Last Minute Christmas Fun for Toddlers

This December feels like it has been going by SO fast. I’m not sure if it’s due to the springlike weather or because I’m busy dealing with a new baby or the fact that Thanksgiving was a little late this year, but I wish time would slow down just a little.

We just picked out a tree this past weekend! Thankfully, things went smoother this year. We didn’t need coats, we picked up breakfast for our toddler on the way, and, although we were exhausted, it wasn’t because of an office Christmas party (looking at you, Sweet P).

As I scroll through pinterest and facebook, it appears that a lot of people are way more on top of holiday festivities than I am this year. I know it’s not necessary to do all the things, but it’s so much fun having a toddler during the holidays. Everything is so magical to them. So, my plan is to cram as much Christmas holiday spirit in these last few days as I can.

Who’s with me?! (Do I sound a bit like Clark Griswold?)

So, if you’re feeling a little rushed this Christmas season, here are some simple ideas for last minute Christmas fun for Toddlers.
Last Minute Christmas Fun For Toddlers

Last Minute Christmas Fun for Toddlers

    1. Did you miss your town’s tree lighting ceremony? Drive around your neighborhood looking at lights. This is so simple and so much fun for a toddler. There are lots of fun Christmas lights scavenger hunt printables you can find on pinterest too.
    2. Read Christmas Books. This is such a simple activity, and it’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. Check out my list of Classic Christmas books for Toddlers for some ideas.
    3. Make some last minute decorations with your toddler. Do you still have pumpkins sitting on your front porch? Kick them to the curb and enlist the help of your toddler in making some last minute Christmas decorations.
          -Make edible garland with cheerios.
          -Help your toddler make a red and green paper chain.
        -Let your toddler work on his fine motor skills helping him cut up some pretty snowflakes.
    4. Make simple Christmas desserts. Last year I made tons and tons of Christmas cookies. This year? Not so much. Even though a new baby has been taking  up a lot of my time, I can certainly whip up some simple Christmas desserts with W. I pinned this amazing-looking 3-ingredient Buttery Shortbread Cookies recipe from Chew Out Loud. W and I also made these adorable Grinch-Kabobs at our local Giant’s Kids Cooking Class.
    5. If you didn’t make it to see the Nutcracker this year, play the Nutcracker music and dance around. I did get the chance to take my son to local dance studio’s version, and he absolutely loved it. So, we have been playing the music and dancing around ever since. You can find the entire recording on youtube.
    6. Make a Christmas-themed sensory box. W is so entertained by his Peppermint-scented sensory box. You can modify your box so you don’t even have to leave the house to make it. Here are some ideas:
          -Throw in some non-breakable ornaments
          -Add rice (you can pretend it’s snow if you don’t feel like dying it)
        -Give your toddler some tape. He’ll have a blast finding out what sticks to it.
    7. Make some handprint art! Healthy Happy Thrifty Family came up with handprint art for the 12 Days of Christmas song. Or, check out some of these cute ideas from RedTedArt.
    8. Speaking of handprintswhy not make some last minute gifts? Last year W added his handprints to cookie plates for his grandmothers. Here are some other ideas…
          -Make a

      salt dough

          hand print ornament.
          -Add a


          to a mug for a coffee lover.
        -Add a handprint to an apron for a baker.
    9. Let your toddler help wrap gifts. Okay, unless your recipients don’t care about the look of their gift-wrapping, I would probably save the real gift wrapping for yourself. If you have some left over wrapping paper and one of those empty amazon boxes from all that online shopping (I hope I’m not the only one), let them try it out! Wrapping and unwrapping gifts is sure to provide your toddler with hours of entertainment.
    10. Play “What’s in this Stocking?” Take your empty stocking off the fire place, place something inside and see if your toddler can guess what it is by just feeling it.
    11. Watch Christmas Movies. For some reason a lot of the networks play the classic Christmas specials early in the season and SO late at night. I can barely stay up till 9 to watch the Grinch let alone my toddler. Thankfully you can find some cute Christmas movies now streaming.
    12. Sing Christmas Songs“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” -Elf

Last Minute Christmas Fun for Toddlers
For more Christmas ideas, check out my Pinterest board!


  • Lauren says:

    I’m way behind too. We were on vacation the first eight days of December, so now I’m playing catch up. The good news is that we always go to my in-laws for Christmas and we do our own on a different day, so this year we’re stretching it out and won’t do our Christmas until January 2. I’m definitely going to do some of your ideas between now and then!

  • Mary Kay says:

    Great post! I forgot about those Christmas cookies you made last year, esp. those thin mints! I’m going to make some tomorrow. You have such good ideas for making the Christmas season jolly.

  • Kristen says:

    I LOVE the scavenger hunt idea! And we make LOADS of cookies too – I can’t help myself!
    Kristen recently posted…10 Things You’ll See in Hallmark Christmas MoviesMy Profile

  • What a great list! I love your scavenger hunt.
    We’re hoping to take the boys out to find some lights but the next month is crazy! My sister is getting married this weekend so we have family in for two weeks, so lots of Christmas parties and gatherings, and then we are headed out of state to visit my husband’s side of the family. Maybe on that long drive we will find some. 😉
    Rebekah @ Surviving Toddlerhood recently posted…Our Life Lately {2 Months Postpartum}My Profile

  • Sue Parke says:

    Love watching Christmas movies! It’s the only thing I like to watch this time of year haha. Awesome list! Your cookies look awesome and your hand prints came out MUCH better than ours did this year. I think we need to redo them haha.

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