Spice up your family’s Christmas party with a few fun-filled activities for the kids. Instead of subjecting your little one to hours of looking at Aunt Bertha’s cruise photos or making her sit quietly as the grown-ups socialize, create kid-sized games and projects – with a Christmas theme -- to keep the pint-sized guests busy.
Get the party started with a few fun relay races that will entertain kids who are kindergarten-age and up. Instead of waiting for Christmas morning to unwrap all of the presents, have a gift wrap relay. Separate the kids into at least two teams. Give each team a shoe box -- or similar sized box -- to wrap with Christmas-themed paper. Put each team’s wrapped box on one side of the room -- along with pre-cut squares of paper and tape -- and line the kids up on the other side. Have the kids race, one at a time, down to the present, unwrap it and rewrap it. Continue on with the next child until everyone has a chance to go. For a slightly easier option, stage a faux snowball rolling relay. Give the teams a white foam ball and a plastic shovel or spatula. Have them race the ball back and forth, one at a time, until everyone on the team has a turn.
Get in the Christmas spirit with a family sing-a-long and have a holiday party carol. Choose at least three songs such as “Deck the Halls,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Jingle Bells.” Print out the lyrics -- you can find them on a website such as LyricsMania -- and hand them out to the kids and other party guests. Have everyone sing the same songs or divide the guests into choral teams, handing out one song to each group. Sing a capella or play a musical track behind the vocals. If you have a guest who plays an instrument, such as the guitar, ask for a holiday accompaniment.
Trim the family Christmas tree with handmade crafts that the kids make during an artsy party activity. Craft easy pine cone ornaments using natural items, glitter and glue. Lightly paint clear drying, non-toxic school glue on the edges of the pine cone. Sprinkle glitter over the glue to add a festive sparkle. Tie a piece of fishing line or yarn to the top tip to use as a hanger. Another option is to create a cardboard tube Santa ornament. Cut a paper towel tube in half, using each side for one ornament. Cover the tube in red paper. Glue a paper circle near the top to make Santa’s face and a red triangle above it as his hat. Draw Santa’s face with markers and add a beard and tuft on top of the hat with a pulled-apart cotton ball. Punch a hole at the top back of the tube and thread a piece of ribbon through to make an ornament hanger.
Make your next family Christmas party into a truly dramatic experience by putting on a holiday pageant or short skit. Gather together some clothing items to use as costumes -- such as a red robe for Santa or green elf hats -- and a few props. Use a Christmas-themed book such as "The Polar Express" by Chris Van Allsburg or "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens for your play or have the kids come up with their own holiday skit.