Wondering what are the BEST fun Christmas activities for preschool and toddler kids indoors?! I”ve got you covered with printable PDF worksheets, templates, and ideas using everyday household items!
I’m sharing over 30 Christmas themed activities to do at home with your toddler or preschooler that are relatively no or low mess, easy clean up, and fast set up!
And to make set up EVEN EASIER I’ve created a Christmas Preschool Printable PDF Bundle of worksheets and activities templates that’s currently on sale for 70% off as part of it’s launch – click here to get the deal while it lasts!
WATCH CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOL + TODDLER KIDS 2021
WATCH CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOL + TODDLER KIDS 2022
A lot of the activities in this post can be DIY’ed or to make your life easier, I created a Christmas activity bundle of worksheets and activity templates for preschool and toddler kids to make your set up as fast as possible!
Christmas Activities For Preschool + Toddler Kids
This is a great sensory arts and craft project for toddlers and preschoolers! Learn more here!
Holiday Montessori Glue Boxes
My toddler LOVES montessori glue and paste box activities! Using the holiday themed printable worksheets and craft box, and let them decorate using the glue brush and glue jar. This is a great fine motor activity, working on pencil grip, precision, and of course creative expression!
Learn more about how to set up the Holiday Montessori Glue + Paste Box here!
Holiday Playdough Mats
Similar to the last activity, I love holiday play dough mats! Because once again, you can use a sensory box like this to set it up one time, then just swap out the theme each week!
And once again, you can use those same exact printables as templates! Only this time, use a piece of contact paper over them to make them a “wipe clean” sort of playdough mat.
You’ll basically just print, laminate using contact paper, and give to your toddler with some playdough and other themed sensory items.
For instance, in our Christmas tree one, I gave her some ornaments and pom poms and pipe cleaners. In the Gingerbread man, Gingerbread house, and Snowman ones I gave her buttons, holiday themed paper/ribbons, pipe cleaners, pom poms, and other loose craft items.
For playdough, I either make my own using one of these DIY playdough recipes or I use this brand since it’s made from food/plant based ingredients and I have a kid who likes to put playdough in her mouth!
Super simple! And you can even wipe these clean and store for next year so you don’t need to reprint and re laminate!
Christmas Push Activities (Feed the Reindeer + Santa / Christmas Tree Decorating)
Kids love push ball toys and coin boxes for decades and decades! Luckily, both are easy to DIY and make a festive holiday activity; heck I even did a “feed the Turkey” one for Thanksgiving and “feed the bunnies” for Easter!
With time though, I’ve gotten smarter and found a way to make this easier and easier with a printable that you can click here to download, including over 50 pages of other Christmas themed preschool activities!
Even better? These can be customized to work various skills from color sorting, counting, or even letters!
Feed The Reindeer
Step 1: Make your Reindeer
Start by printing the Reindeer and taping it to a shoe box. You can also draw this yourself and have your child decorate it if you like!
Step 2: Make cookies
Take either a piece of cardboard and cut it into a circle to act as your cookie – or just use the lids of old food jars.
For younger kids, just making “cookies” is enough.
For kids working on numbers: On each “cookie” add a “chocolate chip” starting with one and working your way up to 6 for young toddlers and 12 for older preschoolers or elementrary aged children.
For instance, one cookie has one chocolate chip, the next has two chocolate chips, and so on.
For kids working on colors: Make each cookie a different color
For kids working on letters: put a letter on each cookie.
Step 3: Make your Reindeer’s mouth
Use one of your cookies as a guide to cut a “mouth” into your Reindeer using the xacto knife (scissors can work too, it’s just harder).
This is where your child will feed them.
TIP: It’s okay if the fit is snug! It helps build strength in the hands; just push each cookie through once before giving to the child so you know it fits. The shoebox cardboard will “give” more with each cookie pushed through more and more.
Step 4: Play!
For young toddlers, you can simply give them the cookies and just have them feed the Reindeer.
As toddlers get older and work on numbers, give them one dice and teach them how to roll it then either have them feed the Reindeer that many cookies (if doing this method, have LOTS of cookies on hand).
Once your child has mastered that, using one dice have them roll the dice then feed them the cookie with the corresponding “chocolate chips” as they rolled. For instance if they roll a 3, then they would feed the reindeer the cookie with 3 chocolate chips.
As they master that, add a second dice and cookies with up to 12 chocolate chips, and so on. You can really keep adding onto this activity each year with more cookies and dice this way!
If they’ve mastered that, you can use the dice for math equations. For instance, have them add the two numbers on the dice then feed that many cookies, etc.
If your child is working on letters, you could also write letters on the cookies, and cover the dice with a sticker with the corresponding letters.
If your child is working on colors, cover each side of the dice with colors that match your cookies, have them put the matching colored cookie in the box when they roll the dice!
