5 alternative ideas to entertain the kids in December

Ho, ho, ho! The Holiday countdown has begun! The kids are getting excited and so are we. Now is the time to get them, and us, into a festive spirit by doing lots of fun activities.
But which ones should you come up with this year? Surely you want to be innovative and not dig out the same old ideas, but you want to ensure the kids are having fun as well.

After scratching our heads and making some research, we came up with 5 great ideas you can do during December, which are both different, entertaining and educating.

Inspired from different origins, we have gathered decoration-ideas, activities and recipes. Not only will the kids be entertained, they will also get to know different traditions from other countries who also celebrate the festive season.

The Advent Ring

Countries like Germany, Netherlands and Denmark celebrate the Advent, which begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas Day.
For this activity, you will get the kids to make an Advent Ring; as shown on the picture.

advent-decoration

An Advent Ring consists of spruce, some garnish and four candles. Your candles need to be big and we mean BIG, as they will burn for between one to four weeks.

On the first Sunday of the Advent, you light up one candle and let it burn, the second Sunday you light up the second one and so on until the last Day of Advent (last Sunday before Christmas day, 20 December this year). The Advent Ring symbolises the countdown to Christmas Day.

Get more inspiration here

Tips:
Send the kids outside to gather spruce, pine cones or leaves to make the ring. You could also choose candles of different sizes and light them up from the largest to the smallest. And for the craftier ones, you can even try making the candles yourselves!

Festival of lights

Hanukkah or Chanukah, also known as the festival of lights, is a Jewish holiday lasting eight days. It is celebrated to commemorate the Miracle of Oil. That’s why fried food such as ‘sufganiyot’ jelly-filled doughnuts or ’latkes’ (potato pancakes) are so popular during Chanukah.

On each day of the Holiday, a branch of the Menorah( a Jewish candelabrum) will be lit. The candelabrum is usually placed on the doorstep opposite to the Mezuzah or in the windows dreidalclosest to the street.

During the holiday, kids play with the dreidel (a four-sided spinning top) which players spin in turn hoping to earn the centre ‘pot’. Depending of the side the dreidel falls to, you either have to add something to the pot -usually chocolate ‘gelt’ or pennies. Earn half or the whole pot or do nothing.

So for the food lovers, choose from the Latkes or the Sufganiyot recipe, or even better try both!

And for crafty kids, get them to make lovely Dreidel-shaped place card or check out more Hanukkah crafty ideas here

St. Lucia’s Day

Lucia-13.12.06St. Lucia is a Swedish tradition held on 13 December. Allegedly, Lucia, which means light, would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome. She would wear candles on her head having both hands free to carry food. In schools, nursing homes and hospitals, the Swedish now celebrate St. Lucia’s day by inviting groups of young girls and boys dressed up as Lucia. Singing songs and giving out ginger biscuits, they all wear a white dress, each holding a candle as one teenage girl wears the Lucia candle ‘crown’ which holds real candles.

Get the kids to embrace this Swedish tradition, however, you can try LED candles, just to be on the safe side! Get them here

Ancient Europe

Gingerbread is believed to trace back to the 11th century, brought by an Armenian monk namely Gregory of Nicopolis. In Nuremberg during the 1600s, a guild of master-bakers created complicated Gingerbreads in elaborated designs.

gingerbreadhouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We don’t have to go that far as we are sure the kids will have fun creating (and eating) simple pre-made gingerbreads. Here you can buy a DIY gingerbread house. Put the kids into teams, and get them all to take part in creating a fantastic and delicious house!

And not to forget the famous British tasty mince pies!

Ahhh, mince pies! We know this probably is the most popular Christmas snack, but hey, some things are just too good to leave out.

Apparently mince pies were first made in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in after he was born. It used to be filled with meat such as lamb, rather than dried fruit as we know it today.

We found an easy recipe, which you can make with the kids in only 25 minutes. Also, you don’t even have to provide snacks that day, win-win! Get the recipe here (warning: mouth-watering may occur).


Which activities do you do in your settings? Have you planned to try out new ones, or are there just some that are too good to leave out? 😉

Share your experiences and ideas in the comments.

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