He’s a victim of our society’s “Performance Based” value system. No one wanted to play with him when he was a freak of nature, but all the sudden a fog-storm settles in and he’s everyone’s best friend. (I hope his mother warned him against “those” types!)
It’s the quintessential Zero to Hero story.
Well, Rudolph is setting up to save Christmas again. Only this time, instead of saving Santa’s sanity, he’s saving yours.
You see, science has proven* that something strange starts to happen to your preschooler a few days before Christmas. It’s called the Christmas Crazies, and it threatens to push moms like us over the edge.
Here’s how you can tell it’s coming:
- You’ve been gone later at night because of Christmas parties, concerts, etc. This means he’s been skipping past his normal bedtime.
- There are empty candy cane wrappers all over the car. You’ve given up trying to count how many free candy canes he’s consumed at Grandma’s, the bank, the grocery store…
- He’s old enough to remember he’s going to be opening presents soon, and is practically quivering with anticipated excitement.
- The Preschooler Meltdown-O-Meter has been in the Red Zone a lot more than usual.
Today we’re going to focus Rudolph’s nose on the best Christmas Crazy Cure on the market: keeping your preschooler busy.
Christmas Games for Preschoolers:
Reindeer Activity Games
Oftentimes the first impulse to calm the chaos before Christmas is to grab something soothing and numb. To slap that tushie down in front of a few TV Christmas specials and hope he stays put for a while.
Even the Red-Nosed Crusader himself realizes that those shows have their limitations. Your preschooler just doesn’t have the attention-span to let those shows leech away all that extra energy.
Rudolph would like to suggest something radically different: Wear. That. Little. Man. OUT.
He’s going to be pinging off the walls over the next few days anyway, right? So why not channel that energy to a concentrated beam? A good healthy dose of brain-and-body exercise may be exactly what you need to help secure a Quiet Time in the afternoon.
Here are Rudolph’s favorite Christmas games for preschoolers. Just in time.
- The Bow Game ~ There are so many things you can do with bows! Do a color sort, or toss them up and down with a sheet like a parachute. Have your preschooler count the red ones…then the silver ones…or sort them by size. Endless options with a super-cheap toy!
- Gingerbread Hunt ~ Use the printable on the linked website to print your Gingerbread men and tape/glue them to popsicle sticks. Then label them with numbers and let the kids run all over looking to put them in the right order.
- Candy Cane Fishing ~ Tie a candy cane to a long string attached to a dowel rod. Then place other candy canes in a cup on the floor and let your kid practice “fishing”. This is a great game for improving hand/eye coordination!
- Build a Snowman ~ Cover a square box with paper and label each side a snowman piece. Then cut out the pieces and let the kids take turns rolling the dice to see who can “build” their snowman first!
- Gingerbread Hop ~ Use the printable on the website linked (or make your own), to spread out “hopping squares” on the floor. Then call out a number, a letter, or even a simple math equation, and have the kids jump to the answer.
- Stacking Snowman ~ Are last summer’s marshmallows still in the cupboard, as hard as a rock? Break them out and let the kids draw snowman faces on them with a sharpie. Then see who can build the tallest snowman tower!
- Don’t Ring the Bell Obstacle Course ~ Exactly what it sounds like. Add bells to various hoops and poles to climb through, under, or over. If they hear a bell ring they have to start over!
Christmas Games for Preschoolers:
Games to Bring to Grandma’s
There is always some point during the holiday season, where the kids have to subject themselves to absolute boredom at Great Aunt Kay’s house while the adults converse and catch-up.
As a parent, those were the visits that terrified me the most. I knew that the most “fun” toy at Aunt Kay’s house was the silly frog bath mitt hanging next to the shower (that I always tossed back inside the shower because I know my desperately bored kids would try to play with it and...*dry heave*).
A bored preschooler is a whiny/angry/fussy/embarrassing-melt-down preschooler.
Which is precisely why Rudolph was thoughtful enough to suggest these
bored board reindeer Christmas games for preschoolers.
- Pin the Nose on the Snowman ~ Fun for the kids to play with…entertaining for the older adults to watch. (Of course, I’m playing too…)
- Christmas Bingo ~ Since Grandpa usually plays Bingo on Saturday nights anyway, why not make it a new family tradition? Winner gets the first slice of Christmas cake!
- Operation ~ There is not a preschooler on the planet who doesn’t love playing Operation. The suspense! The feeling of accomplishment when the funny bone is successfully removed!
- The Santa Clause Game ~ The kids get to be Santa! They roll the die to land on spaces to participate in various activities such as singing a favorite holiday song, twirling like a snowflake and belting out their best “Ho Ho Ho” as they give gifts to the children of the world.
- Christmas Tree Bowling ~ Bowling in the basement while the adults sip eggnog upstairs…the perfect preschool Christmas!
- Spot it! Holiday Edition ~ Not only can they enjoy this with their cousins when you arrive, they can play it in the car on the way back home!
- Christmas Memory Match ~ I remember playing Memory for HOURS with my cousins at the stair landing at my grandmother’s house. A nostalgic game I’m glad to introduce my kids to!
Let Rudolph Guide You
Through the Holiday Fog
Like a lighthouse leads ships away from the hidden craggy shoreline, I hope Rudolph’s Christmas games for preschoolers can help steer you away from the Christmas Crazies this year.
It’s amazing how helpful having a Christms Chaos Prevention Plan can be! Use these activities to wear away the excess holiday energy and tame down the overflow of enthusiasm.
Who knows? Perhaps Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen will even join in!
Have You Read These Yet?
- How to Make the Preschool Age Your Best One Yet
- This is How to Bring More Enchantment into Your Daughter’s Playtime
- 21 Preschool Gifts That Will Fit in Your Suitcase
- Here are the Family Christmas Traditions You Don’t Want to Miss Out On
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Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at MightyMoms.club and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007. She’s a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, has been a featured parenting expert writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, Cafe Mom, and others. If it’s 2am and you’re desperate to read SOMETHING, check out her deepest darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn’t be allowed to blog.