As the Christmas season settles upon us, there is an almost palpable energy in the air and a magic twinkle in the eyes of children. The anticipation of Christmas Day is larger than children are tall and seems to radiate from their little beings! Knowing how to celebrate and help children enjoy the season in an affordable way can often feel overwhelming. Thank goodness Jennifer Carver, of Spaceships and Laser Beams, is here sharing her budget friendly tips for keeping children entertained during the Christmas season.
Tip #1: Involve the children in inexpensive Christmas crafting. A few simple supplies from your local budget friendly dollar store can yield hours of joyful crafting. Children can mold nativities out of play dough. They can make a Christmas countdown chain out of cardstock, construction paper or even leftover wrapping paper. Chenille stems, clothes pins, pom poms and googly eyes can be transformed into reindeer ornaments. Speaking of ornaments, let them make dozens from scraps of colored paper and embellishments such as rhinestones, stickers and ribbon. There are tons of Christmas printables you can download for free as well.
Tip #2: Gather Christmas themed books and movies into baskets for free entertainment. Reading books and watching movies is such a fun holiday activity! Gather your collection of holiday books and movies from your bookshelves and media cupboards to put together Christmas reading and viewing baskets your children can enjoy during downtime. These baskets may include a favorite stuffed animal, small pillow or blanket, or even a small snack such as microwave popcorn. If your own holiday book and/or movie collection is sparse, make a visit to your local library and beef it up by checking out some favorites.
Tip #3: Include your children in holiday baking. Chances are, you have plans to do some baking during the holidays. Children love to participate! From gathering ingredients and measuring cups to helping scoop and roll out the dough, kids will love being invited to help sweeten the holidays. You’ll get your baking done and keep them entertained at the same time. That’s what I call twice the bang for the buck!
Tip #4: Go Christmas caroling. Caroling is free, budget friendly and oh-so-fun! Pick a few simple carols and practice at home. Grab a few neighbors or friends (strength in numbers), and map a simple course of homes you’d like to visit. Not only is caroling free, it’s festive and full of the Christmas spirit.
Tip #5: Take a drive to look at Christmas lights. While there are many grand light displays that cost money, you can also go to free lighting ceremonies in your community (just research online). Or better yet, hop in your car and drive around your own neighborhood! You may be surprised how spectacular the displays are in your own backyard. Plus, you’ll only spend a few dollars in gas.
Engaging children in enjoyable Christmas activities during the holiday season makes the season memorable and magical, but doesn’t have to mean more expense. By keeping these tips in mind, you can easily and affordably help create lasting memories they will cherish for years to come in a budget friendly manner.