Keeping the little ones busy at any time is hard enough, but on the run up to Christmas it can get super tricky. The festive excitement and the cold wet weather outside mean the kids are bouncing off the walls, climbing the Christmas tree and swinging from the fairy lights. That said, the dark midwinter can be the perfect time for dads to bond with their children and make some special memories. Here are our favourite Quality Christmas activities for some top-quality dad time.
Wrap up for a Christmas Adventure Walk
In our house, we live by the motto “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” – so it’s wellies and waterproofs on, scarves and gloves at the ready, and out the door for a good wander in the wilderness. I say ‘wilderness’ but let’s face it, even a trip to the park can feel like an expedition sometimes, so it doesn’t need to be a quest to a mountaintop.
Finding a local woodland, coastal path, riverside trail, or country park can make for a great day out with a packed lunch and thermos of hot chocolate in your backpack. Just make sure to check the weather and plan your journey to suit how far the kids can walk.
Forage for Christmas Decorations
Well, seeing as you’re going to have a tree in the living room you might as well embrace the outdoors coming inside the house! If you’re out and about in the woods, this time of year is great for picking up pinecones to take home to decorate your mantelpiece, dining table, or tree.
Wandering on the beach? Why not find some driftwood to make some unique tree decorations? Simply dry some small pieces of driftwood, paint some festive stripes or patterns on (or brave the glue and glitter!) before threading some twine or ribbon through a hole ready to hang them on the tree. Kids will love you spending the time finding and making the decorations with them, plus making the holes in them for the ribbon will finally give you a chance to use that power drill you got last Christmas. Two quality christmas activities in one!
Get Crafty with a Paper & Paint Activity
If the weather isn’t great, it can be hard to come up with wet weather activities, but you can really keep the kids in the festive spirit by cracking out the poster paints to make your own Christmas wrapping paper.
Homemade Christmas wrapping paper can be great fun and guarantees that your gifts will stand out under any tree. Simply carve some potato stamps into festive shapes, such as stars or trees, and dab them into some paint. Get the kids to splodge them around onto some sheets of plain brown parcel paper, and once dry they can be rolled up ready for that frantic last-minute gift wrapping at 11pm on the 24th December.
Get Creative with Homemade Christmas Cards
As dads, we have a strange pride in our kids’ artworks. We lovingly stick them on the fridge for everyone to see, even if the picture of “daddy playing football” looks a lot like a deleted scene from Saving Private Ryan. But making your own Christmas cards can be a way to share their creativity with your loved ones further afield. Simply buy a pack of blank cards and envelopes, and then let the kids go wild.
They can either draw or paint their favourite thing about Christmas, or you can go for something simple and elegant. This year, we opted for a fingerprint from each of us in red paint, with added doodling to make some robins on a branch. Extra points if you can get a Christmas dad joke on it too!
Make some Classic Christmas Gingerbread Cookies
Ok, I hear so many dads telling me they either can’t bake, or they can’t find the time. Well, here’s a super-simple recipe for some delicious Christmas Gingerbread Cookies that will be devoured by kids of all ages. A quick-and-easy sweet treat that tastes so good, even mum will think you got them from the shop.
Get Cosy for a Super Sofa Snuggle Session
As much as kids love doing stuff with their dads, they really appreciate the downtime too. With the evenings getting dark earlier this time of year, the warm glow of the TV and the cosiness of the sofa is a great comfort to us all – but you can make it super special for the kids and enjoy some calm time with them too.
Pick your favourite Christmas family film (we’re a Muppet Christmas Carol household), make some mugs of hot chocolate – with whipped cream and marshmallows of course – and get the popcorn ready. Snuggly blankets? Check. Phones and tablets put away? Check. Then it’s time to curl up together and enjoy a festive film or two. It’s a great way to introduce the young ones to the films we loved from our youth – or maybe you get to watch a favourite film of theirs that you haven’t seen before. Either way, it’s a wonderful way to bond, plus you get to put your feet up. Win!
If you run out of Quality Christmas activities
Whatever you get up to this Christmas season, don’t forget to make time for creating some special memories that dad and the kids can look back on for years to come. Spending quality time together probably isn’t on their Christmas list, but you can give an extra present this year just by being present. The most precious gift you can give is your time, and that’s something that money just can’t buy.