Christmas Season is upon us. Our schedules have been packed with end of term concerts, parties and seasonal events.
In early December, the flurry of activity subsides as schools are closed and families travel to be with their relatives. It is during this quieter time that parents can be left wondering how to keep their children entertained.
I have some suggestions for you. Afterall anyone who knows me from SensoBaby knows who much I love to have fun.
In our family, Christmas films are part of the festivities. From the timeless classics to a new exciting cinema release; films help us get into the swing of Christmas. I get a warm, nostalgic feeling when I watch the films that featured in my childhood, with my own children.
Films can form part of the holiday tradition. Growing up in the UK, Christmas Eve was always accompanied by the animation ‘The Snowman’, a story that was full of music and magic. Later on, the sentimental classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ always featured in our pre-Christmas traditions.
You can pair Christmas films with fun play ideas to make the experience so much more than just watching television.
The Dr Seuss classic has had a few reimagining’s in recent years. The story centres around the mean Grinch who gets increasingly frustrated at the merriment in Whoville and conspires to ruin Christmas. When the Grinch’s plans fail, the moral of the story is summed up in this famous quote:
“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps….means a little bit more”
There are lots of fun activities you can tie into this film. My favourite (actually my children’s favourite, I’m not a huge fan of cleaning it off the rug) is making Grinch Slime!
Toys R Us has the glue that is needed to make slime. Add a teaspoon of Borax (found in most supermarkets), green food colouring and add hot water in increments until you have the right consistency. We added confetti hearts (found in The Crazy Store) as a reminder that the Grinch does have a heart after all.
A good recipe that doesn’t use Borax (which is dangerous if ingested and should be used with caution) can be found here: https://www.myjoyfilledlife.com/grinch-slime/
Given the meaning of the film, it’s a good opportunity to encourage your children to make a kind gesture to someone else. A homemade Christmas Card, a handwritten note or a homemade sweet treat.
Yes, the long-awaited sequel to the Disney craze that captured the imagination of children across the world, has now been released. Family Gems have partnered again with New Capitol Cinemas to create a Family Fun Day at the premier. A child-friendly screening with a hot dog, a drink and activities will enchant your little ones as they enjoy a magical experience watching Elsa, Anna and Olaf.
You can help them keep the magic alive through play! Here are three play ideas inspired by the Frozen films:
Put a Frozen twist on playdough by making snow dough. You can find the recipe here, but substitute the flour for one cup of cornflour instead to make a beautiful, sparkling white dough.
Playing with ice is a great way to cool down in this weather, so inspired by Elsa’s magic, why not freeze water in different containers and add small treasures such as pom poms, buttons, toys etc. I used a snowman baking tin and Christmas tree-shaped muffin cases I found locally.
Mix half a cup of warm water with half a cup of Epsom Salts. Add a drop of blue food colouring and mix well. Paint the mixture onto paper to create delicate snowflakes that shimmer when they are dry. Try different colours to create a winter scene.
This animated classic was first released in 1982 so has definitely stood the test of time. A gentle, short animation that captures the magic and wonder of Christmas, your little ones are sure to be enchanted with it.
It’s a nice one to aid relaxation as just listening to the musical score whilst colouring or crafting can be a nice activity for your children.
You can make your own snowman too. For this activity, I just cut out the shape of a snowman on white card and put out loose parts such as beads, sequins and buttons. A really easy, recyclable activity that can be adapted to different shapes and themes.
A happy Christmas to all and happy playing!
Caroline holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health and Psychological Therapy and works to help others achieve their full potential. As one of the Directors of SensoBaby, she focuses her attention on families and young children.
You can find her at www.littlenaledi.com