Christmas is undoubtedly the most magical time of year, and it’s one reason why Christmas camps in Singapore are so popular with kids. Through these Christmas camps kids can really get into the seasonal spirit, as they take part in activities that are fully focused on everything ‘Chrstmassy’. At holiday camps they might learn how Christmas is celebrated around the world, how snow is made, or they might even construct their own Christmas tree. For many kids the period leading up to Christmas is the most magical part of all, when their imaginations are flying with Santa’s reindeers and they believe that anything is possible. And, for us parents, there’s nothing more magical than seeing your little ones having some creative Christmas fun!
Some of the amazing benefits of traditional screen-free games are that they teach kids to think for themselves, cooperate and work as teams, learn about strategies and tactics, and keep physically active. But even at home, without the facilities that a Christmas holiday camp can offer, kids can still enjoy some magical Christmas games that only require items you can easily find around the home. Here are just a few of our favourite kids games for Christmas to play at home:
1.Christmas Stocking Mystery
Place a number of unwrapped Christmas-themed items in a stocking (e.g. pine cones, candy canes, Christmas tree decorations) in a stocking. Then get kids to take it in turns to put their hand in the stocking and try to guess what an item is using their sense of touch only. If you want to develop the game you can ask kids to find and withdraw specific items from the stocking.
2.Pin the nose
This is a variation on the classic ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ game - in this Christmas version kids try to pin the nose on a snowman, elf or reindeer. Just draw your favourite Christmas character on a large piece of paper or cardboard and stick it to the wall using Blu tack. Then make sure everyone is wearing a blindfold (a scarf or tea towel works fine) when they do the pinning. The winner is the closest to the actual nose.
There are normally plenty of balloons around at Christmas so it’s the perfect time for a game of balloon tennis! The aim is to stop the balloon from touching the ground when your opponent hits it to you. You can use some string to make a ‘net’ if the kids are feeling really competitive.
One of the most popular games for kids’ Christmas parties simply involves hiding some items (e.g. candy canes or Christmas bells) around the house and getting kids to try to find them. But don’t hide chocolate in case you forget where you hid it and it melts like a snowman!
Stack some plastic cups or empty tissue boxes, then get kids to try to knock them over by throwing a ball made from a rolled sock. Kids will love trying to be first to knock them all over or getting the highest score.
6.In Santa’s sleigh…
This is a Christmas-themed variation of ‘in grandmother’s basket’ where kids take it in turns to add new items to a growing list of what Santa might be carrying in his slay. Kids take it in turns to recall the list of presents in Santa’s sleigh until someone gets the order wrong or can’t remember the next item.
It’s not often that you need to wear gloves in Singapore but hopefully you’ve been ice skating at some point and have a few pairs in your cupboard. Get kids to put on a pair of gloves then attempt to unwrap a candy or tie a decoration to the Christmas tree. It’s not as easy as it sounds and kids are guaranteed to laugh!
Use this year’s (or last year’s) Christmas cards along with some plastic cups for this homemade game of Jenga. Starting with a plastic cup the aim is to place a card on the cup then add another cup and keep adding cards and cups in rotation. How high can you go before they fall over?!
9.The smell of Christmas
This aromatic sensory game will stoke memories of wonderful Christmas experiences in the past. Kids are blindfolded then have to guess what they can smell. Try placing hot chocolate, marshmallows, gingerbread, christmas tree needles, cinnamon etc under their noses and wait for them to go ‘ahhhhhhh’.
Instead of noughts and crosses, this game uses festive items of your choice to attempt to complete a line of three across the paper. You can try candy canes and bells or whatever you can draw!
11.Christmas tree toss
Take a large piece of paper or cardboard and draw a Christmas tree with a star on top. Next mark zones of the tree with point zones for, say, 10, 20, 30 and 40, with 50 for the star. The aim is to land a ball made from a rolled sock on the highest possible score.
Write down the names of your favourite family Christmas films and, making sure that no one sees them, fold them and place them in a bag or Santa’s hat. Then get 2 teams of people to take it in turns to choose a title and act it out without using words.
13.Hit the Grinch
Using a marker pen, draw a miserable face upside down on a green balloon - that’s your Grinch. Hang it from a doorway using a piece of string and get the kids to try to hit it using
Nerf guns or a rolled up sock. This is one Grinch that won’t ruin Christmas this year!