Let’s face it, Christmas is a time for kids. Us adults try to keep up, dressing up in silly jumpers and singing along to Jingle Bells but it’s children who really believe in Santa and appreciate the true magic of the holidays. So this Christmas, why not make their yuletide extra special, with some festive games you can all play together? Who knows, one or two of them might become a family tradition…
We’ve put together five of the best Christmas games, which are suitable for children (and adults) of all ages. Each can be played individually, as part of a Christmas tournament, or perhaps even to keep the children amused at this year’s Christmas party. So read on, get involved and enjoy!
- Santa’s Cookie Challenge!
Santa is a well-known lover of cookies, so for this game you’ll have to unleash your inner Saint Nick! Create a simple beard using white cardboard and string and tie it onto the first contestant, then place a cookie on their forehead. It’s their job to wriggle their forehead, eyebrows, cheeks and nose to work the cookie down to their mouth without it falling off their face. Everyone gets a turn and the fastest is crowned the ultimate cookie-eating champion!
If you’re playing this game as part of a tournament, you can award 10 points to the fastest, 8 to second place and 5 points for everyone else who manages it!
- Candy Cane Contest!
This one is simple, give each player a Christmas candy cane, get them to put the straight end in their mouths and use the hooked end to collect items and put them in their bowls! It could be that players collect other candy canes from a big pile on the table, or you could challenge them to hook baubles (which roll around to make things far more interesting)! This game is perfect for those with a sweet tooth, though if you’re not too keen on your kids going on a sugar-fuelled rampage over the holidays, then keep the wrappers on the candy canes and return them to the tree when you’re done playing!
Each player gets one point for every item they collect. If you’re playing with a variety of ages and abilities you could add easier items in for the little ones!
- Snowman skittles.
It’s amazing how easy it is to transform some white plastic cups into snowman skittles with a Sharpie, some orange card and glue. Once you’ve adorned your cups with eyes, a mouth, buttons and an orange nose, stack them up to make a pyramid. Then it’s time for the players to take aim and knock down as many as they can. You can use a ball for this, a robust bauble, or – if you have one – throwing a little bell at the skittles adds to the festive feeling!
Each player gets five throws and a point for every cup they knock down on each go!
- Shovel the snow!
This is a game that looks simple but is trickier than you’d think. To set it up you need a bowl full of cotton wool balls, an empty bowl and a spoon. Everyone takes it in turn to ‘shovel snow’, whereby they need to use the spoon to move cotton wool balls from one bowl to the other. The only catch is they have to hold the shovel in their mouths the whole time!
Each player gets 45 seconds to transfer as many cotton wool calls as they can, being awarded a point for each ball!
- Pass the snowball!
This game is a variation on Pass the Parcel, incorporating cling film, chocolate coins and a dice. To prepare, create a huge ‘snowball’ by winding cling film around and on top of itself. Occasionally, as you wrap, add a chocolate coin into the ball and then continue to cover it, building up the layers. Players sit in a circle, the youngest is given the snowball and the person to their left gets the dice. The person holding the snowball begins to unwrap it while the person with the dice begins to roll. Once they roll a 6 it’s their turn to unwrap and the dice moves to the left, and so on, allowing the snowball to move around the circle – and everyone to collect chocolate coins as they go!
If you’re playing this as part of a tournament, each chocolate coin comes with a point!