You’ll more or less use the exact same instructions for Feed The Reindeer – only use the Santa printable from the Christmas activity bundle for preschoolers! If you want to make it a little different, you can do carrots instead for the Reindeers OR you can use pom poms as “cookies” and work on color sequencing with Santa (which is what we did)!
Just like with the reindeer, you’ll tape Santa on a shoe box, use the xacto knife to cut out his mouth.
Since Santa’s mouth is pretty small, I went with pom poms for this activity. However you could cut his mouth larger if you wanted to use your cookies.
How to play:
You can have your child just feed pom poms until they’re gone. This is a great fine motor activity for young toddlers.
For preschoolers, you can have them roll the dice and feed Santa that many “cookies.” As kids get older and work on math problems, you can have them use two dice and practicing adding the numbers on each dice and feeding Santa that many cookies.
If working on colors, you can get a piece of paper and make a sequence of colors that match the pom poms. For instance, make a red dot, yellow dot, yellow dot, blue dot, etc. then have the child feed Santa with the matching pom pom cookies in the correct order.
This is a fantastic learning activity that my daughter LOVES!
- Christmas tree printable and tape – or markers to draw your own
- Shoe box
- Scissor or exacto knife
- Colored pom poms matching the ornaments on the tree – if you don’t have pom poms, you can use cotton balls or Q tips and just dip them in some water colored with paint or food coloring and let them dry
Step 1: Set up your tree
Print the Christmas tree and tape it to the shoe box. You can also draw your own Christmas tree directly on the shoe box.
Step 2: Set up ornaments
Take the exacto knife and cut out the ornaments.
If using the printable, make sure to leave a rim of the original color of the ornament.
If you drew your own, take a colored marker and outline the “ornament” opening you just cut.
Make sure you have enough pom poms that match the color of your trees ornaments. If you do not, you can use cotton balls or cut up cotton swab tips. Simply make a water mixture with paint or food coloring that matches the ornament colors, dip the cotton in, and let it dry.
Step 3: Play!
Once your ornaments are set, you’ll just add them to a bowl alongside your Christmas tree and give to your child.
Model the objective of matching the correct ornaments to the correct spot.
OPTIONAL: Since holes cut into cardboard push boxes like this tend to get bigger over time. You can start with smaller holes, and just have your child fill the colors in by placing the ornament on top. Once they’re done you can show them how to push them all in and do it again.
Christmas STEM + Gross Motor Holiday Activities:
Snowball + Ornament Balance
- Empty toilet paper, paper towel, or wrapping paper rolls (the cardboard insert)
- White paper and/or large white pom poms or felt balls and/or sticky foam
- Bulb ornaments
This is a fun little STEM activity that we are going to uplevel to a gross motor activity as well!
Basically to start, have your child balance the bulb ornaments on the cardboard rolls, much like my “Apple Tree Farm” fall activity for toddlers.
Once your child has mastered that you can add in the “snowballs”
The idea with the snowballs is to use whatever you have on hand but depending on the material you choose, you’ll work a difference skill.
For instance, if you go with pom poms or felt balls, it’s basically the same motor movement as the ball ornament.
However if you opt for paper, tissue paper, playdough, or sticky foam you’ll get the added bonus of sensory learning and the motor refinement of making a ball. Once they have their “snowball pile” made they can balance them on the cardboard rolls.
NOTE: this builds some nice hand strength! Start with tissue paper if your child is having a hard time making snowballs with regular printer paper.
If you using paper, I’d suggest having a pile set aside for a “snowball fight” if you’d like for the gross motor portion of this activity.
Once your ornaments and snowballs are on their stands you can have your child run through them without tipping them over.
You can also have a snowball fight with them where you’re on opposite sides of the little “winter wonderland” you just created and have to get each other without knocking down the obstacles OR if your child is younger and won’t understand why it’s okay to toss these “snowballs” but not their regular balls in the house so you don’t want to encourage throwing items at people in the home, you can make it a game to knock the snowballs and ornaments off their stands.
Christmas Tree, Snowman + Santa Tower Puzzles
- Full/new paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls (no exact number here but figure at least 6, the more the better!)
- Craft supplies to make snowmen and Santa (buttons, paper, pipe cleaners, red and green tissue paper, etc.)
- OPTIONAL: accessories like a scarf, top hat, Santa hat, etc.
Decorating your rolls
The idea here is basically decorate your toilet paper and paper towel rolls to create snowmen, Santa Claus, and any other holiday character’s you’d like!
For instance, the top roll would be a face, the middle roll would be the midsection, and the bottom is the bottom for Snowmen.
Essentially creating a “puzzle” at the same time.
Here are some ideas for decorating:
Christmas Tree: Wrap a few rolls in green tissue paper to create a “christmas tree” then let your toddler pasta “ornaments” on. Make sure to have one yellow roll for the “star” and one brown roll for the tree stump.
