own clothes, books and DVDs etc. Be ruthless to save as much space as possible. Involve the children in taking the loot to your local charity shop so they can see where it will go as well as who the charity is helping. This is a great ‘good deed’ to get the whole brood involved in.