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The holidays are often filled with fun, laughter, and packed schedules. We fill our carts and our calendars until they are brimming and then slide a few more sugar cookies in.
Before you fill your calendar up completely this season, take a look at some of these fun family holiday activities!
The activities are categorized by holiday, if you are looking for a specific one you can jump to it using the links below.
It’s all about showing our gratitude to others and being thankful! There are many great things you can do as a family to especially enjoy the ‘season of giving’.
- Write Gratitude Notes
Sit down as a family and write notes and/or draw pictures to tell (and show) someone else that you are grateful for them and a few reasons why. Send it in the mail or drop it off at their door. If they are close enough to stop by, a little plate of goodies to go with it couldn’t hurt. =)
- Turkey Hands
This activity would be extra fun for the younger kids, most of them love craft time! Gather some construction paper, scissors, crayons, and a pencil. Help each of your kids trace one of their hands onto the construction paper. Once they’ve traced their hand, let them color each finger with the crayons. Then draw in the turkey’s feet, eye (just one since it’s a side view), beak and gizzard.
- Run a turkey trot
If your family enjoys being outdoors together, find a local turkey trot to run as a family. You never know, it could be the start of a fun, new hobby!
- Weaving a Web with Yarn
I have done a few different variations of this activity. One fun way you could use it with your family is to take 2 or 3 balls of different colored yarn.
Invite each member of your family to stand in a circle and pass the balls of yarn to each other. Make sure you keep ahold of the yarn before tossing it to the next person. Once it’s been passed around several times, stop and admire the web you have created.
You can talk about how important each person is to the family and how you need each person to be a part of everything that is happening. It took everyone’s participation to create this beautiful web. Ask one person to let go of the yarn they are holding onto and watch what happens. There will likely be a noticeable difference in your web! We are grateful for each person and need their help.
- Gratitude Journal
Share something you are thankful for everyday during the month of November, or any other month you choose. Write these things down in a journal. This is always something you could carry on well past the holidays! It’s always helpful to be thankful.
- Gratitude Jar
Cut up a piece of paper into little strips. Write one thing down that you are grateful for on each slip. Invite your family members to join you! It is totally fine to have repeated things you are thankful for. =) If you have younger kids that can’t write yet, have them draw pictures of things they are grateful for.
Fold each slip of paper and put them all into a jar together. Anytime you are having a hard day or just want a little pick me up, open the jar and read a few slips of paper. A smile is bound to come to your face!
- Turkey Waddle Relay
This one is sure to have everyone laughing! Place everyone into teams. The front person of each team then lines up and gets ready to race. The trick comes in when you have to place a balloon between your legs before starting to run! After the first group runs to a designated spot and back, they then pass the balloon to the next person in line. The winning team is the first team to have everyone on their team complete the relay- with their balloon still intact. Ready, set, waddle!
- Thanksgiving Bingo
Games are always a great way to spend time together. Try this version of Bingo for a fun Thanksgiving-style rendition.
- Play a board game
Time is always well spent when you have spent it with your family. Pull out a board game or two and get to playing!
- Photo Collage
Find things around your house that represent something to do with the Christmas season. Take a picture of each item/activity and make sure you or a member of your family are in the picture too! This way you can hit two birds with one stone; gather all the photos you want and try lots of fun activities as you go!
It will likely look different depending on where you live and what kind of weather is happening outside. Once you are done, compile the photos into a collage and share it with others. You can get really fancy and create a book out of the photos.
Here a few ideas!
* Wearing a Christmas sweater
* Throwing a handful of snow
* Drinking a cup of hot chocolate
* Shoveling snow (bonus points if it’s a service to someone else!)
* Looking at Christmas lights
* Decorating a Christmas tree
* Making cookies
* Drawing or writing on a card
* Reading a Christmas story
- Acts of Service
Christmas is a wonderful time to think about and help others. Get your family involved! Ask your kids who they have noticed might need some help or a little pick me up. You could offer to shovel someone’s driveway, deliver a meal, sing Christmas carols or call them on the phone.
- Make Tree Ornaments
Making your own tree ornaments could make for a fun-filled family night (or two or three). You could use things like popsicle sticks glued together with stickers, pictures, beads, or whatever you have around glued to the top. Attach a ribbon and it’s ready to hang from the tree!
- Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
If you’d like to give your family a unique experience, take them to a local soup kitchen and help serve the food to the people who come.
- Lights Tour
Go on a family drive through the neighborhood and check out the awesome Christmas lights and decorations that are on display. Some places have a set up that allows them to sync the flashing lights on their house to a specific radio station. Once you are nearby, you can tune into the station and enjoy the show.
- Red and Green Day
Choose a day to wear red and green clothes, eat red and green food, and play a game like red light green light.
- Dance Party
A dance party is often a big hit. Gather up a few of your favorite Christmas tunes and get those feet moving!
New Year’s Eve
Start a new tradition!
Instead of setting a long list of new goals on New Year’s Eve that you really don’t plan to complete anyway, how about trying something new?
- Make a Family Vision Board
My husband and I made a vision board recently. We each did a separate board, but we made them together. It was fun! It would be a lot of fun to make a vision board with your family.
Invite everyone to cut pictures out of magazines or print things from online that represent things that you want to have or achieve in the future. Gather everything up and work together to place them onto a poster board. Hang the poster somewhere that everyone can see it. Make plans for how you are going to achieve those things!
- Make a Family Time Capsule
As the end of the year gets closer, come together as a family and create a time capsule. You could put items in that represent something that was important to you this past year, write letters to your future selves, or include other things that you’d find interesting to read about or see in the future. Pick a date in the future when you will get together again and open it up!
This could be a great tradition to do start and do each year. As the next year is coming to an end, open up the time capsule from the previous year.
- Create an Hourly Countdown
As the time gets closer to midnight (or an earlier time if you need to have your celebration and get kids to bed!), give your kids an activity to do. For example, Three hours before they could each pop 3 balloons. Two hours before they could each knock over two empty water bottles. One hour before they could eat one donut without using their hands.
- Minute to Win It
Find some fun ideas for Minute to win it games here.
- Balloon Drop
Create your own balloon drop! Use some rope to tie up a bag of balloons that are blown up and ready to go. As midnight hits, shower your kiddos with balloons! Add to the fun by putting confetti and candy in the balloons. (That will also depend on your willingness to deal with a big mess afterward!).
- Snowball Fight!
The tried and true activity for family fun. If you’re not really into doing the real thing outside in the snow, bring it indoors. Use min marshmallows as your ‘snow.’ Or you can try making your own!
It’s About Time
When it really comes down to it, the most important thing you can give your family this holiday season is your TIME. Time to be together, to laugh, sing, cry, learn, play, and grow.
Life has a way of making things seem so busy, but we can choose to slow down and just spend time together! Here are some other creative activities you can do all year round. =)
Happy Family Time!