Best Christmas Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Christmas is an exciting time for kids, but in the weeks that lead up to it, they can get a little restless waiting for that big day to come. The best thing to do is keep them busy, and thankfully, there are tons of fun Christmas activities for kids to help them stay pleasantly distracted. They can do these at school or in the comfort of their homes as they lounge in their matching Christmas pajamas.

If you're not sure where to start, check out our many cool activities and crafts that your toddler is sure to love. They stick to the holiday theme and can even serve as teaching tools to hone a preschooler's mind and motor skills.

See also: What to Wear on Christmas Morning

Christmas Dress-Up Activities

Activities don't have to only involve making things. You can use clothes to stimulate fun for kids like finding cool Christmas pajamas for toddlers that they'll love wearing or making holiday-themed jewelry.

Jingle Bell Bracelets

The sound of jingle bells delights kids of all ages, but it can be especially fun for toddlers. Measure out some elastic string to fit your child's wrist, leaving a bit extra so you have room to tie it. So kids have an easier time filling the string with jingle bells, you can hold one end or tape one end down.

Kids can develop fine motor skills, discuss colors, and even learn more about counting and how to make patterns.

DIY Hats

Other fun Christmas activities for toddlers are making holiday-themed hats. If you need ideas, you can always find print outs online to create reindeer hats, elf hats, and of course, Santa hats.

Not only are these fun to wear around the house, but they can also go great with a Christmas pajama set so that toddlers are decked out from head to toe in holiday gear.

Family Christmas Pajamas

Christmas pajamas for toddlers never cease to be adorable. You can turn dressing up into an activity by finding outfits fitting for the whole family to play along in. For instance, get some funny socks that toddlers will love racing around in.

Other Christmas pajama ideas include keeping them cute and cozy in footie pajamas or finding matching Christmas pajamas for siblings or the whole family that will look absolutely perfect going on a holiday card.

For more cool holiday pajama sets ideas, consider throwing a holiday party in class for preschoolers, letting them all come in their favorite Christmas pajama set.

Christmas Tree Craft Activities

A great place to start when trying to find Christmas activities for toddlers is the Christmas tree. It's arguably the most recognizable trait of the holiday besides Santa himself. That's what makes it such a wonderful idea starter to some fun crafting activities.

Felt Christmas Tree

At the toddler stage, they're not exactly ready to decorate the tree with you. So, let's give them their own tree.

Using felt material puts it among the perfect Christmas projects for kids that they can do repeatedly. If they don't like their embellishments, they can easily peel them off and slap some new ones on. They don't even need glue since the felt should stick to itself easily enough.

They can make the tree small, or you can cut out a larger version to hang on the wall. Using a glue gun to secure command strips to the felt is a good idea.

Fill-In Christmas Tree

For hands-on holiday activities for kids, consider making them a fill-in Christmas tree. You can do it in any room with hard flooring since it requires you to use tape to make the tree shape. Of course, don't forget to test the area you want to lay the tape down on to see if your floor can handle it without being damaged.

From there, you just have to give them building blocks they already have and put them to work filling in the tree. Things like this are good Christmas activities for preschoolers because they can help them work on those fine motor skills as they fill in according to the boundary lines you placed.

Footprint Christmas Tree

When it comes to trying to find Christmas activities to do at home with toddlers, consider ones where you encourage them to get a little messy.

Take this footprint Christmas tree project for example. Not only will your little ones find delight dipping their feet into the paint, but they can also give the result away as a gift. It's a cool thing to give to grandparents and other relatives, and kids will also feel as though they've accomplished something.

Let them decorate their "foot trees" in any manner you have on hand. Stickers can be a little less messy, but you can always go for gluing on sequins and pom-poms so they can make their Christmas tree livelier.

Shape Challenge Tree Christmas Activities for Toddlers

If you need some 4 year old Christmas activities, then this shape tree should do the trick. It's a great way to get in a shape lesson without it feeling like a lesson.

When you cut out your shapes, be sure to either label them or ask your child what the shape is. For instance, you can let them put the tree itself together after you cut everything out. Ask them what shapes they're using.

Additionally, them putting the tree together can help them discern different sizes. Be sure to cut out a variety of shapes for the ornaments. With how this project works, this can even be useful Christmas activity ideas for preschool for all you teachers out there.

Alphabet Tree Decoration

For simple Christmas activities for preschoolers that are educational and fun, try out this cool alphabet tree. You can easily find a Christmas tree printout online. Once you have it, use the sharpie to write out the alphabet, placing letters out of order in various locations on the tree.

Write the alphabet on the individual stickers as well and have the child place the stickers in the correct spots. This is great for school but also serves as wonderful Christmas activities to do at home with toddlers too.

Garland and Wreath Craft Activities

Another fun way to decorate the house is with garland and wreaths. So, take a look at these family fun holiday activities for kids that will let them leave their mark throughout the house.

