Happy December, y’all! I am finally back today with a new blog post! The start of the school year has proved to be quite busy for our family, so unfortunately my blog took a back seat the past couple of months. I have lots of new posts scheduled for the holidays, and today I wanted to kick things off with some of my favorite toddler-friendly holiday activities.
Visit Santa Claus. I know this activity can be hit or miss for some little ones, but this is always a must-do on our holiday bucket list every year! My oldest, Noah, has always loved Santa; however, his little sister on the other hand, is clearly not a fan! The photo below was taken last weekend and is basically an exact replica of last year’s photo. But, despite London’s tears, I still love having this memory of my kids because it shows their personalities so perfectly in this exact moment. If you are heading out to the mall to visit Santa this year but are dreading the long lines (and toddler meltdowns), my best advice is to go first thing in the morning when Santa first arrives for the day – that way, everyone is well rested and in the best mood possible. Bonus – our local mall now offers appointments for photos with Santa, so be sure to check online ahead of time to see if your local mall does the same!
Make a handmade ornament. Every year since my kids were born, I have tried to make a point to sit down and make a handmade Christmas ornament together. Despite the mess that it makes, it is always something the kids & I enjoy doing together. Now that both Noah & London are in preschool, they come home with quite a few handmade ornaments they’ve made in school. I always love seeing what they bring home! Anyone else a huge sucker for all of the adorable preschool crafts?! They are currently displayed all over my house! We haven’t gotten around to making ornaments together here at home quite yet, but I hope to do a few crafts during Christmas break. Later this week I will be sharing one of my favorite ornaments London & I made together last year – a salt dough Rudolph ornament!
Decorate Christmas cookies. I grew up baking and decorating cookies with my Mom and younger sisters, so this is a tradition near and dear to my heart. If you don’t have time to make your own dough from scratch (or don’t want to deal with the mess!), then check out your local grocery store for pre-made cookie dough. My favorite is Nestle Toll House Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets. Perfect for baking with toddlers & preschoolers! Grab your favorite cookie cutters, icing & sprinkles, and you are all set! Or if you are feeling extra ambitious, try hosting a cookie decorating party!
Give them their own mini Christmas tree. This is something we started this year with our 4 year old, and I’m so glad we did. A few weeks ago we were out to lunch when Noah randomly asked for a Christmas tree in his room. So, on a whim, we ventured out to Target to look for the perfect mini tree to put in his bedroom. He opted for a 2-foot tree, which is the perfect size to put on his dresser. I then let him pick out his own mini ornaments for him to decorate his tree. We even found a mini star to go on top, too! It turned out absolutely perfect and he loves having his very own tree right in his room! To make this tradition even more special, take each child out to the store individually to pick out their own tree & ornaments.
Drive around and look at Christmas lights. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, hop in the car, and set out with your little ones to check out the lights in nearby neighborhoods. We always make a point to do this every year, and it is so much fun to see how everyone decorates for the holidays. The kids love looking at the lights and it makes for a nice, quiet family activity. The best part about this activity is that it is completely free!
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions to do with your little ones? I’d love to hear what memories you love making in your home!