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25 Simple Holiday Activities & 3 Child-Friendly Calendars

25 Simple Holiday Activities & 3 Child-Friendly Calendars

…Aaannnd we’re off with these simple holiday activities!

Let’s face it: Holidays have become a little more stress-inducing than we really care to admit. We find ourselves scratching through a list of “ought-to-do’s” when what we really want is greater purpose and meaning, especially when it comes to our kids.

You can nurture a sense of enthusiasm with your kids with a bit of intentionality and effort, but not so much effort that you just add to your stress.

First, there’s a list of simple holiday activities you can do with your child to help others.

Then, decide how you would like to present those activities. I offer three ways you can make a countdown calendar and then plug in the list of simple holiday activities.

25 Simple Holiday Activities & 3 Child-Friendly Calendars

First is a list of simple holiday activities you can do with your child to help others. Then, I offer three ways you can make a countdown calendar.

25 Holiday-Themed Activities

  1. Put a quarter in every Salvation Army bucket you see this season. Or, put a quarter in a jar each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, then take the entire jar to a Salvation Army bucket.
  2. Buy two Christmas books: 1 for your child, and 1 for another child.
  3. Have your child write on a clear ornament his name or what is special about the holidays.
  4. Have your child place small artifacts into a clear, plastic ornament that remind him of someone he loves. The Christmas after our kids’ grandpa died, they gave an ornament to their dad that contained a shark’s tooth, a shell, a Lego ball cap, and a cross.
  5. Give your child two candy canes: one for him, and one to share.
  6. Pick up a small poinsettia plant and leave it on the front porch of an elderly person’s home…anonymously.
  7. Visit shut-ins. Take music and sing songs.
  8. Take food and treats to an animal shelter.
  9. Take a walk in your neighborhood and pick up trash.
  10. Pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.
  11.   Make a crockpot of vegetable soup (rather than sweets), and deliver to neighbors.
  12.   Draw pictures that show why your child is grateful for someone. Even a child who scribbles is “drawing.”
  13.   Leave the quarter in the Aldi grocery cart.
  14.   Create a gift box for a deployed service member.
  15.   Put together a couple of meals and give them to someone living on the street.
  16. Purchase a few baby items and donate to the local shelter. If you’re allowed, stay and play for awhile.
  17. Take a gallon of milk to someone.
  18.   Make a birdhouse to give to someone who enjoys watching birds.
  19.   Walk a neighbor’s dog.
  20.   Wrap gifts for a friend or neighbor. Your child can help with the tape and ribbon.
  21.   Take a day to say “Merry Christmas!” to those you pass on the street.
  22.   Purchase or make a candle to give to someone with the note, “Your light shines brightly for all you do. Thank you.”
  23.   Make Christmas cards and leave them at random places…places of people you don’t even know. Sign the cards, “Thinking of you…from someone who cares.”
  24.   Leave a quarter in a gumball machine.
  25.   Buy books and card games to donate to the children’s wing of a hospital.
  26.   Donate your older or too small coats.
25 Simple Holiday Activities & 3 Child-Friendly Calendars Click To Tweet

3 Countdown to Christmas Activity Calendars

Choose from the calendars below and simply plug in the activities listed above.

25 Simple Holiday Activities & 3 Child-Friendly Calendars

Make a Christmas Tree Chain

Cut strips of paper about 1 ½” wide by 4” long. Write each activity on each paper strip. Glue the ends together on the first one. Then feed the next strip through the first ring and glue that ring together. Create a chain of 25 rings or more and place on your tree. Each day, take off one ring and perform that activity.

Make a Calendar from a Shoe Holder

Purchase a plastic or fabric over-the-door shoe organizer. Write or stencil a number on each pocket, counting down the days until Christmas day. In each pocket, place a card with the activity written or typed on it. Each day, choose the card and perform the activity.

Make a Poster Board, Felt, or Wooden Tree for a Wall

Keeping this idea simple, just sketch out a tree onto green poster board or felt. Hang cut-out ornaments made of colorful paper. One side has the day/number, and the other side has the activity on it.

Or, to take small pieces of wood and make a rustic tree, follow this tutorial (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Tammy Tilley
Tammy Tilley
Tammy Tilley, mom of two adult children, cares deeply about parenting issues. Although she’s looking in the rearview mirror of her hands-on parenting days, once you’re a parent, you’re always a parent. She enjoys sharing a few memories and a touch of advice about spending energy on the things that matter. Tammy has a BA in English from Anderson University (IN) and a MS in Education from IUPUI.