Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Activity Ideas

The kids are running wild with the excitement of Christmas just days ahead, how will we ever keep them under control, enjoy our time together and manage to get the last few things done that we'd like to?  Here are a few activities for the younger crowd that are becoming traditions around our home that help to keep the little ones "settled" during the last few days leading up to Christmas. 

Magic Reindeer Food
In a ziploc bag or shaker container mix the following-
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup red or green sugar sprinkles
we also add birdseed or nuts to share with the birds and squirrels
Add this poem to a gift tag to share-
Be sure to take this magic food and sprinkle on the lawn,
On Christmas, Santa's reindeer travel miles before the dawn.
The smell of oats and glitter path will guide them on their way
And you'll wake up to Santa's gifts next morn on Christmas Day!

Our kids love spreading the reindeer food outside just before getting
settled for bed on Christmas Eve.  Enjoy!

Homemade Wrapping Paper
Cover the kitchen table with plain white or kraft paper, taping down the sides
and let the kids get crazy with finger paints, crayons, stamps, glue and ribbons
and make wrapping paper for all those special gifts.

Homemade Salt Dough or Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments
This is a great way for a child to share a small gift with anyone that is special to them.  Have the kids help make the dough and cut out the ornaments and best of all decorate with whatever you have around the house (seeds, paints, pasta shapes, beans, glitter, etc.).  A great addition to any tree or package.  Recipes can be found at

Other ideas to enjoy the holiday's that are low key but will keep the kids interest, make a gingerbread house or your child's favorite cookies to leave for Santa; visit your local library and check out holiday books and movies to read and watch throughout the week.  Enjoy getting outside?  Go on a trek to find natural decor from the woods to decorate a vase for the table (evergreens, twigs, pine cones), add whole cranberries to the bottom of the vase for color.  Take a "light ride" as my children have named this event over the past couple of years.  We head out after dinner with the kids dressed for bed, grab ourselves a cup of coffee and take a leisurely evening ride, don't forget your favorite Christmas CD to enjoy along the way.  Lebanon, West Lebanon and White River Junction have vibrant displays throughout many of their neighborhoods.  La Salette Shrine in Enfield and Joseph Smith Memorial Birthplace in South Royalton have excellent light displays as well.

Enjoy these last few days leading up to Christmas, spending time with your family and friends and slowing down a bit to enjoy what's truly important.  Best wishes for a joyous and bright holiday!  Merry Christmas!

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