Simple Christmas Toddler Ideas

I have been desiring to write on this little blog of mine more, but recently have been busy working on my toddler curriculum + getting ready for the holidays. I am working on a mental list of things I want to do more of in 2021 and writing here is definitely going to be on that list. I feel like I have so many ideas floating in my head that I would like to share with you all, but since we are just a week from Christmas and I still have a long list of to-dos, I wanted to share a very short post of a few Christmas activities we have really been enjoying. Hudson is now already 30-months (be expecting a 30-month update soon), so Christmas time is proving to be even more fun this year than the previous one. It is hard for me to fully believe this is already his 3rd Christmas. If you are interested in reading what our Christmas was like last year with an 18-month old, please read here.

I think this Christmas for all of us is going to feel a bit different from previous years, but that does not mean it can’t still feel just as magical (especially for our kiddos).

Before I get into the list, if you are looking for some intentional learning activities themed off of Christmas, I just released a Tot School: Christmas Curriculum. I know Christmas is fast approaching, but there is still a whole week to squeeze in some intentional learning time together. You can get this curriculum for just $5! It comes with a full-week calendar with books suggestions, activities, and the early learning standards addressed.

Alongside my Christmas Curriculum, here are a few other things we have enjoyed this season:

1. Checking Out ALL the Christmas Books at the Library

I am not going to put a list together of our favorite Christmas books because I did that last year, you can read it here. However, I would like to add a few that we have really been enjoying from the library. Side-note: I am SO thankful our library is still open for holding/picking up books. It has been one of my favorite parts of quarantine to still be able to pick up new books from the library every week. Hudson is really enjoying all the gingerbread-themed books I checked out, his favorite right now seems to be The Library Gingerbread Man by Dotti Enderle. He also is loving all the Llama Llama Christmas book, especially Llama, Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney.

Ignore the fact he is standing on a table.

2. Decorating a Mini Tree

This year, I got a mini tree from Trader Joe’s and he has been loving decorating it! Before I even set-up all the things for him, he started decorating on his own by throwing pom poms on it. I walked in and he was happily decorating his tree. This was quite the contrast from last Christmas when he broke multiple ornaments. So far, we are at zero broken ornaments! A small win.

3. Christmas-Themed Play-Dough Tray

I love making seasonal play-dough trays. It takes just a few minutes to put together and then it is something I literally leave out in his playroom all month long. It makes it feel like there is always a festive activity for him to work on without all the work of setting up a new activity each day. This year, I just made some green play-dough and added gold sparkles to make it more festive. I love this green jello play-dough recipe, I use it for both Christmas + St. Patrick’s Day. In the tray I put mostly little things I picked up from the Dollar Tree, along with a roller and kid-safe scissors. H is really enjoying practicing his scissor skills. Play-dough is perfect for practicing to use scissors.

4. Naming Friends/Family in Holiday Cards

I noticed this year that H has really enjoyed as I put up the holiday cards. He loves seeing family and friends and will point and name everyone! This is such a fun little activity that takes no setting up and I am amazed with how many people he easily recognizes!

Looking at lights on Balboa Island!

5. Looking at Holiday Lights

Every night we enjoy walking in our neighborhood and looking at the lights. H’s favorite thing this year is what he calls the “blow ups.” Probably not the best name for it, but he is referring to all the holiday inflatable decorations. We also have been enjoying taking hot cocoa on-the-go and driving through neighborhoods with lots of lights. A new favorite place to view lights is at Balboa Island. We walked around and looked at all the beautifully decorated homes/boats. The boat parade was so fun to watch!

6. Dropping Off Cookies to Friends

This year felt like the first year I could really lean into the message that Christmas is more about giving than receiving. This is also the first year that H is gift-obsessed. It is taking so much self-control for him to not tear open the presents under our tree. He is constantly asking about gifts + presents, so I really want to make sure we model to him how giving is much more important. A small and simple way to do this is dropping off cookies to friends. We had a special night where we drove around and knocked on doors and H really loved it.

Polar Express Ride!

7. Making Special Christmas Memories Together

I really want to do a whole blog post on our Arizona trip we went on a couple weeks ago. We stayed in Sedona and drove to Williams to do the Polar Express Ride. It was magical for H. He got to see Santa and tell him about that baseball he really wants (which I am still slightly confused about since he has SO many baseballs). We got to ride on the Polar Express and sip hot chocolate and sing Christmas Caroles. Santa even gave us all jingle bells. Hopefully more on this whole trip in a blog post to come, but in summary, it was a really special Christmas memory I think we all will remember.

There is probably a few more things I could add, but these came to my mind first and I fear nap time is coming to an end! However you spend your holiday this year, my hope is that it can still be a memorable one, even in a year that did not go the way we imagined.

Merry Christmas, friends!

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