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  • Writer's pictureOur Playful Learning Journey

Christmas Play Ideas For Kids

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Here are some fun Christmas themed play invitations, including sensory play, and lovely Christmas playdough to help inspire your Christmas play!

Christmas themed sensory tray for children using red and green rice and a pretend gingerbread house. Fun Christmas play ideas for kids.
Christmas play is lots of fun for children in the lead up to Christmas!

The lead up to Christmas time is such an exciting time for children! Having some Christmas themed play invitations is a great way to help children enjoy the days and weeks before Christmas while having fun. In this blog post I have included some of the Christmas themed play invitations and ideas that I used with Miss 4 last year during the weeks leading up to Christmas. I hope you find some inspiration for some Christmas play at home or in your classroom. Please don't feel that you have to set up fancy Christmas play ideas, keep it simple and remember to have fun (whether that includes using Christmas play ideas or not).

*IMPORTANT - These play ideas include small parts. Small parts are recommended for children aged 3+ as they are a choking hazard. Adult supervision was used during all these play ideas.

Here are 6 fun Christmas play ideas:

Christmas Red and Green Sensory Tray

For this sensory tray we used :

  • Grimms large rainbow pieces (green)

  • Grapat mandala pieces (red and green)

  • Grapat mates red and green

  • A scoop

  • Green and red rice with sequins

  • Christmas coloured sequins

  • Two little figures

Christmas themed red and green rice sensory play tray for kids
A fun red and green themed Christmas play tray

Christmas red and green rice sensory tray for kids using the ikea flisat table for play
A tub in the Ikea Flisat table makes a great sensory play tray.

This sensory tub was set up in our Ikea Flisat table. Our Christmas rice is a combination of coloured rice and Christmas coloured sequins from the local discount store. It can be kept in a bag or tub to reused each year at Christmas time.

Christmas Sensory Tray Small World

This tray was quick to put together for some more fun sensory play using the same red and green Christmas rice, used in the sensory tray above. This time a few little props were added in to create a Christmas small world.

A Christmas small world play tray for kids using the black Kmart tray and Grapat Nins.
A cute little Christmas themed small world tray

We used:

  • Black tray from Kmart

  • Christmas rice

  • White trees from Kmart

  • Gingerbread house

  • Red and Green Grapat Nin From Honey Bee Toys

  • Scoopy tongs from The Creative Toy Shop

  • Wooden bowl - Grimms

  • Wooden scoop

Black Kmart tray as a Christmas sensory play tray for kids
The rice is great for lots of fun scooping and pouring.

A few days later, we took out all the little props and just left the rice. Miss 4 then used some little toy diggers and trucks with the rice to play with the tray in a different way.

Christmas Stencils

Christmas stencils are a fun and easy way to create some Christmas themed pictures, Christmas cards, or gift tags. This is an easy to set up Christmas idea that would work at home or in a classroom.

Here Miss then 4, used the stencils to make some Christmas gift tags. She coloured and decorated with stickers, stamps and gemstones. I helped her cut them out.

These stencils are Osbourne brand, but any Christmas stencil would work, or you could try helping your child to carefully trace around Christmas cookie cutters.

Christmas stencils are a fun Christmas play idea for kids to make Christmas cards and Christmas gift tags
Christmas stencils are a fun way to make cards and gift tags.

Christmas gift tags for kids to make using Christmas stencils
Christmas gift tags are easy to create using stencils

Homemade Christmas gifttags are a fun Christmas craft idea for kids
Homemade gift tags made with love

Christmas Snow Play Tray

This was a quick and easy sensory play tray. We used some out of date coconut for the snow themed sensory base and added in some Christmas tree baubles.

This one can get a bit messy, so is probably best played with outside.

Christmas themed sensory play tray with coconut snow and Christmas baubles as a fun Christmas play idea for kids
Coconut makes great pretend snow for Christmas sensory play

Playdough Gingerbread Ballerinas

For this fun Christmas playdough play we made our own gingerbread playdough, colouring plain playdough with the spices, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. It smelt amazing and is the perfect colour for making all kinds of pretend Christmas treats.

Here Miss 4 used a gingerbread ballerina cutter that we bought from Spotlight for baking to make gingerbread ballerinas. We used some Christmas sequins to decorate the pretend gingerbread girls.

This type of playdough works well with some Christmas cookie cutters from the kitchen or playdough Christmas cutters. It is fun to make pretend biscuits in all kind of Christmas shapes and is always well enjoyed when paired with some sparkly little gemstones or sequins.

For extra fun use your rolling pin from the kitchen to really pretend you are baking. Putting the pretend biscuits onto a baking tray is also lots of fun!

Playdough pretend gingerbread biscuits make a fun Christmas play idea for kids
Pretty little gingerbread playdough ballerinas lined up in a row.

Christmas Themed Playdough Invitation to Play

Using green and red playdough is an easy way to set up some Christmas themed play.

Here we used:

  • Green and red playdough

  • Sequins and mini gemstones

  • Let Them Play Christmas stampers

  • Christmas themed cookie cutters from the kitchen

Red and green Christmas playdough ready to play in an invitation to play for kids
Red and green Christmas themed playdough ready to play.

I helped Miss 4 cut out some round and heart shapes and she enjoyed decorating the pretend Christmas biscuits.

Playdough Christmas cookies decorate with sequins and gemstones for a fun kids play idea for Christmas
Playdough Christmas cookies are fun to decorate!


Christmas time is such a fun time to set up some festive play invitations for your child/children. They don’t need to be complicated to be lots of fun.

I hope you have found some inspiration. If you try any of these play ideas please let me know in the comments below or share with us your favourite play ideas for the Christmas season.

Follow us on instagram @our.playful.learning.journey for more Christmas play ideas from this year.

Until next time, have fun learning in a playful way!

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