Whether you’re looking for a way to help your child unleash her inner creativity or just hoping to keep the kids out from underfoot while you are wrapping presents, Christmas coloring games can be a busy mom’s best friend. If you’re totally sapped, a dollar store coloring book is a fine substitute, but if you have a little more energy, make your child’s coloring project into a game.
If you’re dealing with a group of children, print or draw a simple holiday image — a Christmas tree, gingerbread man or round ornament are all good choices — and encourage the kids to decorate the image with their crayons. Depending on the ages of the kids in question, you can give them a specific assignment — "Decorate this gingerbread man for the Christmas parade" or "Color an ornament for the Hogwarts school tree" — or just let them follow their own creative instincts. Award prizes like "Most Colorful" or "Best Use of Orange," making sure that everyone’s coloring efforts get recognition.
Choose a collection of holiday places and people, and let your child color an entire Christmas village. Include holiday favorites like reindeer, elves and snowmen, as well as decorated houses and street lamps. Show your child how to glue his pictures onto cardboard — empty cereal boxes work well — and cut around the image, bending the bottom so that the picture stands up. He can arrange an entire holiday village on the kitchen table while you’re busy baking cookies or trying to finish dinner.
Color Scavenger Hunt
You’ll need to prepare a little for this coloring scavenger hunt, but it’s an effective way to entertain your children for a stretch of time and help burn some pre-festivity energy. Choose several pictures from a coloring book or online gallery, and use a white crayon to firmly write a clue to a hiding place on each picture. Hide the coloring pages around the house, and give your child the drawing with the first clue. As she colors the pictures, the white crayoned words will show up, directing her to the next picture. Hide a little present at the end to reward her for completing the scavenger hunt.