Things to Make and Do with Kids During Christmas Vacation

A month ago we turned the clocks back for the end of Daylight Savings, but I neglected to mention it to the kids. They don’t know they’ve been going to bed an hour early every night since then. (They still wake up at the crack of dawn, just like always.)

One day they will know how to tell time, but until then, the seven o’clock bedtime is so, so sweet.

Here are some fun things to do with the kids that I shared at Alphamom:

Christmas Craft: Beaded Snowflake Ornament

Create A Video Slideshow To Share Your Pictures (I can see older kids having fun doing this when school is out next week.)

Kids’ Apple Craft: Paint Embellished Apples For A Holiday Table

Tradition: Start A Christmas Ornament Collection For Your Kids


You know that I like to keep my crafts simple, mostly made with felt or paper or pipe cleaners. When the instructions say something like, “Now get out your modge podge…” I’m probably not going to do that one.

The Pipe Cleaner Christmas Trees to make from Pure and Noble are totally my crafting style.

Spy training when you’re stuck inside because of the cold weather. (Via Tsh on Pinterest).

Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a craft. The scissor practice activity just bought me a few more minutes to finish writing this post. I drew a crazy line on the back of a piece of paper and now she’s cutting up all the fliers that come home from kindergarten. (Also via Tsh on Pinterest).

What fun activities for kids have you seen lately?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been scouring Pinterest looking for simple crafts to do with my kids. As there are 5 of them, *simple* is very important to me, too {although I do admit to getting sucked in to the quite a few very elaborate crafts!}.

    Today we made ornaments with red and white felt, cut out in heart and star shapes. Even my 2-year-old was able to sew the felt together with my help. It wasn’t completely the simplest craft we could have done, but they all liked it and the little ornaments turned out so cute! With a wide range of ages (12, 10, 8, 6, and 2), I try to find crafts that are as appealing to my oldest as they are to the youngest. It doesn’t always happen that way, so if I have a very simple preschool-type craft, the older girls help the younger ones so it all works out! :)

    Anyway, thanks for the links!
    Joy @ Artful Homemaking´s last post…Cowgirl Dirt Organic Cosmetics Giveaway!

  2. Oh, I have a post in my scheduler that is very similar to this, but I think I may have to go in and add create a holiday slideshow (and of course, give you credit!) because that my friend is and awesome idea.
    Amy Sullivan´s last post…On Learning the Story

  3. Thanks for the links. During the holidays we love to pull out board games, go to the library, bike around the lake, go to an outdoor concert (it’s hot here in Australia!) and indulge in all the activities we don’t get much time for during the busy school term.

    A craft activity that has been popular is making bookplates for our books at My Home Library:
    Kim @ Extra Organized´s last post…Bring your holiday home

  4. I love the idea to build a Christmas ornament collection for your kids. The only reason my husband and I had ornaments on our first tree is because my parents and grandparents had been giving me ornaments all my life. I also love the idea of each kid having a wreath to decorate with their special ornaments. Thanks!
    Ryann´s last post…What I’m into: October 2011

  5. How awesome that daylight savings worked to your advantage! My little monster still stays up till about 9:30 every night, which is kind of a bummer, but at least she’s started sleeping till 8 am.

    She’s too young for crafts really (20 months) — but she loves coloring. So I’ve been giving her white paper and appropriate colored markers for whatever shape I want. Then I let her scribble like crazy all over the white paper. After she’s done, I cut the paper into shapes (turkey, Christmas tree, etc) and I’m using them for Christmas cards for relatives!
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…An Embarrassing Truth: I Wish I Had a Dragon

    • A suggestion for the younger kids with whom you might not want to pull the paints out all the time for. Get Q-tips and colored construction paper (I guess you can use brushes as well) and a small dish of water. Show them how they can “paint” with the water onto the construction paper. Cool thing is, if they don’t soak the paper, once it dries it can be reused another day!
      Successful Woman’s Resource Center´s last post…Divide and conquer to get more done

  6. Magazine butterflies are pretty easy (even I can do it!)
    Shelley´s last post…Small Country

  7. What a beautiful model and a terrific idea x
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…Tuesday Yoga Giveaway: Libre Tea

  8. Oooh, what perfect timing! With 2 weeks looooming down on us to entertain (or listen to them complain), I am SO taking notes!

