Festive Activities and Conversation Starters

Festive Activities and Conversation Starters

Activity ideas and conversation starters for you to #Take20 and check in with your child during the holidays.

The Christmas holidays provide an excellent opportunity to #Take20 with your child, and find out how they’re doing. Here are some activity ideas and conversation starters to make talking easier this festive season.

1. Write Greetings Cards

Set up a little card-writing session at the table, you could include stickers or coloured pens to make things a bit more fun. Writing cards to family and friends is a good chance to find out what your child is looking forward to in the holidays, or a chance to look back when writing thank you cards.

2. Look at the Lights

Take a walk around your neighbourhood or go into town to hunt out the best lights display your area has to offer. You could vote on a favourite house, or give each lights display a rating out of 10. This is also a good opportunity to ask your child how they have found the holidays so far.

3. Wrapping Presents

Pop on a Christmas movie or some music, grab all your paper, presents and gift tags and set to work with your child wrapping up the gifts. For younger ones who may find the wrapping a bit tricky, they could be in charge of decorating the gift tags. Just make sure your child’s own presents are out of sight!

4. Festive Baking

Snowflake biscuits, gingerbread people, mince pie pops… here are some fun baking recipes you could try with your child. And whilst you’re waiting for your treats to bake, you could have a chat with your child about what they are looking forward to in the New Year.

5. Decorate a Gingerbread House

An activity involving lots of sweets, icing and gingerbread – it’s bound to be something your child will enjoy! Buy one of the ready-made kits, or give it a go from scratch, and decorate your own gingerbread house. A great conversation starter to go with this one could be asking your child what their favourite Christmas treat or food is.

6. Make Paperchains

All you need for this easy craft are scissors, glue and strips of coloured paper. Curl them into circles and link them together to make a simple but fun decoration you could hang up in your house. Whilst you’re doing the activity you could ask your child what their favourite part of Christmas is.

7. Candy Cane Hunt

Using a pack of candy canes, hide them around the house and then ask your child to go on a candy cane hunt. You could add a time limit to make the game more active and help your child get some exercise.

8. Grab a Hot Chocolate

These winter months give a perfect reason to warm up with a hot chocolate. Head out to a café or coffee shop and use it as a chance to have a bit of talking time with your child.

9. Snowman Drawing Game

This makes for a funny family game and will help you all relax with lots of laughing.  All you need are paper plates and a pen. Place the paper plate on top of your head, and whilst holding onto it draw a snowman. See whose squiggle comes closest to a snowman!

10. Wintery Walk

It’s easy to spend a lot of time indoors with your family over Christmas, but sometimes the sense of cabin fever can cause tensions to rise, so it’s important to get out of the house if you can. Wrap up warm and head out for a walk - you could even take a flask of hot chocolate for extra warmth along the way.

Conversation Starters

Whilst the activity is underway, here are some ways you could start the conversation.

  • My favourite Christmas movie is ____. What’s yours?
  • What has your favourite food been from all the Christmas eating and treats so far?
  • What are you most looking forward to today?
  • This is what we will be doing this Christmas ____ (re-cap on any agreed plans or activities).
  • Is there anything you would like to help me with this Christmas? (Baking, cooking, wrapping etc. A chore can often become a fun shared activity).
  • I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you this Christmas.
  • What has been the best bit of Christmas holidays so far?
  • When we go see ______ (family member), it will be like this ______(remind them of what is expected of them). Is that okay?
  • Is there anything on your mind?
  • How are you feeling about going back to school in the New Year?
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