Easy toddler Christmas activities they’ll love, mess free! Activities is just what your toddler is craving, your attention and not things. That’s why a minimalist Christmas is fantastic plus it’s budget friendly. Making memories is priceless and long lasting!
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It can be hard to navigate the holidays if you want a simple Christmas that’s still memorable. Our consumerism culture doesn’t promote this idea. It can feel like the materialism and hustle of the season is overwhelming completely us and our homes.
When you want experiences for your family rather than stuff, it’s important to take initiative early to communicate this to your family and extended family. I’ve outlined how you can go about this this Christmas season.
Kids are drowning in stuff and starving for our attention.
Often at Christmas time grandparents, aunts and uncles want to shower our kids with gifts. The little ones love the gifts in the moment, but it seems to be short lived, doesn’t it?
A few days or a few weeks later, that toy isn’t being played with. Instead, it’s the wrapping paper or a random box that a big gift came in which gets played with more! Creative kids! But you’re left with more stuff accumulating in your house, or more precisely, on your play room floor.
Christmas isn’t the same as when we nor when our parents were kids!
Let’s be honest, even if Grandma does remember what she got at her 2nd Christmas, that doesn’t mean she knows what your toddler needs or will love – time!
Things are different now, our kids are surrounded by stuff. Stuff is more accessible and always coming into our homes from who knows where, all year long. It’s not the once a year big deal, parents have been making or scraping by for months for something for the kids. We have dollar stores, Walmarts and second hand stores galore!
Our children are craving attention, we are so busy working to pay bills or distracted by our phones. Giving them the gift of time by making memories through doing fun Christmas activities together will shower them with love and long lasting memories!
Be proactive in setting Christmas expectations.
It’s important to be proactive when it comes to Christmas. Setting expectations EARLY (like October or beginning of November ideally) with family helps. Giving gift lists of ideas can make a difference.
Make sure you and your partner are on the same page first. Then I’d recommend sending a nice email out to extended family members. (I’ll talk more about what to put in this email below.)
But even with clarifying conversations relatives, especially grandparents, just love showering our littles with gifts, don’t they? (Ever noticed how the unwrapping is your little one’s favourite part? Something that could be turned into a game instead….)
If you’re reading this and Christmas is fast approaching. It’s still not too late to have this conversation and set boundaries around Christmas. Toys can always be returned by family and they can use your activity list. How much better to not feel guilty about having to declutter them later on.
But if you decide not to talk to the relatives this year, it’s late December already when you’re reading this, or if you feel it won’t make a difference – done that and it did’t work. There’s still some things YOU can do to help take away the stress of the Christmas clutter and fill your families love cup with beautiful memories!
Easy things to declutter BEFORE Christmas.
Are you feeling overwhelmed about the holiday gifts and stuff that comes with the season? You can make a difference in how your home will feel after the holidays by taking initiative to decluttering the toys, Christmas decor, winter gear, body products, etc. to make room for the new ones. When your kids are all littles the toy one is easy, when they are older it’s a beautiful skill building opportunity on stuff/inventory management.
The Minimal Mom, Dawn, has tips on 5 easy things to declutter before Christmas in just 5 minutes!
If you have older ones too, Dawn also has a clever way to enlist the Elf on the Shelf to help.
How to help your relatives focus on experiences with your toddler at Christmas
If you’re like me and want to focus more on experiences rather than gifts, here’s how:
1. Make up a minimalist gift list for your littles using 3-4 categories as a guide
Minimalist Christmas list categories:
- something to read
- something they need*
- something for fun
- something to wear* (optional – I usually lump it with the need category for little ones.)
Books are a big one for us! We love this kind of gift as it is a quality time and experience creating gift. Not to mention all the wonderful reading skills that are being developed by reading to your child.
Check out some of our favourite book suggestions at the bottom of this post.
Most toddlers don’t have much of an opinion regarding gifts, but it’s still fun to ask! I asked mine and the answer was “Dates!” So I included a bag of Costco Dates under the “something for fun” category.
2. Brainstorm a list of easy toddler Christmas activities
It’s fun & simple brainstorming a list of easy toddler Christmas activities your littles will love. You know your children best, you know what they would love doing with their grandparents and other relatives..
To save you time, I already brainstormed a bunch of ideas that a toddler (and baby) will love!
Click here is my FREE printable filled with easy toddler Christmas activities ideas!
I had so much fun making this list for you! I even plan to do some of them with my littles after Christmas through the winter months ahead. Why not let Christmas fun can last into January along with the decorations, right?
3. Share your toddler Christmas activity & gift lists with family
Now that you have your gift lists and activity list ready. Your next step is to share it with your family. Sometimes this can be tricky, and having an understanding heart is important.
I’d encourage you to be proactive and have a conversation about your expectations even before the Christmas season begins, in October or beginning of November. (A lot of people do most of their shopping for Christmas using Black Friday sales.) Sending out a nice email is probably the best way as it can be the least confrontational and is a great way to make sure what you want to say is clear.
However, if you’re like me and before you know it we’re in the thick of the season, it’s still better to take initiative to communicate with your relatives. And then next Christmas you’ll have a template to edit and be more ahead of things!
It’s better to let relatives return stuff now and get something your littles will actually like or need. Rather than you taking it into your home only to become clutter that you’ll need to declutter and donate later. Your extended family can channel their extra energy (and money) to your toddler(s) Christmas activities bucket list, even personalizing it themselves.
But even if it’s too late on the gift front this year, the activities can still be included as part of Christmas fun with relatives.
Sharing Easy Toddler Christmas Activities Ideas is a wonderful way to help your extended family make great memories with your littles. Click here to get my free printable of simple toddler Christmas activities we love.
How do you keep your Christmas minimal and memorable?
I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below. Do you try to have a minimalistic approach to Christmas? How do you navigate extended family’s expectations? Let me know below!
Get your FREE Easy Toddler Christmas Activities Printable:
Included are spaces for you to personalize the list by adding your own fun activities too!
Happy memory making this Christmas with your little ones!
Shop this post – Books we love
Our Very Favourite Christmas Nativity Book for Our Littles:
Other Favourite books for Toddlers:
For Parents – with beautiful pictures for your littles to look at while you catch quiet time with Jesus:
Check out my other related posts
Chronological Nativity Advent Countdown – 25 Day Nativity Advent Calendar