A Parent's Guide to Occupying the Kids on Christmas Day

Christmas day is a magical time for us all, but there's no getting around the fact that it's a rather different experience for adults and children. Whilst the kids have nothing to worry about aside from the presents, eating and which movies will be on TV, us adults have an enjoyable, yet mammoth task ahead of us.

From decorating the house to creating a gastronomic feast, you're unlikely to spend more than the length of the meal off your feet. So, with all this going on, how do you keep the kids busy enough to ensure that they don't get in your way?


Setting up a great game is an ideal way to keep the kids happy while you busy yourself in the kitchen. Family classics such as charades and monopoly can be enjoyed together after Christmas dinner, but there are some festive themed games that they can play by themselves in the meantime.

Stick the Tail on the Reindeer

This twist on a classic requires a little preparation, but it should keep them entertained for hours. You can easily make your own reindeer - simply buy some brown card from a craft shop and draw templates for the head, antlers, body and legs. Cut them out, stick them all together, and finish off with some googly eyes (also available at most craft shops) and a circle of red card for the nose. Then cut out a tail from the brown card, and add some blue tack to the end.

The aim of the game is simple the person who is 'on' is blindfolded and spun around several times. They then have to try and stick the tail in the right place. The person who gets the closest, wins!

Why not reward the winner with goodies such as:

- These Christmas Antics Bif-Bats

- These Jolly Christmas Yo-Yos

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Choose a few rooms in the house that are away from the kitchen and any other preparation, and throw the kids a scavenger hunt. Children love searching for treasure, particularly if they get to keep it afterwards!

Hide the goodies in strategic places and create a list of clues to help them find them.

Some great hidden festive surprises are:

- These Christmas Car Erasers

- These Christmas Antics Spinning Tops

- These Christmas Pencils

Christmas Pass the Parcel

Another twist on a classic, Christmas pass the parcel gives the traditional party game a festive touch. The premise of the game is easy - gifts are hidden between multiple layers of wrapping paper, and the children pass the parcel around a circle to music. When the music stops the person holding the parcel gets to unwrap a layer and receive a gift. Simply replace the usual fillers with Christmas themed gifts and the music with songs such as 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland'. Fillers could include:

- These Jolly Christmas Stickers

- These Reindeer and Snowman Masks

Alternatively, for an easy option try a ready-made Christmas pass the parcel.

Christmas Memory Match Game

The aim of this game is to test the children's memories. Provide them with around 20 Christmassy items, pencils and paper. One person who is 'on' has to arrange around 10 items on a tray. The other children then get 5 seconds to memorise as many items as they can, before the tray is taken away. They then have to write down as many items as they can remember.

Christmassy items could include:

- This Jolly Christmas Pinball

- This Christmas Stocking


If you think games would get too noisy and rowdy, and you're in the crucial stages of your cooking, why not try giving the kids some Christmas themed individual activities?

Colouring Books

There's nothing children love more than colouring, and it should keep them quietly occupied for some time. Provide them with a colouring book and some crayons, and simply leave them to it! Why not try:

- This Christmas Colouring Book


Puzzles are the perfect choice if you want to make sure they are going to quiet and focused. Buy one in a Christmassy design to make the task extra festive. Why not try:

- This Jolly Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle

- This Christmas Sticker Activity Book

DIY Decorations

Challenge the kids to make some DIY decorations to impress you with when you finish cooking. Provide them with some child-friendly scissors, felt, googly eyes, coloured card, glue, sequins, glitter, crayons, pens and any other odds and ends you can think of. Leave them with some simple ideas to help them get started like:

- These snowmen made out of bottle tops

- These pine cone owl baubles

Busy Bags

If you simply feel too swamped to spend time buying crafts for the kids, giving them ideas or setting them up with games and activities, then busy bags are a ready-made option. An ideal solution, created by us in the party bag world to keep your kids busy with activities, games, sweets, stickers and anything else that will keep them occupied!

Christmas day can be an enjoyable but busy time for us adults - with hungry mouths to feed, people to entertain and washing up to be done, occupying the kids all day sometimes just isn't possible. Hopefully, this article will have given you some great ideas and will make your Christmas day that little bit easier.

Do you have any suggestions for occupying the children on Christmas day? Let us know in the comments.

Image by crimfants

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