This year, the holidays are different. But navigating new challenges can also be an opportunity to create new traditions. Get inspired with these COVID-friendly ideas!
Even a pandemic can’t get in the way of making special holiday memories – especially for young children. There’s no doubt that things feel different this year, but with a little creativity, new challenges can transform into special traditions for the entire family.
Get inspired with our list of COVID-friendly ideas that can help you celebrate the season safely and memorably!
Bring a dose of holiday cheer to playtime at home with these festive and simple games!
Try a round (or ten!) of holiday-themed charades, a fun-filled activity the whole family can enjoy. Get the how-to here.
Take a special sleigh ride around the house. Place your toddler or preschooler atop an old sheet or blanket or in a large box and (carefully!) trek around the house on a journey to the North Pole – aka the living room. For extra magic, sing along to cheery holiday tunes.
Sock-ful of fun! This game involves using items you already have around the house, making it inexpensive and easy to pull together. Grab a few pairs of holiday-themed or colorful socks and place a random object inside each one. Take turns guessing what might be in each sock by touching (and even sniffing!) the outside and describing what you feel or smell. Is it pointy? Is it squishy? Is it soft? What does it smell like?
Create a virtual holiday scavenger hunt. Prepare a list of everyday items (e.g., candy cane, red sock, blue holiday decoration, white stuffed animal, etc.) and gather a few friends via video chat. Once everyone is ready, announce each item and allow the children to look for it around the house, one by one. Ask the participants to show each item they find on screen before moving on to the next item!
Crafting is a fun way to get in the holiday spirit – and it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With a little advance planning, you can even plan a few virtual “crafternoons” via video chat to enjoy an activity together with friends or family.
Make Finger-Painted Fir Trees! Dip your child’s hand in green paint to create the form of a tree. Dot multi-colored “decorations” using your child’s fingertips, or glue on everyday objects like buttons or O-shaped cereal. Add a bit of “snow” with a handful of cotton balls. The sky’s the limit! If you’re doing this activity on video chat, share each other’s creations and describe the similarities and differences between each piece of art. Don’t forget to add your child’s name and date to the back of this special holiday keepsake!
Cotton swabs, cotton balls and some paper and glue are all you need to create a “Fleece Navidad” holiday card. Fold a sheet of paper in half and create a lamb using cotton balls for the head and body, and cotton swabs for the legs. Decorate and mail to a family member or friend to spread some baaa-ewe-tiful holiday cheer.
Stay connected with family and friends by reinventing some of your most treasured traditions.
Organize a virtual family meal. Share a few recipes to make in advance (try something old and something new!) so everyone can enjoy the same meal together. Dress up in holiday attire and dine with your guests via laptops, tablets, or smartphones set up right at the table.
Keep the celebrations going with a family freeze dance party on video chat. Create a playlist in advance and designate someone as the DJ. (Tip: Ask everyone to stay on mute except the DJ). If you need a refresher on how to play freeze dance, we have you covered!
“Attend” a virtual holiday parade. Check your local community or news outlets to see what’s planned in your area, or “travel” out of state (or country!) for a totally new and different experience.
Mail family members or friends a copy of the same children’s holiday book in advance. Have each participant read aloud an assigned page for an interactive and engaging virtual story time session that feels like a warm hug!
Right now, celebrating virtually or only with those in your household is the safest option to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read for more guidelines on in-person gatherings from the CDC.
The importance of time together still counts. Finding ways to connect with friends and family safely is good for your children’s social-emotional wellbeing as well as your own.