Paper Chain Garland

A classic for a reason, paper chain garland can be used as a great countdown to Christmas ideas for toddlers. They may be unable to handle it on their own, however, so you can do the hard part of actually connecting the chain.

To involve them, you can have them pick out the color scheme if you don't want to just use red and green, or even have them decide the order the colors will go in. You can even make a cutout using a holiday design to hang the chain from.

This is useful if you're looking for things to do with toddlers over Christmas break if they're out of preschool and waiting for the days leading up to the big day.

Colorful Cereal Garland

There are ways people make a garland using a needle, but you can figure out a way around it so that your kids can be more hands-on for this project. To make it more of one of the Christmas fun activities for toddlers, use tape to bring the end of the string or yarn to a point. This way, it's easier for kids to slide the cereal on.

When it's finished, you can hang them around the tree. With how simple this can be, it's one of the best Christmas activities for four year olds and younger to handle without too much help from adults

After the holidays, feel free to hang their creations outside on trees as they are wonderful treats for birds.

Painted Paper Plate Wreath

More Christmas activity ideas for preschool that teachers will love is making paper plate wreaths. It's just as fun to do at home too. So, whip out a few paper plates to make as many wreaths as you need. Cut the holes for all the wreaths for the kids, and leave one paper plate intact to use for the paint if you wish.

This is one of many Christmas projects for kids that gives them the freedom to use different things to paint with. You can give them brushes, sponges, or just let them use their little fingers to create their designs. Once finished, glue on a ribbon tied in a bow and hang them up.

Shape Wreath

Hide a chance to learn in Christmas activities for toddlers with this shape wreath project. Using cardboard is a wonderful way to give kids room to paint their wreaths as they please. It will also hold the glued on cutout shapes well whether you use wooden material or felt material for the shapes.

This also serves as a cute decoration that kids can hang up around the house once they're done. Additionally, it stands as one of the many Christmas activities for kids to do at school before break.

Ribbon Wreath

If you have your own wreath set up at home, it'll be a fun treat for kids to create their own festive items to add to the family's decorations. Also, such straightforward holiday activities for kids should be easy enough that preschoolers can do the gluing of the ribbons without help.

For those of you that don't have scrap holiday ribbon around the house, you may easily find some in dollar stores and simply cut them into tinier pieces to fit the wreath.

North Pole Craft Christmas Activities for Kids

What's Christmas without finding a way to celebrate the North Pole? There are many Christmas fun activities for toddlers that will have them feeling like they're in a winter wonderland.

Santa’s Workshop Area

Put your toddlers in an elf's shoes and let them become Santa's helpers with a workshop area. You can use the play area they already have or set things up on any table in your home. Create signs to mark different sections such as the toy building area or the gift-wrapping station.

These can be especially great Christmas activities for four year olds as it helps stimulate their pretend play while also addressing certain motor skills with the gift wrapping portion. For building toys, you can easily have them make different constructions with Lego pieces.

Paper Plate Characters

The North Pole can look empty without all the fun characters, so help kids breathe life into it by making paper plate characters. The cool thing about this is that there isn't just a single character that kids can create. They can make silly Santa plates with a cotton ball beard, cozy Eskimo characters, adorable penguins, and even polar bears.

Googly eyes also go a long way here in creating cool works of art. All of them can be perfect Christmas activities for preschool children too as the whole class can make multiple characters to either take home or hang up around the room.

Colored Ice Balls

This Christmas project will only work weather permitting, but it's one that kids will be eager to race outside and play with even while in their Christmas pajamas.

All you need are some balloons, water, and food coloring. Drop some food coloring into the balloons and fill them up with water. Tie them off and leave them outside. How long they'll take to freeze depends on how cold it is.

Once they're frozen, use scissors to cut off the balloons. You're left with awesome colorful ice balls that can transform your lawn into a unique winter palace. It's one of many Christmas activities for toddlers that'll make going outside to play even more fun.

Paper Igloos

Another one of the Christmas activities for preschool children that work at home and school is having them make an igloo. It's a simple, yet fun, project that can test their motor skills.

You can outline the igloo and have them glue down strips of white, square-cut pieces of paper to make the rest of it. Or you can always let them handle the outline too just to see how they imagine an igloo to look like.

Ice Painting

Perhaps the North Pole doesn't have to be completely white. With this activity, children can turn snow into any color they see fit.

To get your snowy ice, you can mix a half cup of baking soda with water and freeze the solution. You'll have ice, but the baking soda will allow it to look white much like snow. Kids can then paint over it using paintbrushes or sponge brushes.

Not only is this fun but also learning-related as kids can discover mixing colors and watching later how the solid will turn back into liquid form as it eventually melts.

Gingerbread and Candy Christmas Activities for Toddlers

As we search for things to do with toddlers over Christmas, we can't forget to play around with gingerbread and holiday candy.

Gingerbread House

Making a gingerbread house is one of the several traditional Christmas activities for toddlers, but it never gets old. At their age, toddlers are more ready to help out even if it's just to add all the delicious decorations to the house that you mainly put together.

