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7 amazing festive activities for children 5 and under

With the Holidays just over a week away, there’s no better way to get you and your little one in the festive spirit than with some amazing crafts and activities.

Whether you’re making these just for fun or to use as decorations, your little one will have a great time getting creative whilst developing important early years skills including confidence, fine motor skills, communication and more.

Quick note: these activities are largely Xmas-related. You can click here to check out some awesome Hanukkah-based activities or here for fantastic activities related to Kwanzaa.

Homemade Holiday Cards

The activity: Make your own holiday cards this festive period! This super easy crafting activity is a perfect way to get your little one in the festive spirit whilst working on their fine motor skills by gluing, cutting and drawing!

What you’ll need:

  • Coloured card

  • Glue

  • Scissors

  • Paint/crayons/markers

  • Other crafting supplies (optional)

How to do it:

  1. Fold the coloured card.

  2. Get decorating! Your little one can cut out shapes to stick on, paint or draw directly on the card, stamp using crafting supplies and more. Click here for some inspiration.

Handprint Xmas Trees

The activity: Get messy with this handprint xmas tree craft! Top tip: dress your little one in something you don’t mind getting ruined.

What you’ll need:

  • Paint

  • Paintbrushes

  • Black marker

  • White craft paper

How to do it:

  1. Start by painting the hand green and place an upside-down handprint in the bottom centre of the paper. Be sure to leave room for a tree stump.

  2. Make another handprint on each side of the first one.

  3. Make two more green handprints on top of the three. Then add one handprint on top of these. Let dry.

  4. Add a zig-zag line to create a sting for the xmas lights. Use fingerprints to make lights along the black lines in different colours.

  5. Paint a star on top of the tree handprints.

  6. Paint a brown tree stump.

Salt Dough Holiday Ornaments

The activity: Salt dough is easy to make, sustainable and makes for lovely holiday ornaments!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of salt

  • 1 cup of water

  • 2 cups of flour

  • Cloves/other festive spices or herbs for scent (optional)

  • Paint and brushes (optional)

  • String (optional)

How to do it:

  1. Mix the salt, water and flour in a bowl.

  2. Roll out and cut out shapes using cookie cutters – poke a hole on top if you’re planning to hang these.

  3. Add in your herbs or spices for scent and decoration.

  4. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 3 hours or until solid.

  5. Leave to cool and decorate optionally with paint.

  6. Optionally, feed string through the hole you made earlier and hang up!

Gingerbread Person Craft

The activity: This activity is all about open-ended creativity! Let your little one explore their imagination by decorating a gingerbread person using a range of crafting supplies.

What you’ll need:

  • Brown paper

  • Scissors

  • Crafting supplies – this can be googly eyes, glitter, buttons, paint and more!

  • Glue

  • String (optional)

How to do it:

  1. Cut out the gingerbread person/s.

  2. Get decorating with your little one!

  3. Optionally, cut a little hole on top and feed some string through to hang up your creations.

Holiday Pom-pom Push

The activity: Your little one will love this activity! It’s a super distracting and fun way to help them develop their dexterity. This activity is ideal for younger children.

What you’ll need:

  • Pompoms

  • Shoebox

  • Scissors

  • Coloured markers

How to do it:

  1. Draw a Christmas tree with baubles (make sure these are about the size of the pompoms) on the top of the shoebox.

  2. Cut out holes inside the bauble shapes.

  3. Get your little one to push the pompoms through the gaps!

Festive Playdough

The activity: Playdough is an amazing resource allowing your little one to explore their imagination, learn about different shapes and even develop their math skills.

But the branded stuff is expensive and bad for the environment… So, let’s make our own!

What you’ll need:

  • 8 tbsp plain flour

  • 2 tbsp table salt

  • 60ml warm water

  • Red and green food colouring (optional)

  • Festive scented oil (optional)

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

How to do it:

  1. This one is quick and easy – just mix everything together and let your little one play!

You can store it in a plastic sandwich bag in the fridge to keep it fresh for up to a month.

Festive sensory tray

The activity: Sensory play is amazing! You can click here to find out all about the benefits.

But in short, it allows your little one to gain new skills in their own time, whilst being creative and having a great time.

The festive season is a great time for themed sensory bins… Let's explore how to make a rice-based one! Or you can click here for more inspiration.

What you’ll need:

  • Rice

  • White vinegar

  • Food colouring - we love red, green and yellow for this activity

  • Scented oils (optional)

  • Freezer or sandwich bags

  • Christmas ornaments or crafting supplies incl. baubles, pompoms etc.

How to do it:

  1. Mix raw rice with the vinegar in your bags (this will make the colour less likely to transfer), we recommend using about 1 cup of rice to 1 tablespoon of vinegar and separating these across 2-3 bags.

  2. Add a few drops of food colouring to each of the bags to dye the rice in different colours and shake.

  3. Pour it out onto a baking sheet and allow it to dry fully.

  4. Finally, put the coloured rice in a tray along with your ornaments and crafting supplies and let your little one play!

Thanks for reading. You can find more festive activities by clicking here!

Alternatively, click here for Kwanzaa activities. Or click here for Hanukkah activities.


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