9 Ways to make Christmas magical for kids

9 Ways to make Christmas magical for kids
Image courtesy of Unsplash.com

Christmas time is full of wonder and anticipation. As a parent, you know that warm memories of Christmas stories, fun activities, the holiday buzz, time with your family, and presents can last a lifetime. So why not engage your little ones in fun activities to make Christmas truly memorable and show them the true meaning of Christmas? 

In this guide, you will find ideas and activities to make the holiday season truly charming. For kids, it’s not all about gifts – engaging activities and quality time create memories that last. Let’s go! 

Table of Contents

  1. Write a letter to Santa
  2. Grow candy canes
  3. Play Secret Santa
  4. Bake Christmas cookies
  5. Make ornaments
  6. Play snowballs
  7. Give out the old toys
  8. Have a magical movie night
  9. Start a new tradition

Write a letter to Santa 

Writing a letter to Santa is a fun tradition. It helps your kids reflect on what they want, improve their writing skills, and feel the magic of anticipation of a great present. Prepare a few sheets of paper, colored pens, crayons, and stickers to boost their creativity. 

Teach your child how to structure the letter – the salutation, introduction, body, and signoff. The writing process is engaging, plus the adults will know what exactly to put under the tree. If your kids are too old to write such letters, encourage them to make a wish list instead. 

Grow candy canes

This holiday tradition is exciting for younger kids. Help your children put small red and white candies (such as Tic Tacs) in a bowl of rainbow sprinkles. At night, replace them with bigger hard candies, then with mini candy canes, and finally with big ones. Encourage the little ones to check out their candy canes every day to see them grow. 

Play Secret Santa 

Secret Santa is a popular gift exchange game. It creates anticipation and mystery and also teaches kids the importance of giving. You can play with the whole family, organize Secret Santa for your child with a group of friends, or suggest playing in the classroom. 

Here’s how the gift exchange works: 

1.     Each player writes their name on a piece of paper with a few gift suggestions. After that, players take turns to draw names from the hat. 

2.     Your child needs to get a present for the person whose name they have drawn. The present needs to be wrapped with a recipient’s name on it. 

3.     Decide what kind of gifts you will exchange. Younger kids can give handmade presents, and for pre-teens, you can set a minimal budget. 

4.     The most important part is keeping it secret! Nobody should know for whom you will bring a present. 

5.     On the gift exchange day, everyone opens their presents and guesses who is their Secret Santa. 

Pre-teens and teenagers can play Secret Santa using the MySanta online generator. This app lets you draw names in one click, make wishlists, set exceptions, and track who bought a present and who hasn’t. Kids play online with their parents or with their friends under supervision. As a parent, you can see who gives a present to whom and make sure that all little Santas prepare their presents on time. 

If you are organizing Secret Santa for kids, suggest these gift ideas:

·      Crayons and markers 

·      Bubbles

·      Candy

·      Fruity lip balm

·      Ballpoint pen

·      Stickers

·      School supplies

·       Homemade card

·       Necklace

·       Key rings

·       Homemade cookies

·       Personalized ornament

·       Photo frame

·       Temporary tattoos

If you already have a tradition of organizing Secret Santa on holidays, play it with a twist this year. Read our guide on popular Secret Santa variations to make the game more enjoyable. 

Bake Christmas cookies

Food is an important part of any celebration. You can involve kids in the food preparation, turning it into a fun family activity. Make a lot of Christmas cookies with icing, gingerbread, and biscuits that the family can enjoy during the holidays. Older children can take part in cooking turkey with mashed potatoes, too. 

Don’t forget about the tradition of making reindeer food! In addition to leaving milk and cookies out, prepare some treats for the hardworking reindeers. Mix dry oatmeal with colored sugar, and then encourage kids to spread it outside. This activity is a lot of fun for celebrating Christmas with family or friends. 

Make ornaments

How to put yourself in the holiday spirit? Make homemade ornaments, of course! Christmas decorations are fun to make and they create a festive mood and a sense of anticipation. Plus, your little ones can develop creativity and maybe develop a passion for crafting. There are many options to choose from: 

·      Start with materials you have at home and think about what you can make with them before buying a lot of stuff. 

·      Use social media for inspiration and trending ornament ideas. 

·      Make dough ornaments that your kids can bake and decorate the way they like. 

·      Encourage the children to make large outdoor ornaments. 

·      Put yourself in the festive mood: play some Christmas tunes and tell family stories to make crafting even more exciting. 

Encourage your kids to get creative - make Christmas decor together. Image courtesy of Unsplash.com

Play snowballs

If you live in the snowy region, make the most out of the winter season and head outside to play! Have a snowball fight, make snow angels, freeze bubbles, make a snowman or enjoy sledding. Snow activities are enjoyable for kids of all ages, plus they help develop coordination and improve family bonds. 

If winters are warm where you live, think about indoor alternatives such as playing snowballs using toy balls. Or, make fake snow and enjoy messing with it. 

Give out the old toys 

Giving things to others is the proven way to experience the true Christmas spirit. After all, your children probably have toys they don’t play with, clothes, and other stuff. 

Encourage your kids to collect the old things and take them to the shelter, children’s hospital, Salvation Army store, Goodwill, or any other local charity organization. It will teach your children kindness and empathy and they will see that giving can be just as enjoyable as receiving gifts. Plus, they will appreciate the new toys and gifts you give them. 

If your kids love animals, visit a local shelter and bring some food, or donate other essential goods.  

Have a magical movie night

Watching holiday movies can put everyone in the holiday mood, so why not start a new tradition in your family? Put on the cozy pajamas and watch the Christmas classics like The Polar Express with kids. Watch the movies that you loved as a child with your little ones. 

Create an even better movie night experience by reading Christmas books and then watching movies inspired by them. Encourage the kids to find the differences between the movie and the book and discuss what they like and what they don’t. 

Here are some ideas for Christmas movies to watch with kids: 

·      How the Grinch stole Christmas? 

·      Home alone 

·      The polar express 

·      A Christmas carol 

·      Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey 

·      Arthur Christmas 

·      The Santa Clause 

·      Elf

Start a new tradition 

Family Christmas traditions create warm memories that your children will remember for a lifetime. Make your Christmas celebration magical by starting a few traditions that you will do every year during the holiday season. 

Think about something unique for your family, something that everyone enjoys doing. Baking cookies, decorating the tree, watching Christmas-themed movies, enjoying the lights, going out with the family, or playing snowballs – the choice is yours. Christmas traditions unique to your family will put everyone in the holiday mood and create a sense of togetherness. 

Playing a gift exchange game is another fun tradition that you can start in your family. Preparing gifts secretly for each other will teach your children the joy of giving and the art of deciding what to give. If your children have smartphones, organize the game using the MySanta online generator. It lets each player create a wishlist and talk to their Secret Santa anonymously, which makes the gift-giving more fun.