A Little Time and a Keyboard: Cheap Holiday Fun for Kids (Adding Affordable Sparkle!)

Cheap Holiday Fun for Kids (Adding Affordable Sparkle!)

Monday, November 26, 2012

There are so many affordable ways to get your child into the holiday spirit. I love to load up on these ideas to have them ready to add a little more holiday magic for my daughter. With kids, it is the little things that often make the season that much more magical. Here are some of my ideas for this year:

  • Watch holiday programming on the TV. To do this, you really want to plan now. Start by checking your stations' programming schedule.ABC Family has an excellent list of its holiday programming. By preparing, you can get your holiday fix in without missing some of your favorites!
  • You don't need to see Santa at the mall. Santa makes many appearances at local festivals during the season. Many times these jolly functions are free or low cost and you can take your own pictures. (Let's face it, the cost of the pictures at the malls often can be outrageous. Also, the lines tend to be shorter.) 
  • Don't forget the paper crafts! There are all sorts of holiday-inspired crafts to be made. Paper chains, candy canes, stockings, snowflakes, and more can add a little more magic with items you probably have in your house!
  • Make an event out of wrapping gifts for others. Pipe up the holiday music, light up the tree, light some holiday candles, and make it a family function.
  • Check the library for holiday events. Just a little peek ahead and I have found that several of the libraries in our area have holiday crafts.
  • Take a ride, or two, to see the lights! We love to hop in the car and drive through different neighborhoods to look at the lights. An added bonus with this activity--you can bring the dogs!
  • Stage a candy cane hunt. You can usually pick up a box of small candy canes pretty cheaply. You can hide them around the house or the yard and have a candy cane hunt!
  • Create a holiday-inspired bingo game. Last year, I created a School's Out Santa Bingo! game for my daughter for her last day of school before break. She loved it and is already asking about doing it again.
  • Bake some cookies. You don't have to get fancy with your cookies to have some holiday fun! Some simple sugar cookies--even one from a package--can be affordable and fun!
  • Don't forget to check Michael's, Lake Shore Learning, and Joanne's for free or affordable crafting events.
  • Make your own word find. My daughter is addicted to word find. I found a Puzzle Maker website that creates word finds, so I can create them whenever I need an activity for my little one.
These are just some of the many ways that you can add a little more sparkle to the season. Do you have any go to ideas? Feel free to leave a comment!


  1. Thanks for the ideas! I've been furiously looking for places to do the Santa photos where I can take them myself. I have a couple places (ABT and Wheeling Historical Society) and I may try one this weekend. He's still too young for most of the other things, but we try!

    1. Hi, Lisa! You may want to try the Santa at the Ice House Mall in Barrington. We visited a couple of times last year. The most we had to wait was for one child and you could take your own pictures. Check out www.icehousemall.com.