It’s no secret the holidays won’t be the same this year with Covid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a wonderful time with your immediate family!
When you’re not watching Christmas movies and stuffing your face with food, you’ll likely turn to games to keep everyone entertained.
We have come up with some fun Christmas games to keep everyone entertained. The majority of these are free Christmas games, as you likely have most of the supplies on hand already.
When planning Christmas games for young children, the options are endless. All you need is some room to run and move around, a few supplies and planning, and making sure you and the kiddos are ready to have some fun!
Let’s start with a few relay race ideas.
Candy Cane Relay
Divide your players into at least two teams and give each of those teams four candy canes. Make sure you have a few extra just in case some break (no melt-downs is the goal).
Have the child who’s running hold the candy canes between their fingers, with the curved part of the candy cane hanging over their fingers. But tell them not to use their thumbs!
The candy canes should be just carefully held between their fingers. If you want to add a level of difficulty, you can have the child hang the candy can on only one finger.
The children run to their teammate and pass the candy canes (again, only using fingers), and that teammate runs to the other end and does the same.
The game is over when only one team still has candy canes that haven’t dropped on the floor. Again you can add a level of difficulty by seeing just how many candy canes one child can pass to another without dropping them.
Another fun relay that kids are sure to love is Pass the ornament.
Pass The Ornament Relay
Each team gets one ornament (a lightweight, basic thin glass one is fine) and a straw.
String the ornaments on a piece of fishing wire by a hook. The player must blow through the straw to get the ornament to move down the line. The next child blows on their straw to get the ornament back down the line.
You can set up more than one line and see which team can either move the ornament back and forth a set number of times or do it the fastest.
The options are endless for this game.
Make sure each of the players has their own straw for this game. No swapping of germs at Christmas!
Multipurpose Christmas Relay
While this isn’t so much a game of its own, it is a fun twist to add to your other relay games.
Try having a few Santa hats and have the children wear them without them falling off during the relays and then pass to the next team player.
You could also have them put on a pair of Christmas socks and take them off to give to the next player who needs to put them on before they can take their turn.
This can not only add some fun to the game but extend it a little longer too.
Other Preschool Christmas Games
“Santa Says” is a fun game that all children should know how to play because it’s just like, “Simon Says.” Knowing this game helps the kids get right into the game without explaining the rules.
To be fair, you should make sure that each child is familiar with “Simon Says” and then create a series of orders from “Santa,” like “Santa says, touch your toes,” “Santa says bend your knees,” “Santa says stand still like a Christmas tree,” and so on.
But sometimes, leave the “Santa says” part off and trick the children. The child that misses the command is then out until you have one winner left!
Always a popular game!
Young children seem to love the “freeze dance” game. This is a game that is played pretty often in preschools.
Only in this game, you create a Christmas theme to freeze dance. The rules are simple, you play some Christmas music, let the children do their best Christmas dance, then turn the music off, and the children must “freeze.”
If many sit-down games are being played at the party, this is a great way to let the children burn off some of that energy and sugar.
This is a game for kids of all ages! The more, the merrier, after all.
Children can play this version of the “clue” game as long as the questions are kept to their age-specific knowledge of all things Christmas.
The game rules are set like this: the leader thinks of an object that is, of course, Christmas related and then gives clues about that object without saying what it is and keeps giving clues until someone shouts out the answer. Here’s an example.
- Object: Santa’s Reindeer
- Clue: I’m thinking of something big and cute.
- Clue: It helps Santa on Christmas Eve
- Clue: It’s really strong
- Clue: There’s more than one of them.
Keep giving clues until one child shouts out the answer, and then it is that child’s turn to think of a Christmas object and give hints.
Kids love toss games, so why not create a snowball toss game at Frosty the Snowman’s belly?
Find some cardboard, make your best version of Frosty the Snowman, and cut a hole in his stomach. You can decorate your frosty with markers, construction paper, tissue, or whatever you have handy.
Now you need snowballs to toss! You can create these snowballs out of several things.
