Christmas Play Essentials

November 11, 2017  |  Claire Russell

Christmas will soon be here as we all know and before we get bogged down with decorating the house and buying gifts, I thought it would be helpful to think ahead to Christmas related activities you may want to do with your children.


Please don't feel that you need to get all of these items, but having some to hand or keeping a look out in the shops will make life much easier for creating activities for your little ones with minimum effort.


As always, I suggest charity shops, second hand sites such as Gumtree, poundshops and supermarkets. Playing with your children does not need to be expensive and you do not need a house full of expensive toys to keep them entertained!


1. Red and Green

It's amazing how a collection of items in red and green can quickly become a 'Christmas Activity'. As well as white and gold. Collecting resources in these colours, mainly items from the recycling will quickly top up your christmas play cupboard without needing to spend any money!


2. Food colouring

This is always the first on the list as I use it so much. Whether you're dying playdough, pasta, rice, noodles etc. It's good to have a stock at home. I use Sugaflair as it creates a vibrant colour using very little. For this time of year I would suggest red and green. You can also get gold if you're feeling particularly fancy!!


3. Bells

Nothing sounds more like Christmas than the sound of sleigh bells! If you can get them loose that's great. Fun for making music as well as adding a sensory element to any activities. You can often find these on cheap christmas decorations and simply remove them from the tinsel. Obviously not ideal for young children putting items in their mouths.


4. White stuff!

Anything white is also great for creating snowy activities. Whether its a white tablecloth or bedsheet for creating a snowy landscape for toy animals to play on. Cotton wool for art activities. White pom poms make perfect little snowballs and shaving foam for creating Christmas themed messy play. Even building with solely white building blocks can look really effective!


5. Lights!

Poundshops usually have lots of these in for this time of year. Battery powered fairy lights or battery powered tea lights are for great for creating enchanting activities as well as adding to a den or bedroom for dark evenings. White and red are always worth picking up and having at home.


6. Glitter!

I know, I know, we all hate glitter! It gets everywhere!! And I've spent many leads up to Christmas apologising to the cleaners at school for the state of my glittery classroom but sometimes it just has to be done! Kids love it and it's so versatile for adding to water trays, art activities and even mixing in playdough. You can buy eco friendly glitter in a lot of art shops or online.


7. Glow Sticks!

Our raving days may be a distant memory but these can transform any play activity for a young child and are guaranteed to make you a play hero! Add them to bath time, dark evenings in the garden or simply for sticking in lumps of playdough. They are just too inviting not to touch!! 


8. Glass Beads

These are a lovely resource if your child is old enough not to put them in their mouths. They come in a variety of colours and shapes. Add them to a sensory box or use them to create a snow scene. Their weight and texture makes them inviting to explore and with a great sensory element. Also a lovely resource for those children beginning to count, order and sort.


9. Top up your art box

As always its worth adding a few Christmas themed items to your art box for those days when you're feeling brave enough to face art and crafts! Why not look out for star stickers, Christmas washi tape, sparkly sticky back plastic, silver foil or coloured card for homemade Christmas cards.


10. Chocolate coins

Well, just because everyone loves chocolate coins!! Hide them around the garden and you'll have the kids entertained for ages as you sit and slurp your hot tea!!


Finally, there are lots of Christmas activity book and sticker books available in the shops which are handy to have in for those busy times when you need something to hand to occupy the kids. I would also recommend you have a little browse on :Print Play Learn for gorgeous FREE Christmas themed downloadable activity sheets for the children to enhance any role play areas or activities you're setting up over the next few weeks.


I think that's more than enough for keeping your little ones entertained during the lead up to Christmas! You never know, you might just get time for a mulled wine in peace!!


For more Christmas activity ideas, don't forget I have the playPROMPTS Christmas Calendar available from my website. A great alternative advent calendar!


Happy Christmas play mates, Happy Playing!!

Claire x



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