    Something my (now 8yo) son & his dad started doing a few years ago is driving around the neighborhoods at night with a digital camera and taking pictures of home lights. Then they stop for hot chocolate and doughnuts, come home, and rate them. I don’t quite get it, but they both seem to really enjoy it. And I love that the menfolk have a tradition of their own. :)

  9. My kids always really enjoyed making pine cone bird feeders to give as gifts and to hang in our yard:

    pine or other evergreen cones — it’s best if they are a bit “open”
    peanut butter
    bird seed
    heavy string for hanging

    Loop string at the stem end of the pine cone; tie tightly and leave long enough ends to tie a strong not to make a hanging loop. Spread peanut butter on the pinecone, pushing some up into the cone as you are able. Roll the cone in the birdseed; press lightly to adhere. Hang your feeder or immediately slide it into a plastic bag for gift-giving.
    Lori´s last post…Quick! Before Christmas

  10. Loved the Photo video, but when I tried the free promo from Animoto, but it gave a message saying the promo had already been used and wanted me to pay for the account.

    • Let me check on this…

    • I see what you mean. If you log in again at Animoto you’ll see that you do have an account set up with one month free, and you don’t have to enter any credit card information. I don’t like that it’s not clear on the website; we’re updating the post at Alphamom so people will know to just close out of the purchase page because I don’t want it to be misleading. Thanks for pointing that out, and I hope you enjoy using it.

  11. Love these activities… we’ll probably try a few out in the next few weeks.

    Glow sticks. They’re my boys absolute favorite and with it getting dark so much earlier, it’s a blast. We recently put glow sticks inside of balloons and turnedout all the lights. Best $5 I ever spent. Check it out:

  12. Love the craft ideas! As far as the early bedtime…our kids also fell for it but are also up early without fail!!
    For activities, my daughter has been very busy with a pair of scissors, markers, and a construction paper book. She’s always making something. Sometimes I’ll throw in a glue stick on her request!
    This Saturday we’ll attempt to construct a gingerbread house from a kit purchased at Trader Joe’s. Wish us luck!
    Christyn@StrivingforSimple´s last post…Downsizing To One Car

  13. Great ideas, and it’s odd how “spy training” can look so much like “spray tanning.” Had to read that one a few times :D

  14. Oh, yes! I am so like you when it comes to crafts. If I can’t do it in a few minutes with things I already have, I don’t bother.

    That said, I love the Christmas ornament tradition. I only have one ornament from growing up that has tremendous sentimental value, and it is my favorite thing to unwrap every year.

    I love all your Christmas ideas. Keep ‘em coming!
    Jennie´s last post…And then it was Christmas…

  15. Hola Rachel! I’ve just found your blog, and I think it’s really cool and useful!

    i am a Spanish stay at home mum with a 20 months toddler. I’m going to buy your book cause I feel sometimes I try to do so many things as the same time, and bloggin is sometimes really time consuming!

    u can take a look on my blog, i’m also writing another about how to teach english to my daughter,

    And one idea to do with my kid is dancing with her, i have some dvd with children’s songs and we dance together, sorry for not being very original!

    u have a new follower from today!
    Diana´s last post…Soy mamá bloguera y algo de fashion para mamis

  16. Those are great suggestions!
    Spy training? Love Tsh.

    We did a road trip inspired Map Garland which was fun.

    Take care :)
    Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D´s last post…Let’s Plan a Girls’ Night In!

  17. Construction paper…easy,cheap,fun. I have the kids make a Santa and use cotton balls for his beard and one for the tip of his hat. Also Christmas trees, using all the scrap pieces from other projects to make little tiny ornaments to glue onto the trees. Snowflakes (by folding, then cutting different shapes). Snowman, just cut out small, medium, and large circle. Use cotton balls for body and let them cut carrot for nose. Draw in rest of face. Ornaments, cut a big circle and let them draw and color a design. Glitter can be added to all of these projects. I have the kids sign the back and date them. Now my grandkids can see what Mommy made when she was their age. And what a great display they make on my walls during the holidays.

  18. Just saying that your book has been very inspirational, gracias!
    Diana´s last post…Qué nos pasó en el Martes 13 y mis last compras!

  19. enjoyed your Christmas posts – shared about them on my site today – linked a photo from your post as well (is that okay??) let me know! :)
    Heidi of Wonder Woman Wannabe´s last post…Just a few things (Mama to Mama)…

  20. Thanks for the ideas! I posted our Christmas Break “to-do’s” at:
    sara´s last post…pa rum pa pum pum