It’s hard to find easy developmental Christmas activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Many Christmas preschool and toddler activities are too complex, messy, and time-consuming. The crafts involve scissors or dreaded paper mache. There are too many steps; they ask toddlers for more attention and dexterity than they possess.
Here’s a list of quick, easy, and developmentally appropriate Christmas activities. Most call for materials you probably already have.
I look at most activities through a developmental lens, and Christmas is no exception. These Christmas activities for toddlers and preschoolers are listed according to the developmental area they enhance.
Fine Motor Skills
Activities that increase fine motor skills focus on small muscle groups (especially in the hands). Fine motor skill activities could be using tongs, kneading Play-Doh, and ripping paper.
Increased fine motor skills help toddlers and preschoolers use utensils, get dressed, and play efficiently.
- Felt Christmas Tree from Teaching Mama: little hands can decorate this felt tree over and over again, strengthening their little hand muscles and hopefully leaving the real tree alone
- Holiday Pom Pom Push from Busy Toddler: this fine motor activity is also great for sorting, patterns, and color identification
- Christmas Cutting Tray from Play Teach Repeat: work on cutting skills and find a use for old Christmas cards and labels
- Homemade Dough Ornaments from Ish Mom: don’t you just want to remember how little their hands were forever?
My autistic preschooler loves sensory activities. These activities give him a safe outlet to explore textures.
He doesn’t always feel like getting messy, so some activities are more hands on than others.
- Christmas Sensory Tub from Teaching Mama: a classic sensory bin, made even more magical by the Christmas theme
- Christmas Slime from The Best Ideas for Kids: the ever popular slime activity, but Christmas-y
- Peppermint Water Play Activity from Fantastic Fun and Learning: use all those extra Christmas peppermints for this water play activity
- Snow Man In A Bag from Oh My! Creative: play in the “snow” without mess or cold!
Gross Motor Skills
Activities that increase gross motor skills focus on bigger muscle groups like the arms, legs, and torso. Increasing gross motor skills help children complete complex movements efficiently.
- Jingle Bell Toss from Playground Parkbench: Work on throwing, coordination, and aim with this fun activity that may remind you of college
Holding and controlling a pencil is really hard for little hands. Pre-writing activities strengthen muscles and condition hands, helping kids make art and write stories.
- Toddler Time Christmas Printable from Royal, Baloo, and Logi-Bear Too: kids will love working on their letters with these fun printables
STEM is science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM activities teach toddlers and preschoolers these four principles in creative ways.
Exposing preschoolers to STEM activities will increase problem-solving and critical thinking skills. STEM activities encourage toddlers and preschoolers to appreciate these subjects later, in a more rigorous academic setting.
- Christmas Magic Milk Science Experiment from Fun Learning For Kids: this fun Christmas science activity can be put together in minutes with supplies around the house
- Sticker Trees Christmas Counting Activity from Busy Toddler: your littles will love working on early math skills with a Christmas theme