Take plastic bags and put mini marshmallows inside, or use Styrofoam balls. You could even try just balling up some gift wrap to toss.
Have the children stand back from Frosty (you can determine this distance based on the ages of the children, what they are throwing, and space you have available) and have the kids take turns tossing the snowballs into Frosty’s tummy. The first one to get all three snowballs in the tummy wins a prize!
Any age can play this game as long as your distance from Frosty is fair for their age.
The Marshmallow Stacking Game
There are two ways to play this holiday party game.
Make a marshmallow mountain!
If you plan to eat the marshmallows after these games, have everyone wash their hands before you start and maybe even cover the table with a clean tablecloth.
- Place a paper plate in the middle of the table or onto your tablecloth.
- Everyone should take turns gently placing one marshmallow at a time on to the paper plate or table to create a marshmallow mountain of sorts.
- Keep taking turns and staking until one or more marshmallows rolls off of the mountain. The player who causes the marshmallow avalanche loses.
Make a marshmallow pole!
Players take turns stacking one marshmallow at a time, one on top of the other on a paper plate or the table to make it as high as they can. The player who causes the marshmallow pole to fall loses.
If you don’t want to use marshmallows in this game, you can use cups stacked onto each other instead.
You could add a level of difficulty by including a timer and giving them a minute to win.
You can play as many rounds as you want but don’t be surprised if they slowly disappear. You can dip your marshmallows in chocolate for a fun snack or toss them in your hot chocolate when you finish.
And when you’re deciding what to play next, why not go all out and set up a holiday scavenger hunt? We have a list of all of the best Christmas-themed clues to land everyone at a big surprise; all you need to do for this game is to either write or print them out, hide them, and pick a prize for the winner.
The game doesn’t have to end with a big expensive gift either—the prize could simply be a plate of cookies all to themselves, a jingle bell necklace to wear as a trophy or really anything your Christmas crafty heart desires.
Print or write these instructions down on pieces of paper and put them in their dedicated spots based on the clues around your house. Give your kids (or whoever’s playing!) the first clue, and watch them figure it out from there.
- Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good morning! For your first clue, head to the enormous tree in your home that ornaments are adorning.
- Reindeer can fly over trees, seas, and moats—you’ll find your next clue in the pocket of your coat.
- Santa never leaves your door open—not even a smidge! Check for your next clue on a shelf in the fridge.
- One of the best parts of Christmas is candy galore! The next clue you find will be stuck to your front door.
- There are red and green-wrapped presents for good girls and boys, now check where you keep all of your toys.
- On Christmas Eve night, Santa Claus enters your house and leaves without a peep! Head to the place you go to get a good night’s sleep.
- I hope this year you were a good little elf! It’s almost time to finish this game, and the next clue’s on the shelf.
- Christmas is a time that’s filled with glee, so look for your prize under your tree!
If your children are younger, you may need to read these clues to them or even write them down in a style you think they can read. Oh, the fun this game is!
- Printable Bingo game packet
- Scissors or paper trimmer
- laminator/plastic sheets (optional but highly recommended if you want to be able to use the game again)
- Holiday M&Ms or other small markers (pennies, beads, mini erasers, chocolate chips, etc.)
- Print out and cut Bingo cards and calling cards. Laminate, if desired.
- Give each player a Bingo card and 25 small markers.
- Have players put a marker on the “free” space.
- Flip all the calling cards upside down. Flip one right side up and call it out (example: “snowman!”) and help players find and mark the snowman on their cards.
- Continue to play until someone gets Bingo! After someone gets Bingo, you can continue the same game or clear the boards and start a new round. Again you can use any small gift or trophy for the winners.
Get your free printable for Christmas Bingo at https://themanylittlejoys.com/printable-christmas-bingo-game/
Christmas isn’t the only holiday that you can have fun. Here are some related articles for others:
- Easter Educational Crafts and Activities: Babies and Preschoolers
- Family friendly Mardi Gras Parades and More
No matter what Christmas games that you and your preschoolers decide to play, remember that the season is about spending time together and making memories. Have fun and Merry Christmas!