Christmas is going to be a different one this year and without all the usual activities and festivities open dues to COVID-19, you might be looking for things to do. With the kids off school, many families like to go out bowling, ice skating, to the cinema or to the pantomime over the Christmas holidays but these things aren’t an option this year, so what will you do instead?
As usual, with the kids off school they can get bored, start annoying you and each other and even though it’s Christmas time, it doesn’t mean they’re always going to be in good moods. In fact, often with all the excitement it can become overwhelming and make tears and tantrums more commonplace. Like you would with the summer holidays, it’s a good idea to plan some activities so that you don’t get to the boiling point because as mentioned there’s nothing open and no options if you find yourself needing to get out and do something.
While it’s good to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, equally it’s fun to do activities in the house and in the warm. You don’t need to have it all planned and scheduled but it’s good to have a few ideas in your back pocket so that if your kids are whining and want to do something different, you have the answer. Here are a few ideas to get you started. (Or find out updated list of top toys in 2023!)
If you’re not familiar with RPG Games, they are roleplaying games that involve players taking on roles of characters to develop the character through decisions the player makes. Mostly, tabletop RPG’s focus on creating a story which is what makes these games so popular and so much fun to play.
Not only are these games good entertainment and will keep everyone busy for a while but they also have many benefits. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to activate your brain, and role-playing games do this really well. So if you and the kids get playing RPG games then it means you’ll be getting them to use their brains too which is something that you don’t always get over the school holidays.
With family gatherings out the window, one way to keep entertained and to see the people you love is to host a virtual party. It doesn’t just have to be a Zoom gathering where people are awkward and don’t know what to say but why not host a Christmas Quiz for all the family?
If you’re all quizzed out from earlier on in the year then think outside the box and plan something different like a virtual murder mystery, a virtual escape room, or even a virtual movie night. This way you can see everyone you love, you can all stay safe and you can still party and have a great time.
Once the kids are in bed you could even do a virtual wine tasting. There are so many options you just need to get creative, but you can have loads of fun staying in and you don’t need to pay for a babysitter.
Classic Board Games
Board games are great and can often be forgotten and stuck in the cupboard or on the top shelf all year round. Make sure you get them out and make a point of playing them with the kids this year.
From the classic games such as Monopoly and Cluedo to the new board games replicating those on TV such as The Chase, or replicating real-life games such as Escape Room puzzles or even newer games such as Unstable Unicorns which replicates nothing, you can have so much fun and there’s a game everyone will enjoy.
It’s good to get outside and get some fresh air so that you’re not stuck inside for days. Plan some walks with the family to get everyone out, but also plan some outdoor games so that you won’t even notice the cold.
Wrap up warm and go to the park for a big game of rounders, cricket or football and the hours will fly by, everyone will get some exercise and everyone will get a good sleep at night. Also, with all the food and drink you’ll be consuming over the Christmas period, it’s good to get some exercise in and burn some of it off and make room for more.
Don’t forget the Christmas movies – as if you could. Make a list of all the classics you love and would like to watch and then find out what new ones are out which you could try this year such as The Christmas Chronicles 2.
When you’re stuck for something to do or there’s a fight over what to watch on telly, put a Christmas movie on to get everyone in a good, festive mood. Find a list online or make one yourself and make it a challenge to get through over the holidays.
While there’s always a tonne of food over Christmas, you could kill two birds with one stone and get baking as much of it as you can. Forget buying Christmas biscuits and cakes, bake them instead. You can save this until the kids have broken up from school and are hanging around the house, and give them something to do.
It’s a lot cheaper to bake your own rather than buy and it’s so much fun to do too. There are loads of Christmas recipes online and it’s a fun activity you can do together. Let’s be honest though, you can never have too much food at Christmas.
Playing With Toys
We can’t forget that Christmas time means plenty of new toys and gadgets so if your teen has a new phone this Christmas or a new computer game, don’t moan at them for playing on it too much.
Let them enjoy it, it keeps them quiet and it is why you got it for them. Rules can be brought in after the holidays but over the Christmas period, let your kids enjoy their new toys and make the most of them.
Before the big day, if you don’t have enough decorations around the house then one good thing to do to keep the kids busy is to make some decorations. In fact, in those days between Christmas and New Year, you could make New Years’ decorations if you’re struggling for something to do.
You can go as easy or as complicated as you want when it comes to making decorations, there are loads of online tutorials which can help you and hundreds of ideas for decorations to make for all skill levels and ability.
Have a Fun Family Photoshoot
While you’re all stuck inside together and probably annoying each other, you should really cherish the moment. Next year, your kids could be off seeing their friends, going off to the pub on Christmas eve or various Christmas parties, so while there’s no excuse, take some good family photos.
Not only will this commemorate the 2020 lockdown year and the strangest Christmas to date, but it will also give you memories to last a life time. Take plenty of photos of Christmas morning, playing games, eating lunch, and then take some posed photos by the fireplace or when you’re out for a walk. It might sound cheesy but you’ll love them when you look back on them in years to come.