12 Days of Christmas Activities For Kids

As I think about the holiday season approaching I feel equally excited and overwhelmed with the many things that come with that (presents, concerts, school parties, and on and on and on). These 12 days of Christmas activities are a fun family tradition and allows you to focus on quality time with those you love. The activities are are simple, budget friendly and fun for the whole family! 

child in christmas pajamas drinking milk

The best part about this is you are completely in charge of what the days entail! You could do the 12 days spread out over the entire month of December, or do the activities the 12 days directly leading up to Christmas. You can choose how much you want to spend on activities over the month, honestly you could do these activities on a very limited budget!

This is one tradition that doesn’t feel like a “have-to-do” but instead it feels like a “get-to-do”. I hope you enjoy these 12 Days Of Christmas Activities as much as our family does!

On The First Day Of Christmas…Take A Christmas Lights Tour

This is one of my favorite things to do with my kids.

Bundle the kids up in their Christmas PJs, pack some fun snacks, play your favorite Christmas songs and hit the road to find the best light displays in your area. This is a great activity for the entire family!

Don’t forget your Christmas Lights BINGO cards to make this night even more fun!

Christmas Lights BINGO card for 12 days of Christmas activities

On The Second Day Of Christmas…It’s Game Night!

Our favorite way to do game night is to let each person pick a game and we play them all that night!

If you are feeling stuck on a game, or want something different for the holiday season, I recommend adding in our Christmas Pictionary and Christmas Word Scramble for some fun for all ages. It is so much fun to see what each child picks for their game.

Christmas Word Scramble picture for 12 days of christmas activities

On The Third Day Of Christmas…Get Ready For Family Movie Night

Pick your favorite holiday movie, whether it’s Polar Express (our family’s favorite), It’s A Wonderful World, The Santa Clause or Elf, snuggle up and enjoy some family time together.

I love planning our movie night for a night that I know we all need down time, often this is a Friday after a long week of school for my kids. This Christmas puppy chow is a fun recipe for movie nights!

On The Fourth Day Of Christmas…Decorate Christmas Cookies

You can make this as easy or complex as you want!

If you are short on time or energy you can often find premade sugar cookies at the grocery store. Pick up the cookies and a few containers of frosting and you are set!

If you love baking with your kids this recipe for cut out sugar cookies by Joy Of Sunshine is sure to be a winner! 

Child decorating Christmas cookies

On The Fifth Day Of Christmas…Spread Some Holiday Cheer To Your Neighbors

This is one of my favorite days of December.

We love packing up plates of Christmas goodies for our neighbors. We always include a homemade card from our kids to bring some extra joy. Bundle up and let your kids deliver the cookies, I promise it will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

This is such a great way to teach your kids about giving to others during Christmas. 

Plate of Christmas cookies

On The Sixth Day Of Christmas…It’s Hot Chocolate Night

You can put out candy canes for stir sticks, frozen cool whip shapes for a special topping and even pull out your sprinkles if you have a sprinkle lover in your life. (No judgment if that sprinkle lover is an adult 🙂) Hot chocolate almost always pairs well with the goodies baked on the 4th day of Christmas. 

On The Seventh Day Of Christmas…Make A Gingerbread House

There are some awesome kits that you can buy like this one. However, if you are on a budget a box of graham crackers and some frosting (perhaps left over from cookie decorating) with a few fun toppings will work perfectly as well!

This is a fun activity to do all together. You can all create one house or everyone can create their own little house. One year we weren’t able to celebrate with family so we all got our own kits and decorated the houses and shared them over facetime, this was a memory maker for sure!

Child making gingerbread house

On The Eighth Day Of Christmas…Create Christmas Cards To Deliver To Those In Need

This is a fun activity for the whole family to participate in. You can deliver these cards to a local nursing home, homeless shelter or Ronald McDonald House. We have our kids create a card every year that we put into our shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. (See day 9 for more information on that 🙂)

Luke 2:11 written by child

On The Ninth Day Of Christmas…Find A Way To Give To Others

There are so many ways to spread Christmas joy to others.

We love taking a night and ringing the bell for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Drive. Another family favorite is filling a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. We do this every year and bring the kids to the store to pick up items for the box they are filling.

This activity is a powerful way to teach kids about how we can impact others, even if they live across the world from us. 

Child ring bell for salvation army with santa hat on

On The Tenth Day Of Christmas…Read Christmas Books Together

I have collected holiday books over the years that I store away and only take out at Christmas time. My kids are always so excited to read these books and we often forget about some of the books we have. There is something so special about snuggling up with a stack of books and a cozy blanket with your kids.

On The Eleventh Day Of Christmas…Make An Ornament For The Tree

I cherish the Christmas ornaments my kids have made over the years. Whether it is their first Christmas ornament with a print of their little hand or an ornament made with pinecones and pom poms. They are the ones I proudly hang on my tree year after year.

If crafting isn’t your thing, another fun idea would be to take a trip to the store and allow your kids to pick out any ornament they want. Over the years you will find you look back and capture some sweet memories in those ornaments.

child putting ornament on christmas tree

On The Twelfth Day Of Christmas…Have A Family Sleepover

We pull out all the stops on this night. We put down cushions and blankets all over our living room, snuggle up in our Christmas PJs and spend the night in our living room under the glow of the Christmas Tree.

My kids anticipate this night every year as it is just sweet, quality time together. You can binge watch Christmas movies, listen to Christmas music, read the Christmas story, drink hot chocolate and eat all the Christmas goodies. It’s a perfect way to wrap up so many of the previous nights into one big finale. 

living room with blanket and pillows ready for family sleepover

Don’t Forget To Slow Down

Another way to countdown to Christmas is by using this fun Christmas tree countdown printable. It’s free, simple and is a perfect activity to build up the excitement for Christmas! This is a great compliment to the 12 days of Christmas activities. 

The month of December can be busy, so feel free to spread these days out over the entire month! If you find that you or your child get stressed during the holiday season this post has tips on how to reduce holiday stress for your family.

It is easy to over extend ourselves, often leading to us being worn out and stressed. If this is you I would encourage you to pick some of the top things you love doing and pour your energy into those things over the course of the month.

Remember to be intentional with your activities this Christmas season. Well spent time together is something your kids will always remember. Merry Christmas!

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