Want to get outdoors with your little ones in the run up to Christmas? Here are some festive activities you can all do together to get in the Christmas spirit…
Forage for natural decorations
As lovely as the plastic, twinkly decorations are, getting your children outdoors foraging for some natural decorations is a great way of encouraging your family to get in the festive mood. Hunt for holly, ivy and any other evergreen leaf, as well as pine cones to be spray-painted gold and silver, artfully arranging it all across a mantelpiece and across doorframes when you return home.
Make a snowman
This activity is weather-dependent of course, but with any luck you’ll get some snow over the festive period. Show your little ones how to make a snowman, and keep a carrot and a couple of potatoes handy for eyes and a nose. Just make sure your kids have warm clothing so they don’t retreat inside with soggy clothes and cold skin: a good waterproof jacket and a good pair of mittens is the minimum they’ll need to stay warm and dry.
Decorate an outdoor tree
Doubtless your children are going to help you decorate your Christmas tree, but how about decorating something outdoors as well? If you have a bay tree or another boxed plant in your front garden, or even a hedge that could take the weight of a string of battery-powered fairy lights, set about turning it into a festive feature of your garden: it will be lovely for your kids to see them every time they arrive home from school.
Make a wreath
You could buy a wreath for your front door, or you could make an extra special effort to make your own. Gather the materials you need (you’ll find these while you’re foraging for natural decorations) or call by a garden centre or florist to bulk it out if you need to. You could use twigs, red berries and pine cones, but don’t overlook things like rosemary and bay – they’ll smell lovely and they’re nice and robust for wreath making.
Go for a wintery picnic
Picnics are always great fun in summer, but they seem to be all the more delicious and extraordinary in the winter. Pack a blanket with a waterproof underside, as well as a thermal flask of soup to keep everyone warm. You could make some Christmas-themed sandwiches and bring some mince pies along too, and perhaps even wear Santa hats for extra festivity.
Make a Christmas fatball for the birds
Birds need a little help at this time of year, as food supplies can dwindle to the point where they struggle to feed themselves. So, recruit your little ones to help you make some nutritious fatballs for your local birds, and then work together to secure the food to your bird feeder – a thoughtful Christmas present for your feathered friends.
Kids love the novelty of ice skating, and that’s because it tends to be an activity we only do in the run-up to Christmas. See if there are any outdoor ice skating rinks near you around Christmastime – most major cities will set up an ice rink alongside a Christmas market, so you can wander the stalls after an hour on the ice.
Have a small campfire in the garden
Any change of scene is thrilling for little ones, so turn off your TV and light a small campfire in the garden. Curl up around it together beneath a blanket, wrap your hands around a mug of hot chocolate, and pass the time with a festive Christmas story – it’s a lovely tradition and one that really gets little imaginations going.
So, which of these ideas will you be trying first? Tick them all off your Christmas list this year – you and your little ones will have a lovely time together.