Christmas in 2020 will be different to the usual festive activities we know from years past. The global pandemic is still very much amongst us, in some countries more than in others, and most people will spend this holiday season differently than usual. We want to give you some novel ideas for some fun family activity ideas for Christmas during a pandemic.
Christmas in 2020 will be different to the usual festive activities we know from years past. The global pandemic is still very much amongst us, in some countries more than in others, and most people will spend this holiday season differently than usual. But different doesn't need to be negative, right? Different can still be fun and even staying at home can be almost as fun as travelling to some faraway destination, you just need to get creative with the activities you plan. Sound like too much work and not enough fun? Okay, let us get creative for you and give you some novel ideas for some fun family activity ideas for Christmas during a pandemic.
Nothing unites and relaxes people more than good food. In our busy daily life it is good to get back to basics and enjoy the company of family to prepare some delicious food. Cooking meals together literally increases your family’s health by teaching the kids about nutrition and gives them an appreciation for healthier home prepared meals. It is also a great way to get kids and parents to unplug and connect with each other. Mundane tasks like washing, prepping, chopping and tasting are always more fun when done together! Have picky eaters? Cooking together can help your children try a wider variety of food. Kids are a lot more likely to eat what they've had fun preparing themselves. Cooking together can be as big as gingerbread houses from scratch (or buy a kit and decorate it yourselves...) or as simple as gingerbread cookies cut out with Christmas cutter. We love these stained glass window cookies you can eat AND hang on your Christmas tree!
You're most likely going to spend more time than usual at home during this holiday season, so you might as well make your home the winter wonderland that you always dreamt of. Decorating your house together with family actually has psychological benefits. The joy that can come from decorating for Christmas comes from nostalgia, which stirs up positive emotions and increases overall wellbeing. Starting a tradition of decorating together with your children will then help them associate this ritual with positive feelings when they do the same with their kids in the future. Check out these 72 DIY ideas for Christmas ornaments.
Especially during Christmas, people have an innate need to be together and feel connected. During the year you may not have much free space to play intensively or intentionally with your children because there is always a lot going on. Use this time to connect again, and a great way to do so is by playing games. It gets young and old involved in an activity that can teach many important values in a positive and bonding way. Boardgames for example, can help children learn how to work together as a team, practice patience and being respectful when losing. Let your children choose which games they want to play and this will make them more likely to be actively involved in the activity. Find some ideas for Christmas games by clicking here.
Who doesn't love arts and craft during the festive season?! There is nothing better than getting your hands dirty with paint and letting the creative juices flow! Wether basic or more elaborate, DIY is super beneficial for your little one's development. It might seem like something so simple but crafting takes a lot of skill and creativity and therefore helps to develop physical and social skills. Here are some of the benefits:
1. Development in fine motor skills - When your child colors or does a craft project, his motor skills gradually increase, improving the overall muscle strength and control over movements.
2. Increased dexterity - Arts and crafts increase agility in kids and with regular practice you will see an improvement in manual dexterity.
3. Improved hand-eye coordination - DIY often requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and starting at an early age will help your children in almost all parts of life, including participation in sports.
4. Boosted self esteem - Creating something yourself gives a sense of achievement and allows for a boost of self-esteem. The feeling of being in control when you create something yourself is great for overall confidence.
5. Promotes innovation and creativity - It takes thinking outside the box to innovate or create an object. The ability to solve a problem, whether it's creating something from scratch or picking colors to paint a handmade decoration will promote creativity and innovation.
6. Helps with socializing if done in a team - If a child interacts with a companion when creating wether a sibling, a classmate or an older family member, it gives the kids the opportunity to socialize and build friendships. The bond between a parent and a child gets a massive boost when creating something together.
What a list right?! All of these skills are improved if you do some simple but impactful arts and craft together with your child during this Christmas season. Need some extra ideas on what to craft? Here some of the 29 best Christmas crafts for kids. Why not pick one for every day of the advent calendar!
This is an activity that should not be an after thought or 'nice to'. Whenever possible, we need to teach our kids that the most important reason for Christmas is caring and not consuming. Teach them that their value is represented by who they are, not what they own. It is easy to be caught up in all of the holiday shopping but if parents change that mindset just a little bit, we can actually use the festive season to teach some valuable lessons. As parents, it should be our number one priority to be a role model for positive behavior for our children. You can be a good example and show generosity by donating to a charity. If you want to involve your kids, there are many options to donate gifts to children and families that may be struggling. Target and Kmart run some foundations to help. Often these involve picking a 'star' with a child's age/gender off a Christmas giving tree (eg. 'Girl 8 years'), and then buying and leaving the gift under the tree with the star attached. Why not get your children to pick a child close to their own age so they can put some thought into what they might like to receive. It helps them to relate to the child they are buying the gift for and teaches them empathy.
Another impactful trait to teach is thankfulness. Showing gratitude is particularly important at Christmas time, as there is usually a lot of focus on getting new toys and items. Writing a list of items that your children already have BEFORE they write the list of what they want, can show them that they are already blessed, even if the 'items' they write down are things like family members, school, home and friends. Taking a moment to reflect on what you already have, rather than on what you want, can be really beneficial towards learning thankfulness.
Showing kindness within the family is also a great way to strengthen this value. Ask every family member to recognise a strength in each other. This could be strengths like creativity, organisation, imagination or manual skills. For example the family member with the strength of organisation, can be the person setting the table or helping a parent to do the shopping list. This is teaching kindness towards people and helping with bonding between family members.
The Christmas season is meant to be a time of joy, but for many people it can be a time of stress and anxiety as Christmas comes with high expectations of everything being perfect, happy families enjoying big elaborate celebrations with expensive gifts, but not all of us are able or want to live up to these ideals. So it's totally ok to allocate 'relax' as an activity!
1. Watch the family's favourite movie together with some hot chocolate and popcorn.
2. Don't stress if you say "NO" to some friend's Christmas party, you don't need to attend every event that you've been invited to. Rather use the time and spend it with your family playing a game or doing some Christmas crafts from the lists above.
3. Don't be a perfectionist! You do not need to have a 6-course feast or a magical hand-picked Christmas tree from winter wonderland. It is the simple things that make life special, especially this year.
4. Sleep in whenever possible! It might be difficult with young kids waking up early but you can invite them into the bed for a relaxed cuddle and a Christmas book or two. Who can say no to a snuggle with mom or dad during the festive season?
5. If sleeping in is not really your family's thing, try to get some exercise. Sport is always more fun when done together. There are plenty of tips for some indoor exercises if you live in an area where outdoor exercise might just end in a blizzard: 87 energy-busting indoor games
We hope that these family activities for Christmas during a pandemic, will help you to enjoy this magical time of year, even during the pandemic of 2020. Making time for bonding activities with your loved ones is an investment that you'll never regret, and your kids will never forget. Let us know in the comments below what Christmas activities you have planned with your family in 2020