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Christmas Eve Traditions to Start with Your Toddler

The holidays are a wonderful time to bring families together. What better way to do this than to start some new family traditions? Christmas Eve in our household signals the start of Christmas. If at all possible my husband tries to take the day off work and the grandparents are around so from when our kids were toddlers we’ve created family traditions that we do on Christmas Eve. If you want to start something similar check out these inspirations for simple traditions for Christmas Eve that are ideal for your Toddlers and you to start this year.

Christmas Eve Traditions to Start with Toddlers

These simple traditions are things that we tried with our kids were toddlers and fitted around me cooking for the following days as normal. If you have older kids then check out our ideas for Christmas Eve Traditions for Families as there are some additional ideas that the older kids and you will find great to remember the giving nature of the season.

Family Watching out for Santa on Christmas Evea
Stock Photo from Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock

Bake some Christmas Eve Cookies

Santa needs his cookies to keep him full throughout his long night’s journey!

Cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve with Elf on the Shelf

Be prepared to clean a messy kitchen, and bake some Christmas Eve cookies from scratch with your little one. If you do Elf on the Shelf then why not let the Elf leave the cookie ingredients for you and the kids to cook that morning and then leave a couple of cookies out for Santa at the end of the day.

You could alternatively bake some gingerbread cookies ahead of time and let your kids decorate them with writing icing and sprinkles. This is something that we have done and the grandparents loved joining in – although I think more cookies went in their stomachs than were decorated. 

Start a Christmas Eve Box Tradition

Family opening a Christmas Eve Box in front of a Christmas Tree

When our two were toddlers we started a Christmas Eve Box tradition. We have a simple gift box that is reused year after year and inside fill it with little items that add to our family traditions year after year.

If you are starting this for the first time then check out our Best Ideas for your Toddler Christmas Eve Box with simple things that you and they will get to have fun with together. 

Watch a Holiday Classic

What better way to spend time together than curled up on the couch?

Pop in your kid’s favourite Christmas movie and take in all the snuggles while you can!

Holiday movie watching is something the whole family will love and it doesn’t take a whole lot of work to get started.

Check out this list of Top 10 Christmas Movies for Kids if you are not sure which Holiday Classic to pick to watch this year.

Go on a Christmas Light Adventure -sightseeing

Either head out for a walk if your neighbourhood has lots of lights to see and your toddler enjoys walking or it’s ok for them to be out in the cold in the stroller. Or head off in the car and visit some areas with fantastic light displays.

See if you and your toddlers can spot some of the most noticeable Christmas characters – a snowman, Santa, star etc…. 

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Got Snow Then Head out and Have a Snowball Fight

Snowball fights are fun no matter how old you are.

Dress up the kids in their warm winter weather gear and head outside for a snowball fight.

Fun snowman-themed crafts, learning activities and recipes ideal for toddlers and preschoolers to do this winter or Christmas time.

Want to join in but there is no snow then don’t worry! Have a fake snowball fight.

Craft your own snow or get away with throwing cotton balls around. Thankfully, little ones have wonderful imaginations!

Make a Christmas Craft

If like us you have included a Christmas Craft Kit in you Christmas Eve box then now is the time to sit down and do it.

Kids Making Christmas Crafts

If not and you have some Christmas Craft supplies to hand then check out our simple ideas for Christmas Crafts for Toddlers there are plenty of ideas to choose from some of them that will only take a few moments to do and others that will keep the kids entertained for a while.

Dad and toddler baking on Christmas Eve
Stock Photo from Halfpoint/Shutterstock

Play a Christmas Game

printable game for preschoolers at christmas, roll the cube and move to the space to race to decorate the christmas tree first

Sitting down together and playing a game is great fun but finding ones that are suitable for the youngest members can be a challenge sometimes. So why not play our Race to Decorate the Christmas Tree Printable Game. It’s easy to play and the kids will love trying to beat you to the tree on Christmas Eve.

Have a Christmas Scavenger Hunt

printed cjhristmas scavenger hunt with pictures for toddlers and preschoolers to play

Use up some of the excess energy that your little one may have with a fun Christmas Scavenger hunt. This printable version is great with pictures for them to find the objects throughout the house. Grab your copy today.

More Ideas for Christmas Traditions to Start with your Toddlers

fun christmas books with matching crafts and other activities for kids
24 Advent Activities for Toddler and Preschoolers with crafts, baking, traditions, nature hunts and Family Fun these are great fun to countdown to Christmas
Selection of the best bits on Netflix this Christmas for families to download, watch and enjoy plus a favourite for the Mums as well.

Instead of counting down to Christmas with a chocolate Advent Calendar pick and choose from this classic Christmas books and share a craft or activity a day with your toddlers.

Another alternative advent to do with your toddler is our Advent Activities for Toddlers where each day we countdown with a simple activity like making Gingerbread cookies or writing a letter to Santa. These memories will take hold and for years to come your kids will be asking to do these things as you spend time together as a family in the lead up to Christmas.

Snuggle up on the Sofa with your Toddler and watch Netflix with our pick of the best of Christmas on Netflix for the whole family.

Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.

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