Build anticipation and make memories with these twelve count down to Christmas activities for toddlers! Fill the days leading up to Christmas with holiday cheer with each of these activities.
This year, my toddler is old enough to get excited about Christmas festivities. I love watching her eyes light up as we flip on the Christmas lights or marvel at a shiny, red ornaments. To build her excitement and anticipation, I came up with twelve activities that we can do together to fill our December with holiday cheer!
I hope that these activities will inspire you to spend quality time with your toddler (Let’s be honest! Any kid would love these activities, not just toddlers!) in the coming days as we count down to Christmas.
12 Wrapped Books
Personally, this is one of my favorite Christmas count down activities. I used to wrap Christmas books and put them under the tree in my classroom for my students to open each day, so this is a wonderful activity for children of all ages.
Wrap 12 Christmas books and put them under the tree. In the twelve days leading up to Christmas, your child will unwrap a Christmas book for you to read together. Let’s keep the joy of unwrapping gifts going this holiday season!
For Christmas book ideas, check out my Christmas book lists!
Make Salt Dough Ornaments
It’s like playdough! Get your toddler involved in making salt dough ornaments. Let them help pour the ingredients and mix the dough together. Toddlers love this activity because it gives them a chance to play with a little “playdough.” Roll out the dough together, cut them with cookie cutters, and bake them for an ornament that you can keep for a long time.
This is my favorite salt dough ornament recipe! These ornaments make wonderful, sentimental gifts for family and can be a great way to save your child’s hand or foot print for future Christmas trees!
Paint Salt Dough Ornaments
Once the ornaments are baked, take a day to decorate them! I’m gonna guess your toddler doesn’t get to use paint very often. At least, that’s how it is at my house. But a couple times a year makes it a very special occasion!
Suit up, give your child some Christmas-colored paint, and a paint brush and let them have at it! You will end up with some very unique Christmas ornaments for your tree!
Christmas Sensory Bin
What toddler doesn’t love a good sensory bin? I have found that the Dollar Store carries the best little items for a sensory bin.
Head to your local Dollar Store and purchase any Christmas miniatures, small bottle brush trees, or any other small, festive toy that might work well in a sensory bin. You can also shop your house for little trinkets that your child would enjoy.
Fill the bin with white rice to mimic snow while also being easy to clean up. Your toddler will be entertained by this little bin throughout the month of December!
I don’t know where you live, but we live in Florida, so real snow is not a possibility. However, we like to make the most of it! Buy a few bags of cotton balls at your local store and gear up for an indoor snowball fight with your toddler!
Decorate Wrapping Paper
Give your toddler some stickers, crayons, and a giant roll of white gift wrapping paper and let them customize it to their liking! Family members will be thrilled to receive a sweet gift from your little one wrapped in custom paper. Plus, this activity offers hours of Christmas fun for your child!
I found my plain white wrapping paper at the Dollar Store, but you could also buy brown paper wrapping paper as well. Either kind can often be found at Walmart, the Dollar Store, or Amazon.
Make Gingerbread House
Spend an afternoon building a little gingerbread house with your little one using only 3 ingredients. All you need is a box of graham crackers, a can of vanilla frosting, and some sprinkles for decorating. While it may not be perfect, your little one will love the time spent together building this simple and sweet gingerbread house.
Bake Gingerbread Cookies
Much like the salt dough ornaments, toddlers love to be involved with the cooking process. Allow your toddler to help pour the ingredients, roll the dough, cut the cookies, and do a little decorating! Your friends and family will love having a plate of your child’s cookies on the dessert table at Christmas!
Dance to The Nutcracker
We hear the classic Nutcracker tunes often on the radio, and they have become a favorite of mine over the years. Turn it up and have a little ballet dance party with your little one!
Check out The Top 10 Nutcracker Books for Kids!
Read-Aloud at the Library
Check out your local library schedule to find out when they host a read-aloud time for toddlers. Almost every library in the nation will be doing a Christmas read-aloud or two throughout the month of December. Take advantage of this free event and plan to attend with your toddler. Library read-alouds are a great way to get out of the house, meet other kids and moms, and incorporate a little literature into your day!
Build a Christmas Fort
Got an extra strand of Christmas lights laying around? Why not build a Christmas fort? Build a cozy fort for the two of you complete with plushy pillows, soft blankets, and Christmas lights. Then snuggle in your fort and read Christmas books or watch a short Christmas movie. A Christmas cookie treat in the fort wouldn’t hurt either!
Make Christmas Cards
If your child loves arts and crafts, handmade Christmas cards can also provide an afternoon of creative fun and a card that every family member will cherish.
Get some white cardstock and cut the page in half. Fold each half to create a card. Let your child bedazzle the card with coloring, stickers, glitter, and more! Your family will be touched and thrilled to receive a handmade card by their favorite toddler. This will not be a Christmas card that they throw away at the end of the season!
I hope that you will try these twelve count down to Christmas activities for toddlers this Christmas season. Messes will be made, but so will memories!
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