1. Bake gingerbread
A creative family activity that results in something delicious to eat and makes the house smell amazing? Yes please. If you’re ambitious, try a full gingerbread house, or if you’re less sure, festive gingerbread snowmen.
2. Christmas hunt
Bring the joy of Easter egg hunts to the festive period with an indoor Christmassy treasure hunt. Chocolate tree decorations are the perfect small treat to hide.
3. Practice penmanship
Involve your children with the chore of card writing. Depending on their age, they can practice their handwriting, sign their name or just help with licking and sticking envelopes.
4. If it snows…
Build snowmen, throw snowballs, make snow angels, create an igloo, look for animal tracks… You don’t need inspiration for family activities in snow, the snow is the inspiration.
5. Family film night
As much as we hope for bright sunshine and pure white snow, it’s more likely we’ll have days of grey skies, drizzle and slippery pavements. When the weather is less than picture-perfect, put on a classic family Christmas film and curl up on the sofa together with some seasonal snacks.
6. Story time
If you’re a family that opens one present on Christmas Eve, why not make it a book that you can ready together? Story time before bed will have the added benefit of getting over excited little ones off to sleep easier.
7. Party games
If the stress of December is compounded by a child’s birthday, instead of fighting the festive feeling, why not embrace it with a Christmas-themed party? Pin the nose on the reindeer is the perfect party game to get your theme going.
8. Christmas day breakfast together
How you start the big day itself is an important tradition in many households. Why not involve the little ones this year? Smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and a glass of Champagne may be celebratory, but a tower of pancakes is a bit more child-friendly and fun to make together – especially the flipping.
9. Board games
The oldest board game ever discovered is over five thousand years old. There’s a reason we still play them – even in an age of mobile gaming and consoles, there’s an undeniable draw to good old fashioned board games.
10. Winter walk
An official ‘White Christmas’ is declared if a single flake of snow falls anywhere in the British Isles during the 24 hours of Christmas Day. With an unusually mild December so far, it looks unlikely we’ll see a fairytale blanket of the white stuff, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a brisk family walk after all that turkey.
11. Museums when quiet
The lull between Christmas and New Year can be the hardest time to fill when you have bored children at home. We often assume that the whole world closes down for the whole week, but actually museums, zoos and attractions are very often open – and quiet! It’s still school holidays, so there’s a good chance there’ll be special events and exhibitions for little ones too.
12. Make resolutions together
On New Year’s Eve, take a moment to sit together as a family and make some resolutions about your family time for 2016. What are you going to do more of? What new things will you try together? Making the promises to each other holds you accountable, so you can make next year your best yet.
Liked that? Try these:
- The Linnell family’s Winter Wonderland break
- What keeps our guests coming back?
- The festive dessert recipe you’ve been looking for