Christmas activities for babies and toddlers 

Try some Christmas crafts and activities with your child to introduce new play and stimulate their senses. See what they enjoy, and try different activities to suit their age.  

Festive playdough

Make your own playdough for your child from everyday ingredients. See our tips on how to do this.  

Use a few drops of food colouring to give the playdough colours. Add glitter. Or include a range of smells with spices like peppermint, vanilla or ground cinnamon. Give the playdough to your child. Watch them explore the different textures and smells. 

Mini grotto

Drap a blanket over some furniture or use a pop-up tent. Hang fairy lights inside. Sit or lie in it with your child. Sing Christmas nursery rhymes or read Christmas-themed books.

Salt dough decorations

Make a circle of salt dough and press your child’s hand or foot into the dough. On the back, write their name and the year. Poke a hole in the top to thread some ribbon through, and hang it on your tree. 

BBC Good Food has a recipe for salt dough. 

Handprint paintings

Find a piece of paper and some washable paint. Check that the paint label says ‘non-toxic’ and ‘washable’. You can also make your own paint with white flour, warm water and food colouring.  

Try using your child’s handprints or footprints to make a Christmas tree or reindeer. Turn these into cards to send to friends and family. 

Sparkly decorations

Go on a walk to find some pine cones and twigs. Then cover them with PVA glue and give your child a glitter shaker. Let them add as much glitter as they want to the items.  

Let your homemade Christmas decorations dry for a day before using. 

Christmas-themed sensory tray

A sensory tray includes items to stimulate your child’s senses. Use objects you already have or can pick up to make it festive. Try pine cones, wrapping bows, tinsel, baubles or bells.  

Think about anything that could give your child interesting textures, smells or sounds to explore. Make sure that there aren’t any small items on there. 

Paper plate decorations

Encourage your child to decorate a paper plate using easy-to-hold craft materials. Use cotton wool as snow, or pom-poms for baubles. Add tissue paper, stickers, paint and glitter.

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This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

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