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Explore nutrition tips, kids’ meal plans, kids’ activities, recipes and more from pediatric nutritionist, Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE.

10 Holiday Activities for the Kids

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10 Holiday Activities for the Kids

Make the holidays fun with these top 10 tips that maintain the focus on time spent with family – near or far! Enjoy these holiday activities for kids.

Holiday activities are often focused on sweets or unhealthy foods while the real reason for the celebrations and gathering gets pushed aside. Not every activity has to involve indulgent food this holiday season – spending time with family is just as important. Even if it’s just a few of you. Make the holidays fun with these top 10 tips that maintain the focus on your loved ones!

10 Holiday Activities for Kids

  1. Make a popcorn and dried fruit string
  2. Try new holiday activities to foster the spirit of giving
  3. Make homemade health beverages or candy cane food art
  4. Make homemade dough ornaments
  5. Create holiday snack mixes
  6. Have the kids act out scenes or play instruments
  7. Carve potatoes and use them as stamps
  8. Hang walnuts with coins on the tree
  9. Make snowflakes with paper
  10. Add quotes to the snowflakes and string them together

Keep reading for the how-tos for each, key tips to follow, and what you’ll need to get started!

Jessie character with string made of popcorn to decorate for holiday activities for kids

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1. Make a Popcorn and Dried Fruit String

This year, why not string together popcorn with dried cranberries and raisins to decorate your house or tree? Or, just keep the popcorn, cranberries, and raisins in cookie-tins for a tasty on-the-go snack. You could also string together just popcorn and hang it outside for the birds to eat! Your kids will love to watch the birds enjoy their treat! Check out these tasty popcorn recipes!

2. Try new holiday activities to foster the spirit of giving

Gather extra food cans and nonperishable items from your cabinets and drop them off at the local food bank. You can use this as an opportunity to teach your kids more about how food is distributed to those in need. Volunteer with older kids at a community center to serve meals – a valuable experience and a great way to give back to the community! It will benefit as a great talking point for reducing food waste as well!

3. Make Homemade Health Beverages or Candy Cane Food Art

Have a family member who demands candy canes? Buy the hollow ones and use one as a straw! Kids will enjoy the holiday flavor while sipping on water or homemade healthy beverages like water mixed with a splash of pomegranate or grape juice. Or try making your own tasty fruit candy cane made with bananas and strawberries! Next, try these 10 festive food art creations!

4. Make Homemade Dough Ornaments

Kids making dough for baking christmas cookies for holiday activities for kids

Make homemade dough ornaments with flour and salt. You will teach your kids cooking and baking skills while creating memories that you can share with others.

We love these cookie cutters* for a fun variety of shapes! Glaze the ornaments after the holidays so they last for years to come. ‘Season’ your ornaments with different spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie for enticing scents. Talk about other ways to use these spices with your kids for a fun nutrition addition to holiday activities for kids.

5. Create Holiday Snack Mixes

Ask your kids to each come up with one or two favorite nuts or dried fruits, then combine to create a family snack mix.  Add your trail mix to salads, yogurt, rice dishes or keep it plain for a snack while on a family hike. Homemade granola or trail mix placed in mini mason jars with a ribbon makes a great gift for teachers and neighbors. It’s easy to make in bulk and can be healthy, even with chocolate chips!

quote from super crew breakfast book

6. Have the Kids Act out Scenes or Play Instruments

Have your kids perform their own Christmas play, act out a scene from a holiday play, book or movie or play a musical instrument for a family performance. You can record it and send it out to your other family members who can’t celebrate in person with you this year. This reduces how much time your kids spend sitting around watching TV, playing video games or eating food out of boredom.

7. Carve Potatoes and Use Them for Stamps

holiday activity homemade wrapping paper with potato stamper

Cut out potatoes in various shapes, like stars, apples, Christmas trees, or wreaths and stamp them with ink on brown paper to make your own personalized wrapping paper. I still remember doing this as a child and loving the look of joy on the gift recipient’s faces.

8. Hang Walnuts with Coins on the Tree

Crack walnuts ahead of time and insert a quarter or other coin then re-glue. Hang the walnuts on the tree and let the kids choose one in the days leading up to the holidays.  Then ask them if they know walnuts are good for their brain and their heart. They can eat them, and invest their money well!

9. Make Snowflakes with Paper

kid making snowflake out of paper

Create unique snowflakes with your kids using construction paper and glitter.  Glue their picture in the middle, string the family snowflakes together, and hang them above the mantle or on the tree. Keep the creativity high and the family ties strong with this holiday activity for kids.

10. Add Quotes to the Snow Flakes and String Them Together

String the snowflakes together with quotes about family and the meaning of Hanukkah or Christmas. Or let the kids make a holiday card collage – or shape the cards into a Christmas tree with snowflakes spread throughout.

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About the Author

Picture of Melissa Halas, MA, RD, CDE

Melissa Halas, MA, RD, CDE

Melissa is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with a master's in nutrition education. She is the founder of SuperKids Nutrition Inc. Read more about her Super Crew children’s books and her experience as a registered dietitian on the About Melissa and Shop page. Discover how nutrition can help you live your best health potential through her plant-based books and newsletter on Melissa’s Healthy Living.

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