The madness is about to begin. December 1 marks the official countdown to Christmas in our house. But not in the sense you might be thinking.
Sure, the boys are on cloud nine dreaming of all the gifts they claim they’d love to have. But something else is at work here, too.
The Big Explorer told me today that what he loves most about the holiday season isn’t the gifts he gets (gasp!). He says it’s looking at all the beautiful lights and decorations. And singing holiday songs. And that it’s just so hard to not be … happy.
He’s right. This time of year it feels like every day is just a little extra special.
To keep from getting sucked into the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season, we try to keep it simple. It all starts with our 24 days of nature fun list.
We created this list together, then chose a specific date for each activity, allowing us to accommodate school, work and holiday schedules. Some items are pretty simple; others involve a little more time and planning.
As with all of our seasonal activity lists, this one will hang in a high traffic area of our house so everyone can see what’s on the agenda. You’ll notice our list includes activities indoors and out. And a couple of the items aren’t technically nature-themed. But I think you get the point.
- String popcorn & cranberry garland for the birds
- Decorate the front yard & porch with items from nature
- Make an ornament from nature
- Design birdseed ornaments
- Decorate a tree in our yard for wildlife (hence the garland & bird seed ornament above)
- Create twig stars
- Take a holiday lights walk (in jammies if possible)
- Build a card tree
- Head to a Christmas tree farm (or elsewhere) & pick out our (live) tree
- Decorate the tree
- Have a Christmas-themed picnic (I’m wearing my Santa hat!)
- Make a snow, sand or grass angel (I made up that last one, but the kids were game)
- Go on a holiday neighborhood scavenger hunt
- Watch a Christmas movie by the light of the tree
- Snuggle up with a backyard campfire, a Christmas story & hot cocoa
- Build a twig tower (we really like sticks & building around here)
- Bake Christmas cookies
- Take a sleigh ride to visit Santa (aka, a train ride to Santa)
- Make an ice ornament (which is a fun science experiment for us)
- Grab our cameras & complete the Fall Nature Photo Scavenger Hunt
- Set up a backyard weather station
- Go on a winter nature scavenger hunt
- Build a snowman (yes, we’ll do this one even without snow!)
- Make magic reindeer food (or maybe a reindeer ice wreath)
Need more inspiration? Don’t miss last year’s 10 Christmas nature activities for kids and a collection of even more ideas on my Christmas nature fun board over on Pinterest.
Your turn! What’s your favorite way to connect with nature during the holidays?
You guys are always up to fun this time of year, too. Happy holidays! :-0
Love your list. We have a lot of these things on our list too. I might steal your name, though. Countdown to Christmas makes more sense for us than "Advent." <br />Have fun!
I agree these activities can be done anytime, Joy. We are also super excited about the ice ornaments (being that we don't get snow here in Los Angeles) & twig stars. Have fun with whatever do with your loved ones this holiday season! 🙂
Hi Debi,<br />This is such a lovely round-up of nature crafts, and what I really like about this collection of ideas is that many are just interesting winter activities to do with children–they don't necessarily have to be tied to Christmas. In particular, I can't wait to make the ice ornaments and the twig stars (which could also be Stars of David for Hanukkah) with the kids. Living in
Thank you so much! Have a wonderful holiday! 🙂
I think this is a marvelous list and I do like how many things on it help wildlife and are natural. Wonderful ideas.xxxxx
Hope you & yours have a wonderful holiday season! 🙂
Yay! Hope you have fun, Jessica! 🙂
Special list! I love this idea. Oh what a happier world we would live in if everyone celebrated the Holiday season with nature in mind. Thank you for sharing this, my mind is racing with nature-inspired ideas 🙂
Looks like we'll be doing this right along with you. Thanks for planning my December activities for our family – HA!!