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Christmas Activities for Toddlers

We absolutely LOVE Christmas here at Thomas Towers. It’s kinda a chaotic time of year (isn’t it for everyone though?!) as we go on our annual summer holiday and it also just happens to be Zoey’s birthday three days before! As a result, we don’t have time for crazy elaborate crafts and activities so here’s eight suggestions for keeping it relatively simple with the toddler in your life…

An invitation to create a winter wonderland…


After picking up this rather cute looking steel container in Kmart (I think it’s a planter, but not entirely sure?!) I decided to put it to good use for the important business of play!

You will need:

  • Uncooked rice
  • White glitter or confetti
  • Mini Christmas trees
  • Duplo or similar
  • Christmas themed animals
  • Fine motor tools
  • pompoms
  • Large tray (to contain the mess)

What to do:

  • Simply start off by filling the bottom of the container with white rice, then add some sparkly glitter on top.  We used the largest section of the container so that there was more room for play! The glittery bit is optional and you may want to avoid with younger children.
  • Add the wintery accessories into one side section of the container and fine motor tools in the other.
  • Invite your toddler to PLAY.


A Christmas themed sensory bottle…


We all know that toddlers can be super unreasonable beings: one minute they are totally happy and the next they’re screaming because you wont allow them to run in a busy car park! The temper tantrums are all part of growth and a sensory/ calm down bottle can help.

You will need:

  • A clear plastic bottle ( we like the Voss bottles because of the flat tops)
  • Pompoms
  • Glitter
  • Sequins
  • Glycerine
  • Water

What to do: 

  • Add a selection of Christmas themed sparkles and glitter along with the pompoms
  • Add 2 tbsp of glycerine.
  • Fill to half way and give the mixture a shake to test it out
  • Pour more water to just below the top
  • Secure lid with glue
  • Play!

You can find more sensory bottle options here.


Triangle Trees


This is a great little option for developing those fine motor skills. It’s a slightly ‘chunkier’ alternative to using yarn, making it easier for little fingers.

You will need:

  • Craft sticks
  • Chenille sticks / pipe cleaners
  • Glue gun or strong glue
  • Pompoms

What to do:

Before starting with the fun bit of decorating and wrapping the tree, you’re going to need to make a triangle! This is definitely an adult task – I wouldn’t advise letting a toddler wield a glue gun as even the ‘low-temp’ versions can burn fingers! Once the triangle is dry, invite your toddler to wrap the pipe cleaners around the structure. The results won’t look perfect, as you can see from the photo but it is fun!


Polar bear Playdough


Playdough is an absolute staple in our house: so simple, so fun and so many educational benefits too! Whilst we usually make our own playdough, for this activity we used the remains of an older pack of white dough.

You will need:

  • White playdough (store bought or handmade)
  • Food pouch lids and bottle tops
  • Sparkles and glitter
  • Toy polar bears
  • Rolling pin
  • Large tray

What to do:

Simply invite your child to play! Younger children might need some prompting before getting stuck in. As you can probably see from the photo here, we ended up unwittingly recreating the poor polar bears’ real life plight so you may want to talk about conservation and environment with older children.


Build a snowman!

Please excuse Zoey’s arms…we’d been painting!


Who doesn’t love a good felt craft? Its such a fabulous material (in our opinion) that doesn’t require gluing or sewing – a major win when working with young children!

You will need:

  • Felt in a variety of colours
  • Scissors
  • Sparkly pompoms
  • Googly eyes
  • Chenille sticks

What to do:

Cut the felt to shape and invite your little one to play. If they’re not familiar with snowmen, or need a reminder, demonstrate the activity first. This is a great one to bag up and take to cafes too!


DIY Gift Bag

Stamping is such a great activity for toddlers to try!

It wouldn’t be a Teach Investigate Play post without the inclusion of some messy art! Plus this doubles as a sweet gift bag for a relative too!

You will need:

  • A white paper bag (we save ours from shops throughout the year)
  • Non-toxic acrylic paints in Christmas colours
  • Foam stampers or you could try making your own potato stampers!

What to do:

The key here is to limit the colours on offer. More colour tends to equal a humongous brown mess! Simply demonstrate how to put the paint onto the stamper (we actually used the lids of our paints to do this) and stamp away! Please note that the end result wont look perfect – there will be splodges and smudges, but that’s really part of the fun!

If you stress about the mess, check out this blog post first!


Eye Spy Bottle


The Voss bottle is back again, this time to make an eye spy bottle! It actually also doubles quite nicely as a music shaker too…

You will need:

  • Voss bottle or similar
  • Uncooked rice
  • Glitter
  • Christmas sequins
  • Pompoms

What to do:

Fill your bottle with a mixture of the above ingredients, leaving space at the top so that that the items can move around inside. You may also want to glue the lid in place to avoid curious tots spilling the mixture everywhere! Then simply ask your child what they see as they move the bottle around. This is a great one for language development as you can talk colours and shapes too.


Recycled Christmas Tree

Food pouch lids make such a brilliant loose parts tool!

Loose parts play is possibly one of the easiest ways to participate in Christmas activities: there’s no gluing or mess and you can repeat as many times as you want!

You will need:

  • An assortment of food pouch lids
  • An assortment of pompoms
  • Fine motor tools (optional extra)
  • Paint tray or party platter

What to do:

Lay out all of the materials in a flower shaped paint tray and invite your toddler to make a Christmas tree. Again, younger children may need a little help with this first.


Some notes about the materials used:

Aside from the recycled products, here’s a list of stores… I have not been sponsored for this post, I just genuinely love the items enough to buy them 🙂

Animals: a combination of Schleich from Little Sprout and Collecta from Oh Ivy 

Large tray: ours is a ‘tuff spot tray’ from Invitation to Play

Craft materials: all from Riot Art & Craft 

Fine motor tools: available from The Creative Toy Shop 


I hope you’ve enjoyed the ideas I’ve shared! As always, please tag me in if you try any of these activities out as that make me super happy!


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