I love looking for ideas to help make this Christmas special for my family. I know you are thinking about that, too. So, I’m sharing the best of the best ideas that I’ve found online for Christmas this year.
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
I’m so excited that Christmas is coming! One of the best ways to make Christmas special is to build anticipation for the big day!
In fact, the word advent means ‘the arrival of a notable person or thing.’
I’m learning the best way to bring excitement to Christmas is to take notice of ‘the arrival of Jesus’.
Its coming! Something exciting is coming. The special gift is coming.
Here are my favorite ideas to help you build excitement with your kids. Many of these will be used for my family this year and we are already excited about the special activities heading our way.
Creative Advent Activities with Daily Activities
Simple Stone Advent Calendar
I absolutely love this idea from Rhythms of Play! My family loves to find rocks anyway (lol), so we will definitely be using our collection for this.
What I love about this idea – This is a great way show how the wise men traveled a long way to visit the baby!! This builds anticipation for the big day!
On a side note – The Day of Epiphany is recognized around the world as the day the wise men found Baby Jesus. Many different cultures remember the Wise Men on a later date, usually Jan. 6th (12 days after Christmas ; )). You can have the wise men arrive on Christmas or have the wise men start their journey on Christmas.
Whichever date you start, this is a great idea!! We will definitely be looking forward to this activity this year.
Thanks Rhythms of Play!
Christmas Advent Calendar with Bible Verses
I love everything on Thinkkidsblog.org! If you haven’t checked it out, you should do that now. It’s great stuff.
This year, there is an Advent Calendar with Bible Verses that lead up to Christmas Day for free!
What I love about this – This is a one pager! I love that I can quickly print this page and put it on our fridge or on our calendar. We try to read advent verses during dinner or shortly after each night. This is a great way to come together your family and remember each day why Christmas is so important.
On a side note – You can write the Bible verses and use them for a daily game. You can have your kids try to find the verse in the Bible first or literally hide the note card or post-it to find in your house. I know my kids love when I make a little game!
Names of Jesus Advent Ornaments
This is a fun way to do advent this year!
These names of Jesus ornaments to color are wonderful and will be beautiful displayed on your Christmas tree this year. Each day color an ornament to remember who Jesus is.
What I love about this – This activity can easily be something you and your kids will cherish. Coloring these ornaments and hanging them on your tree or a string on your wall can be a special tradition for your family.
On a side note – If you use this for advent, I recommend spending some time looking up the Bible verses that go with them. Or you can use this one that is ready for you to use. ; )
Also, if you want these to last, you should consider laminating them and adding some beautiful ribbon to finish them off.
Thanks Bible Story Printables for this beautiful idea. We will be adding this to our Christmas traditions!
I love the visual storytelling method that Ann Voskamp uses to paint a great mental picture. This advent book is a beautiful way to count down to Christmas.
What I love about this – This book is so beautiful! You can use it year after year to celebrate advent. I also love that this book has dates! It’s easy to stay on track or catch up if needed.
The Shepherd on the Search
This is a great alternative to The Elf on the Shelf. It’s super cute too!!
What I love about this – The Shepherd on the Search is a fun way to build the excitement of the coming gift, Jesus. It’s also fun for the kids to find him each morning.
The Star of Bethlehem Ornament
Check out these stars!! Aren’t they wonderful?
I love the idea of remembering different aspects of Christmas. Sometimes the star is not even discussed. This is a great reminder that when Jesus was born a beautiful star appeared in the sky. The same star that lead the wise men to visit baby Jesus.
What I love about this – I love how they are easy and really inexpensive these are to make. I encourage you to make extra to share! We always pick out a fun ornament or two to make and share with people! It’s a fun way to say ‘Merry Christmas’.
On a side note – These could also be painted to match your decor. Either way this is a fun and easy way to make the Star of Bethlehem.
Thanks for this idea Equipping Godly Women!
Nativity Stable Ornament
This simple stable ornament is another way to remember the little things about the first Christmas.
This ornament can be made and hung beside of the star ornament above to make a beautiful set.
What I love about this – This ornament is also very simple and inexpensive to make; great for small kids.
On a side note – If you don’t have the wooden stars, that’s ok. Don’t let that stop you from making this ornament without one or a star made from something else.
Baby Jesus Hand Print Craft
We made this Jesus in a Manger handprint craft last year and trust me when I say it’s one of my favorite things. I framed it and look forward to enjoying it again this year.
What I love about this – This is an easy way to paint baby Jesus, so don’t worry if you don’t paint well. Me either. Just make sure you let each layer dry and you’ll be golden.
On a side note – Frame your sweet baby’s hand print to display in your home every year. Be sure to write the name and date so you can look back at how little their hands were.
Baby Jesus in a Manger Fingerprint Craft
Here’s another idea from Craftymorning.com. This is a super cute fingerprint craft.
What I love about this – This is super easy to make but it’s personal because it’s your family’s fingerprints.
On a side note – This could be a fun craft for the whole family. Simply split up the dots and let the whole family participate. That way you worked together to make something sweet.
DIY Nativity Story Stones
I’m in love with this idea!! Thanks Rainy Day Mum for inspiring me to make these this year.
