Keep the Kids and Your Holiday Guests Busy While You Get Your Own Work done or Take a Break and Enjoy Some Time with them! Here are some fun Christmas games and Holiday Activities for Kids and Guests.
1. Enjoy story time
Adults and children will have fun together listening to a wonderful tale. An adult family member or older child can be the reader. There are so many wonderful Christmas stories available, but here are a few suggestions to get you started:
• The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: an Appalachian Story, By Gloria Houston, pictures by Barbara Cooney
• Christmas on Exeter Street by Diana Hendry pictures by John Lawrence
• Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
• Santa Calls by William Joyce
• The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski, pictures by P.J. Lynch
2. Edible Snowmen
This is an easy way to keep young hands busy. Give the kids large marshmallows, white frosting, graham crackers and small candies. Show them how they can make a snowman by using the graham cracker as a base and the marshmallows as the snowman’s body and head. They can then decorate them with the small candies.
3. Movie Time
Get comfortable on the couch, break out one of those Christmas tins filled with popcorn and watch a fun Christmas movie (check out the article about the top ten Christmas movies for suggestions).
4. Memory Game with a Twist
Gather up Christmas stockings and different types of wrapped candy. You will need two of each type of candy. Put one candy in each stocking and lay the stockings on a table or the floor in a grid. Have guests take turns trying to find matches and when someone gets a match, they get to keep the candies. Yum!
5. Cookie Decorating
Provide Christmas Shaped Sugar Cookies, colored frosting and small candies and let everyone decorate their own cookies.
6. Tree Decorating
Set up the Christmas tree, put out the ornaments and let everyone decorate it. Want to turn it into a contest. Get a few of those smaller trees with the tiny ornaments. They can be found at most craft stores. Divide guests smaller trees with the tiny ornaments. They can be found at most craft stores. Divide guests into groups. Give out small prizes for those who decorate it the fastest, prettiest, etc.
7. Go Christmas Caroling
Print off a few copies of the words to favorite carols and go out and spread the Christmas cheer. When everyone gets back provide hot chocolate and cookies.
8. Group Up
The host calls out a number, usually between two and fifteen. The number shouldn’t be more than half of the number of total participants. When the number is called out everyone must try to collect in a group that contains that number of people. To be considered a group the group members have to be latching arms or have their arms wrapped around each other so that the leader can see who is in the group. Those who do not get in a correct numbered group are out. As the game continues there are fewer participants.
9. Christmas Gift Game
For this game you will need a hat, a pair of gloves, a pair of dice, and a gift wrapped in multiple layers of boxes. To play the game have everyone stand in a circle and place the gift, gloves and hat in the middle. The first person is given the dice to roll. If they get a six, one or twelve, then they run to the middle of the circle put the hat and gloves on and try to unwrap the gift. While they are doing this, the dice continue to go around the circle, and the next person to roll a one, six or twelve comes to the center. The previous person must take off the gloves and hat and give the present to the next person to try and unwrap. The game continues until the gift is all the way unwrapped. The person to get it unwrapped gets the prize.
10. Letter to Santa
Provide paper, crayons and pencils and have everyone write a wish list letter to Santa.
11. Book Exchange
Ask everyone to bring a wrapped Christmas book. You will need to have the story of the Gingerbread Man. Have everyone sit in a circle holding a wrapped book. The host will read the Gingerbread Man story and each time the word “ran” is read everyone passes a book to the person on the right. When the story is over everyone can open the book they are holding.
12. Word Find
Write longer Christmas related word or phrase a put it where everyone can see it. Pass out paper and pencils and tell everyone to figure out how many words they can make out of the word or phrase in three minutes.
13. Classic Games
Play Pin The Nose On Frosty or Rudolph
14. Siamese Twin gift-wrap
To play this game you will need two boxes, wrapping paper, and tape. You will need four volunteers. Two people will stand side by side with one hand on the other person’s waist, so that one person has their left hand free and the other person has their right hand free. The two “Siamese Twins” must then try to wrap the box.
15. Play Jeopardy
Get a posterboard and some Sticky-notes. Place the sticky notes on the board in a grid, and then write Christmas related questions on each of them. The questions can be anything from when a certain Christmas carol was written to how Santa gets into houses. Then place sticky notes on top of the questions with dollar values just like jeopardy. Set up the board and let guests divide into two teams and have fun seeing who can win the most “money.”
16. Christmas Carol Charades
Have someone act out the name of a Christmas song while everyone else tries to guess what it is.
17. Anagrams – Unscramble these Christmas Carols
Give everyone a copy of these and a pencil and see who can figure them all out.
1. Lets thin gin ___________ _____________
2. Jill lens beg _____________ ____________
3. Again wean army _____ ____ _____ ______
4. Flee this torn ______ _______ ________
5. Oilcloth jolly sands ________ ___ ___ ________
6. Fatter hymns swoon _______ ____ _____________
18. Make a Christmas Tree
Give everyone a piece of paper and have them try to teat it in the shape of a Christmas tree. The catch is that they have to do it behind their backs.
19. A Picture of Frosty
Give everyone a piece of paper and a marker. Tell them that they must draw a picture of Frosty the Snowman while holding the paper above their head.
20. Toss the Goodies
This one is especially great at parties with lots of children. Spread a sheet on the floor and put lots of wrapped goodies in the middle of the sheet. Have the children hold on to the edge of the sheet and lightly shake it while they sing a Christmas carol. When they get to the end let them give one big toss. The goodies should fly out and they will have fun trying to find them all.
21. What is that?
Have people divide into groups of two and sit back to back. One person is given some small object, like an ornament, and the other is given paper and a pencil. The person with the object must describe to the person how to draw the object, but they can’t tell them what the object is. For example they can say draw a square, but they can’t say draw a soldier.
22. Guess the object.
Cut different picture of Christmas items out of magazines, but cut only a small part of it. Paste the pictures to notecards and when guests arrive give them a piece of paper and a pencil and have them try to guess what the objects are.
23. Who am I?
Put name cards on people’s backs with different Christmas characters, such as Santa, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman and so on. The guests must ask yes or no questions to each other to try and figure out who they are.
24. Noah’s Ark
Write the names of animals on notecards. Make two notecards for each animal. Make sure that you have an even number of people participating. Pass out the cards, and then tell everyone that they must act like the animal on the card and find their “mate.” They can’t yell out the name of their animal, but can make the noises that the animal would make. When a player finds their mate they must sit down as fast as possible.
25. I Have Never
Give everyone the same number of some small object, like paperclips, pennies or small wrapped candies. People go around the circle saying something that they have never done. All the people who have done that thing must give them one of their objects. At the end of the game the person with the smallest objects wins.
This article first appeared in the ‘Celebrating Christmas PDF Magazine‘ (2007 issue) which is a FREE magazine that you can download and even print out.