Christmas is a magical time of year. As a family, a way to make it even merrier is to spend quality time together. Our 12 days of healthy Christmas for families list is an excellent way to add Christmas themed activities for jolly good fun throughout the holiday season.
- Play Christmas charades. Charades is fun for all ages, and only your imagination and Christmas spirit are required. Another wonderful thing about charades is you can play for only a short time or you can play for hours. Here is a Christmas Charades word list to get you started, but you can definitely add on your own.
- Enjoy Christmas yoga. When we want to get some exercise and the great outdoors isn’t cooperating, we turn to yoga. This yoga video has a Christmas theme and is geared towards children.
- Host Christmas Olympics. Create your own Christmas themed games for your family Olympics, such as a reindeer relay or snow golf. Or you can find ideas, such as snow man bowling, snow art with snow paint, or snowman slam. You can have both indoor and outdoor games, and your games can be a combination of physical activities and brain activities, like playing Christmas memory matching, completing a mad lib, or having a Christmas STEM challenge (some ideas are Christmas STEM activities for toddlers by Extremely Good Parenting and Christmas STEM by Little Bins for Little Hands).
- Have a picnic dinner under the Christmas tree as a family. One of our favorite traditions is to have dinner on a picnic blanket next to our lit Christmas tree on the day that we put our tree up. You can plan the meal together, make it together, and enjoy a family meal together while admiring the beauty of your tree and discussing Christmas plans. Another idea is to invite another family to join you and share the benefits of having family meals together, such as spending time together, communicating, allowing parents to role model healthy eating, sharing family values and more.
- Sign up for a fun run or 5K to enjoy as a family. Christmas break is a great time to be active together. Go to active.com to find a race near you.
- Declutter and clean out toys, jackets, blankets, et cetera to donate. The toys that your kids no longer play with could be what makes Christmas special for another child. Your jackets and blankets that you no longer use can bring warmth and comfort to someone else.
- Have a scavenger hunt. It can lead to anything you’d like, such as a Christmas cookie recipe, a craft to make together, or a few games for a game night. Some ideas for clues are here. The scavenger hunt gets everyone moving, then the payoff is spending time together.
- Prep an extra meal and bring it to a new mom (or an elderly neighbor). Find a way to help a neighbor whether it’s through prepping a meal, such as this lasagna, shoveling out the snow, or raking leaves.
- Watch a Christmas movie (or read a book) and assign exercises to certain words, phrases or music. We’ve provided some examples, but your family can come up with their own exercises to movies you love.
- Go sledding. Or play in the snow or make a snowman. Go ice skating or have a snow ball fight Enjoy the outdoors, whatever your weather. If you live in a place without snow, you can have your snowball fight with balled up pairs of socks or organize a family or neighborhood football game.
- Bust a move. Create dance moves to a favorite family Christmas song and have someone video your family’s finished dance to enjoy again and again. You can also add dressing up to the fun. One year, my family sang and acted out a Christmas song popular in south Louisiana and shared it with family and friends on YouTube. We had blast together, got our bodies moving, and celebrated the season all at the same time. Another way to bust a move is to go for a family walk while singing favorite Christmas songs.
- Make looking at Christmas lights an evening adventure. One of our favorite Christmas traditions is to have a night out to look at Christmas lights. In our home, we surprise the kids with a ticket to ride in our magical van for a Christmas light tour. The kids wear Christmas pajamas for the ride. They love presenting their ticket as they enter the van for me to punch, and hot chocolate and a bag of popcorn are always waiting for them in the van. We also do a walking tour of a few of our favorite neighborhoods.
We wish you peace, joy and happiness this holiday season, as well as an abundance of family fun and bonding through being active together.
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