What I love about this – These are great for telling the story and encouraging your kids to tell the story. Also, you don’t have to worry about your family heirloom nativity getting broke when your kids can play with stones. We love rocks, as if you didn’t already know! : )
On a side note – Split the responsibility up so the whole family can participate. Also, you can take this to a park or somewhere else and leave them for others to enjoy.
We have officially hit the age where LEGO® is the hit in the house. This year I’ve been looking for ways to use our blocks for Christmas! This is a great idea from Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls!
What I love about this – Who doesn’t love to build stuff? This is a great way to work together to make something memorable that you can leave out until Christmas.
On a side note – You can easily expand this idea to include other animals, wise men, etc. Put this out for everyone to enjoy all month long.
Christmas Story Finger Puppets
I just love this idea!!! Can’t you just imagine the nativity story told by your little ones?
What I love about this – This is made for little fingers which is perfect for them to retell the Christmas story.
On a side note – Be sure to print on cardstock and/or laminate for durability.
Thanks Christian Preschool Printables for this great idea!
I just found Supercoloring.com and I’m so glad I did! You can print these pages off or color them electronically.
What I love about this – I love this nativity color by number. It’s great for young elementary age as this will help with number/color recognition. To be honest, I still love color-by-number activities.
Nativity Coloring Pages
1plus1plus1equals1.net has put together these pages for your kids to enjoy.
What I love about this – There are several sheets ready to go. Print these and your kids can make their own nativity booklet.
Christmas Bible Verse Coloring Sheets
Christian Preschool Printables is full of fun stuff for your family. Make sure you check out these coloring sheets.
What I love about this – I love that the Bible verse is on these printable. This is great for teaching Bible verses and for letter recognition for younger ones.
Peanuts – That’s What Christmas is All About Activity Book
I enjoy the Peanuts so much!! This is a fun activity book that kids of all ages will enjoy. ; )
What I love about this – This book has 16 pages of activities but also has 4 pages of stickers!! Peanuts Christmas stickers!! What could be better than this!?
Gluestickblog.com came up with this great idea to make a graham cracker nativity. We are looking forward to making this this year.
What I love about this – I don’t like how much waste there is when you build a gingerbread house. This alternative makes it easy to enjoy building a nativity scene and eating it too, if you choose.
Christmas Nativity Lunch
Guys!! This is so wonderful!! The Littles and Me has a great lunch idea for your kiddos. Look how sweet!
What I love about this – This is great for the kids to put together themselves. Just put all of the ingredients out and let them make their own plate. Don’t forget the printable!!!
On a side note – If you have a picky eater, you can substitute some of the ingredients to suit your sweet one.
Gluten Free Stained Glass Cookies
I’m in love with these cookies!! We will be making these soon!
What I love about this – These are gluten free cookies which makes it easier for me to enjoy a treat with my kiddos. And, look how beautiful these turned out to be.
On a side note – Make extra and share these. Who doesn’t love homemade cookies at Christmas?!
Christmas Star Vegetable Platter
I wasn’t able to find one like this but I will be making one this year. My plan is to lay veggies, meat, and cheese in a star pattern on a nice platter. I will put a small dish in the middle for dipping.
Swedish Cinnamon Star Bread
This doesn’t need a lot of words, just look how beautiful this is! Del’s Cooking Twist has inspired me to make this Christmas star cinnamon bread this year.
What I love about this – I love how beautiful this is when it’s done. Almost too beautiful to eat. I said almost : ).
Incorporating the Nativity into Playtime
Play Worthy Nativity
I strongly encourage you to purchase a nativity that is safe for little hands. I love this one. It’s made from wood and has the numbers and Bible verses on the back to help you countdown to Christmas.
Wrap Baby Jesus and Hide Him
I love to do this without telling anyone.
When everyone is preoccupied, simply take baby Jesus from your family nativity, wrap him in a small package, and hide the package under the tree. Shhh!! You’ll be surprised if anyone notices He is missing. No one noticed that Jesus was missing from our nativity. He was missing almost a month!!
On Christmas morning, after all the packages were opened, the kids checked to see if anything was left. Secretly they were hoping for more!! To their surprise, one package was left under the tree. This package was different from the rest because it had no tag. I said they could open it and see what it was. When they opened it, they were surprised that it was our baby Jesus! They were shock to find out that He had been missing from the nativity for about a month!!
What I love about this – I love the teaching lessons with this idea. This idea makes it focus on Jesus for just a few minutes, although He deserves much more. 1) It’s easy to not notice the most important thing when we are busy. 2) Jesus is a Christmas gift for everyone, no matter who they are. 3) As we put Jesus back in the nativity, I reminded the kids that Jesus arrived on Christmas and He is the special gift.
I wish I had seen these a few years earlier. I love these and have a feeling your little one will enjoy moving the nativity magnets around on your refrigerator this year.
Act Out the Christmas Story
I think every home should do this!! Schedule a night for the big skit and get everyone involved. Since a lot of churches may choose to not do a skit this year, doing one at home will be great for your kids!
What I love about this – This can be done with only your family or with your neighbors. Everyone should dress up and participate. Practice your skit so you’ll be prepared for the big night!!
On a side note – You can twist this up by having the kids tell the story and have the adults act it out. Also, this skit has a lot of parts. If you only have a few people in your family, simply use the parts of the narrator and have everyone else dress up.
Have a Very Merry (and Intentional) Christmas!!!