12 Plays Of Christmas

12 Plays Of Christmas

12 Plays Of Christmas

This Christmas we’re here to help you have as much fun as the little ones in your life, after all we’ve all earned it after the year (or two!) that was. So switch off distractions, dial up the fun and enjoy our 12 Plays Of Christmas (see what we did there...)

 

  1. Make A Festive Lantern 

These homemade lanterns look beautiful with a tea light or battery candle flickering inside! Wash out an empty glass jam jar and cut some Christmas shapes out of coloured tissue paper. Stick the shapes to the outside of the jar using Mod Podge or PVA Glue and leave to dry. Tie a length of twine or ribbon around the jar rim and display at home or gift to a friend.

 

  1. Build A Snowman (even if it doesn’t snow!)

Using something circular to draw around, create a snowman silhouette on white paper by drawing around your circle 3 times, each one stacked on top of the other. Cut out some snowman accessories – try brown stick arms, an orange carrot nose, black pebble eyes, buttons, mouth, a scarf or hat – and let your minis create their frosty character by sticking on the pieces onto their snowman shape.

 

  1. Play 'What’s In Santa’s Hat'?

Take a Santa hat for each contestant and hide some small toys inside with distinctive shapes. The contestants have to feel the hat from the outside without peeking in and guess what might be hidden inside. Try hiding the same items in each hat to create more of a contest!

 

  1. Bake Gingerbread Decorations

Ingredients:

  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125g butter
  • 175g light soft brown sugar 
  • 1 free range egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together.

Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them. Try using a straw to poke a hole which you can thread with string or ribbons for hanging.

Bake for 12–15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180ºC or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling and decorate.

 

  1. Race To Unwrap

Wrap some objects in Christmas paper, each contestant puts on a pair of oven mitts and it’s a race to see who can unwrap them the fastest!

 

  1. Craft Your Own Toy Wreath

Always wondering what to do with all those plastic toys from the front of their magazines? Here’s what… make your own children’s toy wreath! Inspired by the wonderful children's interior designer Camellia Odojugan we took a polystyrene wreath base - available from a pound shop, DIY store or craft shop - and glued our toys onto it using a glue gun (adult supervision required). It can be as colourful and playful as you like… the more toys the merrier. Hang on their bedroom door or out front to share the joy!

 

  1. Reindeer Hoopla

Take a large cardboard box (from all those online shopping deliveries you know you’ve been making..!) and 2 x Y shaped sticks from your garden or local woodland. Standing the box on its end create 2 x holes in the top to push your sticks securely into. Then cut out eyes and a red nose from coloured paper, recycling boxes or coloured in white paper and glue to the front of your box to make a reindeer face. Create rings by bending some pipe cleaners into shape, mark a spot on the floor to stand on and try to hook your rings around the ‘antlers’. The more rings you hoopla the more points you win!

 

  1. Bauble Hunt

Think Easter Egg Hunt for the Christmas season… the grown ups (and the elves!) must hide baubles around your home and the little ones have to find them. Each bauble found can be exchanged for a treat!

 

  1. Play Snow

Who wouldn’t love to have a little bit of snow to pay in this Christmas. If we aren’t quite lucky enough though, use this recipe to make your own for the perfect festive messy play!

Try mixing together baking soda with either water (1 cup of soda and add water 1 tbsp at a time) or white hair conditioner (3 cups of soda to 0.5 cup of conditioner). The water recipe will create a light powdery snow while the conditioner mixture will create a snow which packs well, great for making structures like snowmen!

 

  1. Bake Biscotti

If you like Nutella you’re going to LOVE these little drops of chocolate hazelnut heaven!

Ingredients:

  • 100g hazelnuts, ground to a powder
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 85g white granulated sugar
  • 50g semi sweet chocolate

Before you begin, toast the hazelnuts for 15 minutes in the oven at 180ºC and then grind to a powder using a blender. Combine your flour and butter together and mix with your fingers. Add the ground hazelnuts and sugar to the mixture and rub together using your fingers. 

Once combined, tip the mixture out onto a floured surface and break off small pieces to roll into hazelnut size balls and flatten slightly. Lay on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven at 180ºC for 10 minutes. In the meantime melt the chocolate and, once baked and cooled, assemble to biscuit sandwiches with the melted chocolate in the middle to stick two biscotti together. Leave to cool in the fridge before eating!

 

  1. White Elephant Gift Exchange

My mum has played this game with us at Christmas since the dawn of time but I only just found out it's called White Elephant (or Dirty Santa...!) To play, wrap a host of joke or small presents and place in the centre of the group of contestants. Draw numbers or roll a dice to decide the order of play with the first contestant picking of a gift first from the pile.

As play continues each player can choose to take a gift from the centre pile or 'steal' one from a fellow contestant... but never fear, if yours gets stolen you'll have a chance to steal it back! Once everyone has had a turn, those with presents in front of them can now unwrap and reveal their winning gifts. 

 

  1. DIY Christmas Decorations

We invested in some air dry clay recently and it's wonderful for creating beautiful clay decorations to hang or gift to friends. Try using cookie cutters or your hands to mould the clay into festive shapes before leaving to air for up to 48 hours at room temperature or in a cold oven checking and turning your decorations every 15-20 minutes to avoid them burning.

Try stamping plastic toys or foliage onto the clay before drying with the option to paint the dried clay if you would like to create a coloured decoration.

 

Follow us on Instagram for more Christmas play & gift ideas and check out our 30 Days Of Play ideas for Active Play Ideas, Creative Crafts, Constructive Play Tips and lots more!