Christmas games

Christmas games are a great way to burn off some of your little one’s energy in the days leading up to, and on Christmas day itself. Organising some Christmas games doesn’t require a huge amount of work and may be a great way to occupy children while your partner does some secret Christmas present-wrapping! 

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Alternatively, if you are hosting a Christmas party, it is a good idea to organise some games for after the meal. Christmas games are a lovely way to bring family and friends together and allow the little ones to feel included in a meaningful way. 

We’ve organised the Christmas games according to age groups so you can choose the games that are most appropriate for your little one. Remember that with babies under the age of 18 months, they will probably only enjoy the game for a short while before wandering off to explore! 

Handy hint: It might be worth stocking up in advance on some small prizes like candy canes for the winners. 

1-2 year

Christmas Treasures game

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Equipment:

  • Christmas stocking
  • Objects you have collected – include things like pine cones, large shells (watch out for choking hazards), and some soft materials; soft toys are a winner!

Instructions:

  1. Sit down with baby and take out an object one at a time.
  2. Let your little one investigate the object and play with it.
  3. Move on to discovering the next ‘treasure’ in the Christmas stocking and let them play in an unstructured way until they indicate they have finished. 

Christmas Puzzle Game

Equipment:

  • Christmas cards cut up into about 6 pieces

Instructions:

  1. Simply cut up some old Christmas cards into 6 pieces and spread them on the floor.
  2. Let your little one sort through the homemade puzzle and work out how to put the picture together.
  3. If you want to make it more challenging, add in two other cards as well for them to sort through. 

2-3 years

With this age group, remember to model the Christmas game with them before playing. 

Christmas statue freeze game

Equipment:

  • Soundtrack of Christmas music

Instructions:

  1. Tell the children you will be playing the music but as soon as it stops they must “freeze”.
  2. Start playing music.
  3. When you stop the music the last child to freeze is out. (It is worth having a couple of practice runs for this game!) 

Gingerbread decorating game

Equipment:

  • Gingerbread biscuits
  • White icing
  • Smarties

Instructions:

  1. Get the children to decorate their own gingerbread men.
  2. Help them with the icing and Smarties.
    (This makes a great afternoon tea snack for them as well!) 

Red nose run Christmas game

Equipment:

  • Vaseline
  • Circles of red noses cut out of cardboard paper

Instructions:

  1. Divide the guests into teams.
  2. Get the first child to put Vaseline on their nose and then put the red circles on it.
  3. They race to the other side of the room or garden wearing their nose.
  4. Then they pass the nose to their team member.
  5. If their nose falls, they must go back to the start of the game.
  6. The first team to finish wins. 

3 years plus

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Candy Cane relay

Equipment:

  • 4 candy canes per team

Instructions:

  1. Give the first player all four candy canes.
  2. They must hold them and pass them all down the line to their team mates without any of them being dropped or broken. 

Pin The Nose on Rudolph (variation on pin the tail on the donkey)

Equipment:

  • Blindfold
  • Large picture of Rudolph
  • Each child’s name printed on a sheet of paper with Prestik on the back 

Instructions:

  1. Blindfold the player.
  2. Spin the child gently round.
  3. Get them to try to stick their name on Rudolph’s nose.
  4. The winner is whoever gets the closest. 

“Stuff the stocking” Christmas game

This game is a great chance to use up some of those extra Christmas chocolates and lollies!

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Equipment:

  • A large stocking
  • A teaspoon
  • 1 bowl for each team
  • Wrapped lollies and chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Divide the children into two teams.
  2. Have them all line up at one end of the room.
  3. At the other end, hang a Christmas stocking for each team.
  4. Place a bowl of lollies and a spoon in front of each team.
  5. Each child takes a turn taking a lolly from the bowl using the spoon.
  6. They then carry the lolly on the spoon to the stocking and drop the lolly in the stocking.
  7. They then race back to the next person in their team and pass them the spoon.
  8. The first team to fill the stocking wins! 

Create a human Christmas tree!

Equipment:

  • A roll of red and green crêpe paper
  • Aluminium foil
  • Candy canes

Instructions:

  1. Give the children the crêpe paper and foil to decorate guests as Christmas trees.
  2. Encourage them to be as creative as they can!
  3. They can use the candy canes as the final touches for decorating their “trees”. 

Secret Star

Equipment:

  • Cut out a cardboard star and pop some double-sided sticky tape on the back

Instructions:

  1. Get each child to try and stick the star on the back of someone else without them knowing.
  2. They are likely to give the game away fairly quickly in any way!
  3. Make sure everyone gets a go at wearing the star without them knowing. 

At this magical time of the year Christmas games can be a wonderful way to bring generations together. The more senior family members can help out the little ones, while the older kids can get caught up in the competition and rivalry. To ensure success, a little planning and forethought about the most appropriate Christmas games will help make this season unforgettable. 

An oldie but a goodie for Christmas day itself is: Pass the Parcel

Equipment:

  • A special “prize” – candy is usually a winner
  • Several layers of gift wrapping
  • Sweets

Instructions:

  1. Make a parcel by wrapping up a prize in several layers of paper and include in each layer a sweetie (flat gold chocolate coins work very well).
  2. Sit the children in a circle, give one of them the parcel and when the music starts, get them to hand it to the next child, who hands it on, and on.
  3. When the music stops, the child who is holding the parcel opens the first layer.
  4. Then when the music starts again, they hand it on to the next child, and so on.
  5. Then the last one to uncover the wrapping wins the big prize! 

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