The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but that doesn’t mean that they’re always jam packed full of excitement for the kids. In fact, they can be overwhelming without a little structure and when the kids are involved, they need to have their holiday time without being terrified of all the ‘busy’. There is a lot of chaos that occurs throughout these weeks in the holidays and with the kids at home from school, it’s up to you to keep them as busy as possible so that they can enjoy their time as much as possible.
One of the best ways to do it is with some good old fashioned fun – board games, table games, dancing games. You name it, you can game it and it’s so important at this time of year more than any other, to slow down and make time for fun together. The best time that you spend in the holidays is with the kids, playing with free printable puzzles and giving their brains a workout while they have fun in the season. Whether you are just at home for the holidays or you’re stuck in a little isolation, you need to make it fun and here are some of the best family-friendly games that you could play right now!
- Treasure hunts. Do you remember being a kid and having your parents hide things in the house for you to find? Scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, whatever you’d like to call it, these are a great way to have fun and get those thinking caps on! You can add prizes, add some Indiana Jones background music and make up your own riddles and clues to make sure that the kids have a little fun. If you’ve just got adults at home, it’s not a problem because this is a game that suits all ages.
- Charades. Okay, so this game is so much more fun when it’s about grown ups having fun because they tend to have a little too much wine while they play. Holiday charades is a good way to get the kids having some fun and you can print off your own cards, too, if you don’t have the board game to hand. Everyone takes it in turns to draw a card and act out the word or phrase. It’s fun, it’s easy and everyone can get involved.
- Limbo. It’s traditionally played in the summer months on the beach, but why can’t you get involved in Santa Limbo this year? Those sugar highs from all the delicious food need to be burnt off and the best way to do it is playing limbo with a long string of tinsel! Get two people to hold up the ends and everyone limbos underneath it. The catch? Using a belt and pillow, everyone wears the pillow strapped to their front – much like Santa has his belly!
- The gloves and scarf game. If you ever went to school in the UK, then you’ll know all about this game. If not, prepare to have fun! A group of you stand in a circle around the table with a bar of chocolate, a plate, a set of cutlery and a hat, gloves and a scarf. The whistle is blown, and the person who starts the game wears all of the winter accessories while trying to cut the chocolate bar up to eat it. Every 30 seconds, the whistle is blown and the next player has a turn. It’s great fun and it makes for a giggle around the Christmas table!
- Have fun with marshmallows. It’s a staple for any house to have marshmallows at the holidays. For ‘smores, hot chocolate or just as a snack, marshmallows make the season. Kids are never bored when there are marshmallows around, and you can play so many games where they’re involved. Think about marshmallow jenga, but use flour to make them not stick to each other! The next game you could play is marshmallow Christmas trees, where you all try to stack your marshmallows in the shape of a Christmas tree. The first tree to collapse is the loser! You could even build structures and decorate them much like gingerbread houses! You can use toothpicks to connect marshmallows together if you plan to make houses. You have to give everyone a fighting chance, right?
- Pin the nose on the reindeer – or the belly on Santa. These kinds of games aren’t just for birthday parties, you know. You can have so many different themes for this one and it makes for a really fun time! Putting on the festive music and playing a little game of these will make all the difference to your day. You can play this for all ages, too, so grandparents can get as involved as the kids and have a great time with it, too.
- Snowflake making. Do you remember being a kid and cutting paper into circles before folding it up and cutting patterns into it and snipping pieces out? This is a classic STEM lesson that happens during the festive season at school. You can teach them all about snowflakes, building a lesson into the game. All you each need is a pair of scissors and paper. You can make each snowflake completely unique, and that’s going to make sure that everyone has fun. You can then thread these onto the Christmas tree and hang them up in the house!
- Make paper chains. Just like the snowflakes, paper chains are some of the best games to play during the holidays. Strips of colorful paper and glue sticks means that the kids get to make christmas decorations for the house in a few minutes. They can spend time cutting the strips and sticking them together, threading the strips loop by loop and hanging them like garlands through the house.
The holidays are a time for everyone to come together and have fun and crafts and games are the best ways to do just that.