If you don't want an edible one, you can always make a house out of cardboard boxes. You can still make the house itself, using glue or Velcro adhesive to get it all together. Kids can then decorate themselves with colorful pom-poms, felt, etc.

Gingerbread Ornaments

Having fun over the holidays doesn't have to involve crafts. Instead, come up with 4 year old Christmas activities that get the kids moving like this number hop game. The use of fun gingerbread men keeps up with the holiday spirit too.

You can print out pre-made gingerbread men number cards or print out blank gingerbread men and write your own numbers on them. It helps toddlers develop coordination and counting skills.

Gingerbread Men Playdough

This Christmas project is ideal if you don't have a lot of time on your hands to create gingerbread men with playdough. Rather than start up a DIY project, you can give your toddler more to do by using brown playdough and gingerbread men cookie cutters.

It's the simplest way for young children to have fun, especially when you provide them with a host of decorative items. This can include googly eyes and holiday-themed items like red and green buttons, string, and more.

Candy Cane Cereal Ornaments

It’s fun when Christmas activities for toddlers involves something edible. In this case, fruit loops cereal. With pipe cleaner, shape it like a candy cane, bend one end to make a stopper so the cereal won’t fall off. You can hand it to your kids and let them fill up the candy cane shaped pipe cleaner.

They can opt for Christmas colors or fill them up however they wish. This can be a sweet treat hanging on the tree and later outside for birds to munch on. That is, of course, if toddlers can finish them without eating them first.

Reindeer Candy Cane

Looking for activities for toddlers in Christmas time that combine holiday favorites? Then you can try this reindeer candy cane craft. Have kids trace their hands on the brown paper, and you can either cut out the shapes or allow them to if not to practice their cutting skills.

You can also let them cut the white strips of paper that will be used for the candy cane. Consider outlining the shape of a candy cane on the red paper for kids to use as a guideline when cutting.

Once you throw in some googly eyes and glue the hands to the head as antlers, you have yourself a cute reindeer made out of a candy cane. You can even use a red pom-pom for the nose to make Rudolph.

Sensory Christmas Activities for Toddlers

Toddlers are still exploring and discovering the world, and sensory activities are great ways to help them do just that. You can easily give these projects a fun holiday twist with our suggestions below.

Candy Cane Slime

Slime is a growing enjoyment for kids these days, so you can use it for cool holiday activities for kids. Candy cane slime simply looks fun for toddlers to play with waiting for Christmas to roll around. It's simple to make too.

Get yourself Elmer's washable glue in both clear and white, liquid starch, and red food coloring. You can make the slime any way you prefer, but with this method, you would pour the glue in a bowl and slowly mix in the liquid starch until it's the consistency that you want. Use food coloring in the clear glue to make red.

Kids can help you with this and when it's done, they can mix the slime together for the candy cane appearance.

Christmas Pasta Sensory Bin

A sensory bin provides kids ample space to explore. To make it holiday-themed, you can dye macaroni noodles red and green. It's simple enough as all you have to do is pour the macaroni in two separate zip lock bags, pour in rubbing alcohol until they're wet, and then drop in as much food coloring as you want. A good shake should get the results you're looking for.

Lay them out to dry, and when ready, pour them into a container and fill that up with various Christmas supplies like candy canes, toy gift boxes, etc.

Jingle Bell Magnet Bottle

Teach toddlers the wonders of magnetism with this cool jingle bell magnet bottle. You can take a plastic bottle and drop in some jingle bells. If you wish, you can also fill the bottle with water to watch the difference in how the bells move.

Hand kids a magnet wand and watch the awe in their faces as they see the jingle bells follow them as they move the wand around the bottle.

Melted Snowman in a Jar

To use some unique Christmas ideas for toddlers, consider twisting the idea of building a snowman and show kids a melted one. Using a Mason jar, have kids put in anything they think a snowman needs. This can include googly eyes, some sticks for arms, buttons, beads, etc.

Once they're in, it's time to fill the jar up. Pour in water, add glitter, and a touch of dish soap so the glitter will move around. Seal the jar and let kids stare in excitement at their "melted" snowman.

Glittery Snow Slime Ornaments

Many activities for toddlers in Christmas involve slime, but rather than just playing with it, it can turn into decoration. Using glitter and Elmer's glue, you can create the slime using any recipe you prefer as we mentioned in our candy cane slime section.

With a plastic ornament, you can create a snowman face by gluing on buttons for the mouth, googly eyes, and a cutout orange paper nose. Fill up the ornament with the slime, and you have a distinctive ornament to hang on the tree.

Final Thoughts

With the right Christmas activities for toddlers, kids will crave more than just presents this holiday season. There's no shortage of things to do with kids from creating holiday slime, to making gingerbread houses, to even building Santa's workshop right in their playroom.

So, gather some supplies, whip up the sleeves on your matching family Christmas pajamas, and get to work. Your toddlers will thank you.