Christmas is a holiday that brings the joy out of everyone however, it can also be stressful at times – the dinner parties, excessive time spent in the kitchen preparing meals, the last-minute shopping, and the crowds can take the joy and meaning away from this special time. Why not get into the season by planning some easy, fun games for your next house guests? These 11 kid-friendly holiday games will help you relax and truly enjoy the time spent with your loved ones.
These entertaining, holiday-inspired games are great for kids – and adults will love them too!
1. Human Christmas Tree
Divide your guests up into teams. Give each team a roll of green streamer, a variety of ornaments on hooks, and tinsel. Have the teams choose one member who will become the Christmas tree. Set a time for two minutes. The team has until the buzzer goes off to wrap up their Christmas tree with the green streamer and decorate them with the ornaments and tinsel. Once the time is up the groups will vote on who had the prettiest or most creative looking tree and that team wins.
2. Jingle Bell Shake
This hilarious game will get everyone dancing! For this game you will need two empty tissue boxes (one per team), two ropes or ribbons, and 10-20 small jingle bells. Poke two holes on opposite ends of the bottom of the tissue boxes and weave the rope or ribbon through it then tie the empty tissue box around the players backside. Place 10 little jingle bells in the box. When the Christmas music starts, one player per team has one minute to dance out as many of the bells from the box that they can.
3. Holiday Maze
This game is great for the kids, and moms and dads will enjoy watching their excitement rise as they get closer and closer to the final prize. Tie a prize at the end of a ball of yarn (one one piece of yarn per child) and spread the yarn out throughout the house. Let the kids follow the ‘maze’ to get to the prize. This could also be a great morning game when opening an extra special present!
4. Who Am I?
Purchase enough Santa hats for all of the children at your party. Before they arrive, pin the name of a holiday character to the top of each one. Put a hat on each child’s head—without letting them see the name on the hat. Have the children move around the room, asking ‘yes or no’ questions to try to guess their identity. The first person to guess who he or she is wins the game.
5. Reindeer Antlers
Divide the players into teams, or each family is a team. Provide each team with a pair of pantyhose with the toes cut off, two pieces of ribbon, and at least 10 balloons. The goal of the game is to blow up the balloons and stuff them into the pantyhose (5 per leg) then tie the toes closed using the ribbon. Once they have completed this one team member must wear the pantyhose on their head. First one who wears the completed antlers on their head wins.
6. Mystery Stocking
Fill a stocking with a bunch of simple mystery items (i.e., toy cars, chalk, stuffed animals, marbles, etc), then pass the stocking around the circle, letting each child guess what is inside. They can shake the stocking, smell it, or simply feel the shape of what is inside. Write down their guesses and after each child has made their guess open the stocking and see how many they guessed correctly.
7. Twelve Days of Christmas Relay
Divide the children (or families) into two teams. Gather a collection of items (i.e., pictures from the internet, cards, items from the house, etc.) to represent the ones named in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” for each team. Ensure that the kids all understand which lyric matches each item, labelling them, if necessary. Give each team an empty basket or stocking then place two buckets with the items at the other end of the room. When the race begins, the first team member must run to the buckets, grab the first item named in the song, and return it to their bucket or stocking. The second member runs to the buckets and grabs the second item named in the song, and so on. The winning team is the first to collect all twelve items inside their bucket or stocking.
8. Christmas Cookie Face
For this minute-to-win-it game you will need cookies, either homemade or store-bought. Divide the children into two teams. Give each child a cookie which they must place on their foreheads. Instruct the children that they must move the cookie down their face and into their mouth, without touching it with their hands. If the cookie falls they need to pick it up and star over. The team that wins is the one whose participants have all eaten their cookies.
9. Candy Cane Pick Up
Place a pile of candy canes on a table and provide a plate or small basket for each player. Give each player a candy cane to put in his mouth with the hook end down. The player must use the candy cane hook to pick up as many candy canes from the table as they can in 1 minute and move them to their plate or basket. When the minute is up, the player with the most candy canes in their basket wins. Repeat with two new players, one per team.
10. Snowball Fight
Divide the children into two teams and place a dividing line in the middle of the room. Provide each team with a basket of crumpled white paper or tissue paper. On ‘go’ the players on each team must grab a snowball and throw it into the other team’s side. They may pick up any thrown snowballs on their side and throw it back to the other team’s side. This continues for one minute. The team who has the least number of snowballs on their side after one minute is the winner.
11. Marshmallow Toss
For each team, provide a wreath, a bag of marshmallows, and a bucket. Have one person from each team hold the wreath to their side, place the bucket directly behind the wreath. Another team player will have one minute to throw marshmallows, one by one, through the wreath, aiming for them to land in the bucket. After one minute the player with the most marshmallows in the bucket gets a point for their team. Play again with two other team members, and so on. The team with the most points after each player has had a turn wins the game.
Do you have a favourite holiday game you’d like to share? If yours isn’t on the list I’d love to hear about it!