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The Best Christmas Movies to Watch with Your Toddler and Preschooler

One of the advent activities for toddlers we suggest is a Christmas Movie Night. We make some popcorn, dig out the duvet and pillows and set up for some holiday movies. But picking something that is suitable for your 2 – 6 year old can be difficult. So we’ve put together our own list of Christmas Movies that both our kids loved watching when they were toddlers and preschoolers. So here you go the Best Christmas Movies for Toddlers, Preschoolers and You to enjoy.

Toddler and preschooler watching a Christmas movie on a tablet under the Christmas tree in front of a fire at home.

The Best Christmas Movies for Preschoolers, Toddlers and You to Watch Together

A lot of people when we were looking for Christmas movies suggested shorts based on the kids’ favourite characters. Ones like Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig. However, we knew that those would be on TV or Netflix (check out our guide to the best Christmas Shows and Movies on Netflix for families) at some point over the Christmas season.

What we wanted was a selection of movies that we collected over time (as there were gifts inside our Christmas Eve box) and could enjoy when they were toddlers and preschoolers but also as they got older as well.

So here they are, we’ve tried to split them up into our favourite 3, classics, animation and others that we recommend.

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If we had to pick just 3 Christmas films that we would recommend toddlers and the rest of the family would enjoy they would be:

#1 The Snowman

We love the book, we love the music and we love the film. The Snowman (30 minutes) is based on the book The Snowman by Raymond Briggs one of the featured books in our Storybook Advent.

It follows the adventure of a young boy and the snowman that he makes through the snow and ice to the North Pole and the Snowman Party and then back home. Every Christmas even when we didn’t have kids I would still watch this as it’s such a lovely short film and brings season cheer.

The Snowman
  • NCircle Entertainment The Snowman DVD
  • David Bowie (Actor)
  • Diane Jackson (Director) – Raymond Briggs (Writer)
  • English (Publication Language)

If you like it then we recommend 2 other Raymond Briggs books that have been turned into films later on but you can buy all 3 in a set The Snowman, Father Christmas and The Snowman and the Snow Dog.

Inspired by the classic Christmas picture book The Snowman by Raymond Briggs bake these ever so simple Snowball Cookies made with just 3-ingredients.

We love the snowman so check out our ideas of Snowman themed activities and crafts to do to complement the film and keep your kids entertained this Christmas.

#2 The Polar Express

Another book turned into a film. The Polar Express (100 minutes) is another favourite. Although as a toddler my youngest wouldn’t sit through it we were able to watch it in instalments and by the time she was a preschooler she loved it.

The little boy in the story doesn’t believe in Santa but the Polar Express takes him on a journey up to see for himself that Santa is real and that there is Christmas magic there.

The Polar Express [2004] [DVD]
  • Actors Tom Hanks, Leslie Harter Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye, Peter Scolari, Brendan King, Andy Pellick, Josh Eli & Mark Mendonca
  • Director Robert Zemeckis
  • Certificate Universal Suitable for All
  • Year 2004
  • Screen Widescreen 2.35:1
Fun ideas for Christmas with these Polar Express Activities and Crafts for Kids. From Preschoolers and toddlers through to STEM investigations for grades 2+

Why not do some of these Polar Express Activities once you have watched the movie with your kids.

#3 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Who doesn’t love the red-nosed reindeer, we most certainly do and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (51 minutes) is a film that has stood the test of time. This version celebrating the 50th Anniversary of it.

This stays true to the story and is lovely to snuggle down and watch with your little one as Christmas draws near.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – The Movie [DVD]
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The Movie (Widescreen) – DVD Brand New
  • John Goodman, Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds (Actors)
  • William R. Kowalchuk Jr. (Director) – Michael Aschner (Writer)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: G (General Audience)
Inspired by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer these activities, crafts and recipes are ideal for kids of all ages to do, make and enjoy.

Another favourite of ours so check out these Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Ideas to do with Kids if you are looking for inspiration after watching this movie.

Classic Christmas Kids Movies Your Toddlers and Preschoolers will enjoy

I guess the question here is what makes something a classic! I’m going with something that I remember watching as a child.

The first I remember sitting down to on Christmas Eve most years with my parents and grandparents and we would all watch it together. Santa Claus the Movie (107 minutes). I loved the story and watching Santa’s sleigh fly through the air as well. It’s one that you can get now and remember your own childhood as well.

Without a doubt, my favourite classic movie for Christmas is Miracle on 34th Street (96 minutes). Although I like the remake I much prefer the original and think it’s a great addition to any families Christmas movie collection. Because it’s short as well, your toddlers and preschoolers will like it. Watch out of the questions about why is it in black and white.

If you love the Christmas Song Frosty the Snowman then the original carton Frosty the Snowman (26 minutes) is great and perfect for sitting down over the festive season to watch especially as it’s a very quick movie too.

Another classic cartoon from my childhood A Charlie Brown Christmas (25 minutes). Again it’s a short movie so your little ones won’t get bored plus it’s a great one to sit down and watch with the grandparents and great grandparents.

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Animated Kids Christmas Movies For Family Movie Night

I don’t think any list of Christmas Movies for Families should be without a few of the Disney Movie classics for this time of year.

Our family favourite of the Disney Christmas Movies is Mickey’s A Christmas Carol (58 minutes). The original story by Charles Dickens and the latest Disney version with Jim Carrey I find are a little scary for the tots, however, even now I still enjoy sitting down and watching the Mickey Mouse version with my tweens.

From when my kids were little anytime Mickey’s Once and Twice Upon a Christmas (67 & 68 minutes together in the box set) they would settle down and watch and I’d sit and happily watch with them.

Another Mickey Mouse Favourite Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in the House of Mouse (65 minutes). I love how this one brings together different characters from lots of Disney Movies. It’s a great one for the Disney Fans in your house.

Growing up Jim Henson The Muppets was one of my favourite shows and when my kids were little I introduced them to the characters and the movies. The Muppets Christmas Carol (86 minutes) is another retelling of the Charles Dickens book and maybe a little scarier than the Mickey Version above.

Although Disney movies are fantastic we also love some of the new animated Christmas movies for kids.

Prep and Landing (22 minutes) this short movie is a fun animation for everyone in the family to enjoy. Grandparents may not have seen it and the tech-savvy elves are hilarious.

Another newer movie but again the whole family will enjoy Arthur Christmas (97 minutes) where Santa’s son Arthur has to save the magic of Christmas for one child that has been missed off the list.

Of course, we couldn’t do Christmas movies without mentioning Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (26 minutes). We’ve only included the cartoon not the more recent movie because for toddlers and preschoolers it’s brighter and more colourful plus much shorter but everyone will enjoy it as well.

Throw your own How the Grinch Stole Christmas Family Movie Night with these recipes, drinks, snacks even style your hair like someone from Whoville!

Sit down to watch the Grinch and host your own Grinch Themed Movie Night with our fun ideas to do as a family.

Other Christmas Family Movies That Toddlers and Preschoolers will Love Too!

  • The Nutcracker – any version of this classic Christmas Tale is good take your pick
  • Santa Buddies
  • Elf
  • Father Christmas & The Snowman and the Snow Dog – see above for them on a triple set with The Snowman

A lot of these movies are available on Amazon Prime Video – ideal if you want to watch them on the go without collecting a lot of extra DVD’s this holiday season.

If you are looking for something to watch after your toddler or preschooler have headed off to bed we’ve been working our way through this list of Romantic Christmas Movies over on 3 Boys and a Dog.

Christmas family movie night guide
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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