In the days leading up to Christmas, you've busy buying and wrapping gifts, and decorating your home. About this time, your children ask, "How many more days until Christmas?" They're so excited for the commercialized annual gift giving extravaganza, that simple Christmas games and other traditions may get lost in the shuffle.
To keep the spirit of the holiday season alive, play the following Christmas games for kids in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
Christmas Word Scramble
If you're looking for a fun and educational Christmas game, create a Christmas word scramble. Pick ten holiday words that you believe your child can spell. Then scramble up the letters. The object of the game is to have your child figure out what the word is.
You could write or type the word scrambles, print it out and include a picture they could color. Or if you have the Scrabble game, take the letters and scramble them up on a table. Then have your child put the letters in the right order. This would be a fun game with a mug of hot cocoa with holiday music playing in the background!
Pass the Ornament
Just like the game of hot potato, you don't want to get caught with the ornament in your hand when the music stops. First, choose an ornament that isn't breakable (this is very important). Next, have the kids sit in a circle. Then play Christmas music while the children pass the ornament to one another. When the music stops, the child holding the ornament is out. Keep playing this game until there's one child left. Who ever is the last one sitting is the winner!
Going to the North Pole
If your children enjoy the game "Going on a Picnic," they'll love this Christmas game for kids. Begin by sitting in a circle. Each player must think of an item they'd like to "bring to the North Pole." Each player begins his or her turn by saying, "I'm going to the North Pole, and I will bring... ". The first person thinks of item that begins with the letter A and the rest of the items must be in alphabetical order. The tricky part is that each player must repeat all the previous items chosen by players. (For example, "I'm going to the North Pole and bringing antlers, bags for toys, Christmas trees, etc…"). When a child forgets an item, he or she is eliminated from the game. The kid that remembers the most amount of items wins!
Guess What's in the Stocking
This games makes children use their five senses to guess the secret item hidden in a Christmas stocking. First, fill a Christmas stocking with a holiday inspired object. (Examples: candy cane, Santa hat, ornament). Then have the children close their eyes or blindfold them. Ask the children to take turns touching, shaking, and smelling the object hidden inside the stocking. The first child to guess the item wins.
Candy Cane Hunt
Why wait until Easter to have an egg hunt? Instead of eggs, hide different colored candy canes throughout the house. Give each child a Christmas stocking to hold the candy canes he or she finds. Ask the kids to find the candy canes. You could hide five candy canes per players or ask each player to look for an assigned color. In this game, everyone is a winner because they all end up with yummy candy to eat.
In the beginning of the season, assign each child, class or family a "Secret Santa". The Secret Santa will make a craft or buy a gift for their assigned person. Some craft suggestions are ornaments, Christmas decoration or an Advent calendar.
Here's how you set up a Secret Santa. Write the children's names on small pieces of paper. Put the folded papers in a hat. Ask each child to pick a name from the hat without looking. (Make sure they haven't chosen their own name.) Instruct the children to keep their Secret Santa a secret! If they spill their secret they ruin the game.
Encourage children to make and give crafts to their Secret Santa's once per week during the three to four weeks before Christmas. These items can be left on a desk, at the dinner table or under the tree.
Right before Christmas have the children exchange gifts they make for each other. (The gift giver's identity is revealed with the final craft.)