Snowmen: You can use a real hat for the top hat or wrap a roll a roll of toilet paper in colored tissue paper. Use paper cut outs for the eyes, carrot nose, and buttons. Add a scarf once your snowman is built!
Santa: Santa is definitely the trickiest and may be best suited for older kids or with adult help! There are a few ways to go about creating a Santa though:
- Top: Use a real santa hat or wrap a roll in red tissue paper and add a white pom pom to the base
- Second from the top is the face: Use paper to decorate a face. For the beard, use a real beard or a white piece of tissue paper hanging from it! Or just draw it on! Really it’s up to you guys!
- Mid sections/bottoms: You can use as many rolls as you’d like here, I’d suggest at LEAST 2, but most likely 3. I’d wrap them in red tissue paper to create the look of “santa’s suit” then decorate buttons, mittens, shoes, etc. from there!
For younger toddlers, you’ll probably need to help quite a bit. It may help to start with just a Christmas Tree and Snowman and by stacking the rolls first so they can place “buttons” and a “nose” in the appropriate spot.
For older kids, they’ll likely understand the concept if you show them what you’re doing, and you can decorate each piece accordingly.
You can do this activity with multiple kids where they each work on their own snowmen and then do Santa Claus together, or they work on them all together.
Build + play!
I suggest doing this activity WITH the snowball + ornament STEM balance activity to create a little “winter wonderland.”
You will then have your child run through the obstacle course of snowballs, ornaments, and their new holiday buddies without knocking anything over or pulling from the “snowball fight” concept from the previous activity.
Magna Tile Christmas Trees
Simply model building a “Christmas Tree” using Magna Tiles then sticking jingle bells onto the edges to decorate them!
TP Roll Puzzles:
There are a two ways to go about this one:
Using I create this holiday printable which has a template for four holiday characters that are perfectly sized to print and attach to the inner cardboard of a toilet paper roll.
All you’ll do it print, attach, then cut into the number of puzzle pieces (2, 3, or 4) that is age appropriate for your child.
Using a dowel (we used a toy from one of our Lovevery play kits, but if you have a paper towel holder or even a clean plunger that will work too!), put the puzzle pieces you just made in a basket and show your child how to stack them to create the picture.
Candy Cane Sticks
If your child is a little older and working on numbers, letters, or shapes, you can create a little sequencing puzzle for them using red and white construction paper and the same dowel system I jsut mentioned.
Basically all you’ll do is create bands/rings of the red and white paper that will act as your candy cane stripes.
From there you can label it with whatever your child is working on. Depending on what it is they are working on, you may need to create a “sequencing card” as well. For instance:
- Numbers: If your child is working on numbers, just label each of your candy stripes with a number and have them stack numerically. For older kids you can make this more complex but having them just stack even numbers, odd numbers, prime numbers, or even do math problems on your stripes and have them stack by the answer.
- Letters: Label each candy cane stripe with a letter and have them stack alphabetically.
- Shapes: You’d need to create a sequencing card for this one. Draw shapes on the candy cane stripes first. Then for the sequencing cards draw a pattern of shapes on a piece of paper and have them match what you drew using the shapes on the candy cane stripes.
All of the activities below (including some of the ones above) are included in the Christmas Activity Bundle!
NOTE: Since children learn differently, and parents have different supplies on hand, I wanted to leave this slightly customizable, while still being 99% done for you by giving you the option to use whatever materials you have on hand (markers, crayons, stickers, buttons, etc.).
Decorate by number:
For this activity you’ll just give the “decorate by number” pages of the printables and use whatever you have on hand for counting items (small buttons, q tip heads, pom poms, etc.) for a hands on learning experience OR a marker/pen and have your child draw the correct number if you don’t have any hands on materials!
Depending on the instructions of the printable or size of your counting items/stickers you’ll either have your child use the 3D objects to “count” the number or have them use a marker/pen to create that many dots on the image.
Color by number:
For this activity, I did not include a formal color key in case you didn’t have those exact colors on hand! *Isn’t it the worst when you think you have all the supplies only to find out your yellow marker dried up?! Instead I wanted parents to have the flexibility to use what they have.
Two options here:
1 Use the color by number sheets and label some markers, colored pencils, or crayons with a corresponding number.
For instance put a “1” on the yellow marker, a “2” on the red marker, etc.
Give your child the labeled coloring tool and the color by number sheet and have them color using the corresponding marker. Start with the bell which only uses 2 labeled coloring tools, and once they’ve mastered the concept, go onto the other sheets with more numbers.
2. Alternatively, if you prefer a color key on the page, use the colors you have on hand, just make a dot with your chosen color and label it as “1,” a dot with another color and label it as 2, and so on.
Give your child the holiday printables and color matching tool and have them match by color.
MORE TODDLER ACTIVITIES!
Christmas/Winter Toddler Activities:
Toddler Gift Guides + Shopping Tips:
General Toddler Activities:
More Seasonal Activities:
Originally published 11/23/21; Updated 11/19/22