As the festive season draws nearer and children break for school holidays, many parents and carers are looking for fun and festive activities.
The Leap in! Crew has put together a few ideas for arts and crafts projects and outdoor games that are sure to ignite the holiday spirit in kids (and adults) of all ages.
Festive fun sensory bottles.
Creating sensory bottles is an easy and fun art project for kids. The snowglobe-like decoration is both beautiful and practical because it can double as a sensory calming tool. The glitter that swirls and settles in the bottle serves as a visual anchor that can help with self-regulation.
What you need:
- A clean, empty plastic water bottle with the label removed
- Superglue (or a hot glue gun) – *this one might need help from an adult or carer
- Warm water
- Food colouring
- A funnel
- Vegetable or olive oil (or similar).
- Using a funnel, fill one third of your bottle with oil
- Add warm water until it’s about three quarters full
- Add a few drops of food colouring and sprinkle in some glitter
- Put the lid on the water bottle and shake to mix the ingredients
- Pour water into the bottle until it is full to the top
- Put the lid back on and secure it with superglue or hot glue.
Top tip: Add trinkets to create a cute theme. For example, use blue food colouring and small shells!
Paddle pop stick painting.
This activity is perfect for a hot, sunny day! Using icy pole paints makes an everyday art project a lot more fun and using icy pole sticks is great for developing fine motor skills.
What you need:
- Non-toxic paint (or food colouring)
- Paddle pop sticks (or similar, like icy pole sticks)
- Ice cube tray
- Drawing paper or canvas.
- Add a few drops of paint to each section in the ice cube tray
- Carefully pour water into the tray and fill each section almost to the top
- Place an icy pole stick in each section and gently stir to mix the paint and water together
- Place in freezer for at least 4 hours
- Remove ice cube tray from the freezer and pull out the coloured ice block sticks
- You’re ready to paint! Just hold the stick and paint with the coloured ice on paper or canvas.
Top tip: Short on paint colours? You can mix red, yellow and blue to create lots of different colours. Make this colour experimentation part of the project.
Santa’s scavenger hunt.
Take the festive fun outdoors with a silly season scavenger hunt that incorporates moving, touching, listening, smelling, watching and interacting with nature in a new way.
Print or write out the below list and let the kids go on a Christmas hunt, ticking off each item as they go!
Santa’s scavenger hunt list:
Can you find something…
- Fuzzy like Santa’s hat
- Heavy like Santa’s sack of toys
- Cold like the north pole
- Soft like Santa’s belly
- Red like Rudolph’s nose
- Green like a Christmas tree
- Yellow like a Christmas star
- Striped like a candy cane
- Round like a Christmas bauble
- Shiny like a Christmas light
- Small like a Christmas elf
- Big like Santa’s sleigh
- Loud like people singing carols
- Smelly like the Grinch.
Top tip: The Leap in! Crew put a Christmas spin on this list, but you can get creative and rename any of the items to suit the theme of your celebration.
Christmas light spectacular.
At this time of the year homes, buildings and landmarks are being lit up with colourful lights and beautiful decorations to mark the festive season and spread holiday cheer.
You can find light displays all across Australia. The Leap in! Crew has put together a list of some accessible events in the capital cities across the country – and the best part is they’re all free to attend. If you live outside of the capital cities, check your council’s website or social media pages for events.
Martin Place Christmas Tree – Sydney, New South Wales
Myer Christmas Windows – Melbourne, Victoria
The Enchanted Garden – Brisbane, Queensland
Christmas Sounds – Adelaide, South Australia
Christmas Lights Trail – Perth, Western Australia
Carols by The Sea – Darwin, Northern Territory
Hobart Christmas Decorations – Hobart, Tasmania
Top tip: If you’re looking for an option close to home you can explore the light displays around your neighbourhood by car, bike or on foot. Use the Christmas Light Search website to find the best decorated houses and streets all around Australia.
Get ready for the holidays with Leap in!
We know it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season so the Leap in! Crew is here to help you find the right supports so that you can have a safe and happy holiday!