PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -Want to keep the kids busy so they stay away from trying to open or guess all the gifts beneath the tree during your next holiday gathering? Organizing some activities prior to the day’s festivities can make your day a bit less hectic, and a lot more fun. Here are five easy but entertaining ideas to keep everyone happy.
Make Holiday Ornaments
The possibilities are endless when it comes to crafting this holiday season, and to give your kiddos plenty of options when it comes to making their crafts, start by stocking up on supplies like green felt, puffy balls, clear plastic ornaments, paint, craft glue and pipe cleaners. The felt can be turned into Christmas trees, or even a hand cut out so you can remember how small their hands once were. Or, to make a reindeer ornament, have them use tinsel, beads, and googly eyes. No matter which ornament they make this year, it’ll be the perfect addition to your tree.
Write a Holiday Poem
Spur the kids’ creativity by encouraging them to write their own holiday poems. To get them thinking, perhaps read them a poem or two, such as “I’m a Little Snowman,” and then give them topics to write about, like snowballs, Christmas trees, dreidels, and whatever else you think may inspire them. After they’re done, they can read them out loud to the party, which leads to the next idea…
Put Together a Holiday Skit
Keep the creativity flowing and have the kids put together their own skit. This activity will keep them quite preoccupied as they put together the story they want to tell—from holiday classics like “The Night Before Christmas” or perhaps even Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer—and craft their outfits from the costumes or articles of clothing you can supply them. End the night’s festivities by watching the skit they’ve worked so hard on; it’s a perfect way to celebrate!
Before the party gets started, make some cookies that are easy to decorate: Think sugar or gingerbread cookies, for starters. Next, gather together some easy ways to decorate cookies that kids can do on their own, like stencils, sprinkles, small candies and colored sugar. Or gather the makings of a proper gingerbread house: graham crackers, licorice, gumdrops and peppermint pieces or candy canes. Prepare a lot of icing, too, in a few different colors, and let the kids’ imaginations run wild while they decorate these tasty confections. Just make sure that too many cookies don’t go “missing” during the project so there are some left for the guests!
Watch a Holiday Classic
When it comes to holiday movies, there are so many options for all ages. From oldies but goodies like Miracle on 34th Street,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Home Alone,” to more recent flicks, like “Elf,” all these movies will get you and the kiddos into the holiday spirit. Make the movie even more festive by providing everyone with a bag of popcorn and even a bottle of water decorated like a reindeer, and everyone will surely have a lot of fun.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not blogging about food, she’s working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products. Some of her writing can be found at Examiner.com.