Christmas is a wonderful time and we all get so excited in the lead up to it – “Won’t it be FUN!” you think, “All the family together! The children appreciating their wonderful family and gifts! All that good will and cheer, heavenly!” But, of course, as you start on your 8th sweet sherry (you don’t even like sweet sherry) you realise that once again you’ve been duped! The kids won’t get on and turn into little Christmas angels just because it’s a wonderful time of year, they still need parenting and entertaining if you are really to get through the season with any good will intact. But worry not friends, we are here (as ever) to lend a helping hand in times of need! Just dish out these easy to set up activities whenever your children look in danger of uttering ‘I’m boooored’ or when they’re threatening to practice free-running around your kitchen:

Easy Twirly Whirly Swirlys – Set the oven to 220 degrees, get some puff pastry, roll it out (or even better – get it ready rolled) on some baking paper, slop a good load of mincemeat on it, roll it up and brush on some beaten egg, slice into 1.5cm rounds and whack them in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Baker Ross has some great crafty activities, and the best news – they’re all on sale now! You could even use these as stocking fillers or emergency gifts for family members who you forgot were coming/existed www.bakerross.co.uk/arts-and-crafts/craft-activities/christmas

Jingle Bell Toss This is a ridiculously simple activity which keeps people (adults included) entertained for a surprising amount of time! Simply set out some plastic cups (or any cups if you don’t have plastic ones) at the end of a table and take in turns to toss jingle bells/small baubles/coins/balls into the cups. The winner is whoever gets most objects into the cups. To up the challenge make different cups worth different amounts of points with a marker pen – simple!

Chocolate Stirrers You know those fancy pants chocolate stirrers you can get in Starbucks for about £45? This is how you make them for a lot cheaper. And if you don’t have lolly moulds you can probably use a mini muffin tray and have round ones (that’s just a guess). You could make the activity last longer by including the challenge of finding appropriate moulds in the kitchen. It could get messy, but on the plus side you’ll have time for a nap! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chocolate-stirrers

Christmas Bingo It’s a total mystery as to why, but children love bingo. So here’s some printable Christmas themed bingo sheets and calling cards https://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Christmasbingo.pdf

Mitten Munchies Next time your children ask for sweets or chocolate, tell them they can have as many as they can eat in 3 minutes, with a pair of mittens or chunky ski gloves on. Just make sure the treats have wrappers on, otherwise they’ll just scoop the treats into their mouths and may well be sick and then we’ll just delete this blog and deny all knowledge of the game or ever having shared the idea.

Do you wanna build a snowman? This is messy but great fun as long as you have plenty of loo roll going spare. You’re not going to be popular if you use up all the bog roll after Christmas dinner. Get into teams of 2 or 3 with one person in each team being the snowman. Hand each team a loo roll. The winning team is the first to wrap their snowman up with all the loo roll, with extra points for full coverage.

Snow Gallery This one is entirely dependent on it snowing. Fill some spray bottles with water dyed with food colouring and let them loose on the snow to show their inner Monet!

I hope that at least some of these activities contribute to a calm, merry and fun Christmas holiday for you and your family!

Merry Christmas one and all 😊