10 Fun Holiday Activities For Toddlers

10 Fun Holiday Activities For Toddlers

December 8, 2022

Winter is officially here, and that means that the holidays are now in full swing! Although this season represents a time for families to spend quality time together, it can be a struggle for an active and stimulated toddler. They have questions about everything, want to touch and play with everything, and see what things can do, which can be a lot for parents to handle.

With the brisk wind dancing in the air, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep the kids occupied and entertained while inside and not at school. What should a parent do? In this article, we’re going to cover a few things parents can do with their toddlers during the holidays to create memories and endless fun!

Why Are The Holidays Important For Families?

The holidays are important for families for a few reasons:

  • Creating Strong Bonds – By spending the holidays with family, each member is able to develop a sense of connection, belonging, and trust in the group as a whole. Everyone wants to feel like they belong somewhere, and being with family helps to emphasize that.
  • Teaching Family Traditions – The holidays are a great time to start introducing children to family holiday traditions. By teaching them at a young age, they will be able to grow with these traditions and grow up to share these traditions with their children.
  • Improved Self-Esteem – When children are able to spend time with their families and have positive interactions, their self-esteem improves.
  • Open Communication – Doing activities and spending time together during the holidays helps children feel more comfortable talking openly with their parents, siblings, and extended family members.

Fun Holiday Activities To Do With Your Toddler

It may seem like a task to keep a toddler occupied during the holidays. Still, there are several different activities you can do to keep your toddler engaged and having fun during the holiday season. Here are ten things that you and your toddler, as well as your additional family members, can try and do together over the holiday season.

1. Decorate The Tree Together
There’s nothing like putting up and decorating the Christmas tree together to get the entire family into the holiday spirit! The tree doesn’t have to be perfect – it’s all about having fun with your child and giving them the freedom to express their creativity. Want to include a little education in this activity? Have your child help you decorate by asking them for specific ornaments. For example, ask your child to hand you an ornament that is a certain shape or color – this will help them build fine motor skills, as well as become more familiar with colors and shapes. Or, sit down with your child and create custom ornaments for the tree. Use things you already have around the house, like paper, cereal, and more, to make fun decorations.

2. Read Holiday Books Together
Reading holiday books is a fun way to connect with your child while helping them get into the holiday spirit and strengthen their reading skills. Consider going to the library and allowing your child to pick out a few books to check out and read at home. You can also go to your local dollar store or thrift store and find a few inexpensive holiday books for your family to keep and read. While reading the books with your child, ask them open-ended questions, point out new words, and discuss the book with your child to help improve their cognitive, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills.

3. Watch Holiday Movies
As with holiday-themed books, you can have your child pick out a few movies they are interested in and watch them together, or pick out movies you used to watch with your family as a kid and share them with your child. You can also ask open-ended questions, such as what they think will happen next, did they like the ending, or even how they would’ve ended the story. This is also a great way to improve their critical thinking and vocabulary skills and potentially
start a new holiday movie tradition in your household.

4. View Local Christmas Lights
Take a ride through a few local spots in your area and view the Christmas lights with your child. This is a great way to get them out of the house for a little while and expose them to something new. Talking to the children about what they see and recognize(colors, shapes, characters, etc.) is a great way to build communication and vocabulary skills.

5. Bake Holiday Cookies
Baking cookies during the holidays is a fantastic means of connecting with your child, building fine and large motor skills, and enhancing math skills; plus, there are delicious rewards involved! Allowing the child to help by mixing and pouring ingredients in the bowl is great for their large and fine motor skills. Allowing them to help measure and see the different sizes of cups and containers introduces them to math concepts. Discussing different flavors and their
opinions on the taste of the dough is a great way for you and your child to communicate and connect.

6. Listen To Holiday-Themed Music
Holiday-themed songs are an excellent way to start getting your toddler excited about the holidays. Sing holiday-themed songs together or share songs you and your family listened to during the holidays when you were their age. Take these songs as opportunities to expose your child to different styles of music and different words. This helps to build their vocabulary skills. Also, consider getting up and dancing to some of the songs – it’s a great way to relieve some stress, get some cardio in, and have some fun!

7. Play With Leftover Gift Wrap
Are you trying to wrap gifts but don’t know how to keep your toddler occupied so they won’t interrupt? Allow them to play with the scraps left over from wrapping gifts! Get your scraps and place them in a bin or box, and allow them to pick pieces up and tear and rip them. This keeps them engaged with an activity while you finish wrapping your presents and builds their fine motor skills by letting them interact with different textures of paper. This helps them build up their muscles so they can start learning to use scissors.

8. Make Smelly Jars
There are many different scents associated with the holiday season, and you can use this to your advantage when engaging with your toddler. Save spice jars or jars that you can poke holes in at the top, place a cotton ball with a seasonal scent on it(peppermint, cinnamon, pine, etc.), and place it inside the jar. Then allow your child to smell them and guess the scents or discuss which ones they like the best.

9. Make Sensory Bags
Another great holiday activity for your toddler is to create a holiday-themed sensory bag! Simply grab a gallon freezer bag and place holiday-themed items inside, such as small plastic Christmas trees, erasers, pom poms, jingle bells, and more. Then you can add something like hair gel or paint so the items can easily flow around in the bag. Seal the bag tightly by taping the seal shut and allow your child to play. They can feel the different textures of the items and squish the items in the bag. This is also excellent for improving a child’s fine motor skills.

10. Create A Sensory Board
To create a sensory board, all you need is a foam board, a hot glue gun, and some holiday-themed items, such as a Santa hat, pom poms, tinsel, garland, or felt ornament. Hot glue these items to the foam board and allow your child to touch and explore each item, getting an idea of the different materials, textures, and shapes of each object. This is also great for fine motor skills and color and shape recognition. You can also turn it into a game by asking them to touch certain objects either by name or description.

Final Thoughts

The holidays can be a magical time for a child, so it’s crucial for us as parents to ensure that we are keeping that magic alive throughout the holiday season for them. It’s easy for us as adults to be bogged down with the stresses and worries of life, but the holidays are that time of year when we should all be filled with a child-like wonder and excitement.

Toddlers are very active, curious, and exploratory individuals, so they’re bound to be interested in everything that the holiday season has in store. And the best thing about it is that it is still possible to help them learn and strengthen their skills and knowledge. Make sure that you offer them activities that will deliver on that promise. We hope this article helps you find new and simple ways to connect with your child, keep them occupied, and help them continue to learn and grow while still having a blast during this season.
Happy holidays!

For more information about ESA, and to find out why we offer the perfect solution to meet your child’s early childhood development needs, please contact us at (662)694-9594 or (662)617-8303.  You can also email us at empoweredforlifeinc@gmail.com.  Contact us today!

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“"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23”

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