Inside: Practical age-appropriate Christmas activities and traditions to do with a baby or toddler at home.
I love celebrating Christmas with my kids. A warm, magical spirit fills the air when you have little ones during the holidays. But when you’re juggling life with a baby and toddler it’s hard to enjoy every minute and simply be in the moment.
I remember back a few years ago, feeling overwhelmed and searching for fun Christmas traditions to do with babies and toddlers. Sure there were plenty of exciting lists of Christmas activities and places to go everywhere I turned: from having breakfast with Santa to traveling around town to see a holiday show. But with little ones needing to stay on nap schedule and prone to temper tantrums, I found participating in each and every little thing others were doing quite challenging.
It was only when I began to simplify and focus on being very selective with our outings did enjoying the holidays with a newborn, 1 year-old or 2 year-old get easier.
Let that sink in for a moment: Focus on being very selective.
And that’s what I would recommend any mom planning Christmas activities for little ones do…especially if plans involve loading the kids in the car and getting out of the house.
Luckily, most of these Christmas ideas can easily be done at home with your baby and toddler.
Easy Christmas Traditions for Babies and Toddlers
When you’re celebrating baby’s first Christmas, your options for what to do may seem limited. This is especially true when baby is 6 months and under. But there’s still easy, stress-free ways you can celebrate the holidays together.
Christmas photo ideas
One of my favorite ways, is taking pictures. Infants tend to sleep often, so snapping a photo of your bundle of joy while they rest is an easy way to capture memories. But even if awake, incorporate festive backdrops or accessories into the photo to make them Christmas-themed.
Take a picture of baby with Christmas lights or a Christmas tree nearby.
Another festive and easy tradition to do with little ones is simply having holiday-themed pajamas. Love this easy way to celebrate Christmas eve especially on baby’s first Christmas — parents can join in the fun with adult size jammies if doing a family photo shoot!!
If you think your child can handle it, pay a visit to Santa with baby in tow. You can get some unique pictures for sure depending on baby’s age. Ironically, the younger the better when it comes to picture-taking because as your baby turns into a toddler beware, they may shed a few tears when meeting Mr. Claus.
Christmas crafts for babies
Once baby is a little older (6 months+) the options for Christmas activities to do begin to open up. If there’s one thing I wish I did more of with my kids during the holidays it would be handprint and footprint crafts for sure. Because it’s super easy to turn those little prints into keepsakes you can treasure for years on end.
You can really do this at any age, as long as you have some baby-safe washable paint. Here are some adorable prints you can create:
MistleToes Footprint Keepsake – Create “mistletoes” using baby’s footprints and turn into a beautiful Christmas decorating piece.
Christmas Tree Footprint Craft – It can’t get any easier than this. Paint baby’s feet green to make Christmas trees!
Footprint Mouse Poem and Keepsake – Another really simple way to cherish the holidays with littles.
Reindeer Footprint Card – Family will go gaga over receiving one of these from kids!
Kid-Made Christmas ornaments
Make your Christmas tree extra special with personalized ornaments made by your children. You can grab a DIY kit at your local craft store or use what you have to create salt-dough ornaments.
- Fingerprint Christmas Tree Salt Dough Ornament
- Handprint Ornament Keepsake
- Handprint Clay Keepsake
- Salt Dough Footprint Reindeer
Christmas activities for babies and toddlers
Ditch the busy malls and play gyms during the busy holiday season and instead opt for baby-safe sensory bottles, sensory board or art work you can do at home to help stimulate the senses for early development.
Christmas-themed Sensory Board – Love this simple way to let little ones touch all the Christmas items they want in a safe way.
Christmas Sensory Bottle – Babies will be fixated on this magical sensory bottle filled with Christmas colors.
Christmas Sensory Play Activity – Let little ones touch the “tree” all they want without getting messy in this no-mess sensory tactile activity.
Gingerbread Sensory Bag – Babies and toddlers can also avoid the mess making a gingerbread man in this activity.
Sensory Lights Activity – Another baby-safe way to admire those bright Christmas lights without getting into any trouble.
Christmas Box Lights – Growing babies and toddlers will love this “fort” experience when lights are added!
Baby-Friendly Christmas Tree
As parents, we all know too well about the stress that putting up a Christmas tree and keeping baby away from the tree brings when you have curious little ones. After you’ve tried to even make the ornaments safer for baby you can also keep baby stimulated and AWAY from the real Christmas tree altogether with these alternative tree ideas. Check out the links below to see how to get creative or buy your own tree kit here.
Remember to choose a couple of the Christmas traditions and activities listed here to create a memorable Christmas with babies. Because it’s not about doing EVERYTHING, but just about doing what works for your family, child and lifestyle.
And whatever you choose, remember the most important thing that matters to your baby this Christmas is spending quality time with those they love to make it truly magical.
- Homemade Ornaments for Baby’s First Christmas
- 50 Stocking Stuffers for Baby’s 1st Christmas
- Baby-Safe Christmas Ornaments
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.