How to keep little ones busy this Christmas

Stuck inside or on the road, have a look at these top tips for keeping the children entertained.

You can pretty much guarantee there’ll be a few rainy days over the holiday season.
To avoid small children going crazy, you can try some fun activities at home to keep them occupied. How about creating an obstacle course? Over the chair, behind the couch, through the legs of the table, in and out of a box, through a tunnel made with a blanket and onto the finish. Then change it all around.
Another great at-home activity to create lovely Christmas memories is making a scrapbook. Even really young children can draw a picture of what they’ve been doing or glue in something from the day which is significant to them. When they go back over the pages they’ll be able to tell the story of that particular holiday adventure.
If you’re heading on a road trip with the children, remember to have some simple activities lined up to keep them entertained.
You could prepare some ‘travel boxes’ with items to hand out along the way. Include things like healthy snacks, photos, stickers, coloured cellophane (to change the colour of the view out of the windows), bubble wrap and finger puppets. Plan some rest stops too, so the little ones can run around and let off steam.
A great way to recall your special holiday trips is to buy a postcard of the location and note memories on the back of it. You could also start a little collection of items for your child to keep – fridge magnets, stickers or whatever they’re into.
Children love to draw and get creative, so provide them with some pads of paper, light card or an old exercise book to scribble in and make the time in the car pass more quickly.
Remember that crayons can melt in the heat and make a real mess of car seats. Think about packing coloured pencils instead.
Car games are one of the best things about road trips.
Try these ideas:
* Coloured cars, each person picks a colour, the first person to see 10 vehicles in their colour wins.
* Sing songs and nursery rhymes.
* Recall a well-known family event, with each person adding what they can remember.
* Build a story. The first person says ‘Yesterday I went for a walk’. The next person then adds something on and so on.
* Young children need refuelling at least every two hours to keep their energy up. Give them a little food or milk often and provide plenty of water to drink.
When you’ve made it to your destination and you’re enjoying your holiday, remember that children under the age of five run out of energy faster than adults. Don’t try to cram too many activities into your days, just relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Wherever you are, remember to think about sun and water safety.
* Information obtained from

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