There’s no denying that the Christmas season is well and truly upon us. It’s a stressful and expensive time for many parents, so we’ve come up with a list of some of the best ways to keep your kids entertained this Christmas season – and all on a budget!

1 – Make magic reindeer food to spread outside on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is probably one of the most exciting days of the year, whether or not you’re an adult or a child! Get them involved in the preparations for Santa, by making some magic reindeer food to spread outside on Christmas Eve. We’ve found this great recipe from MyKidsTime.

2 – Watch a Christmas Movie

Nothing quite says ‘Christmas’ more than a festive film. Let the kids choose which film they’d like to watch the most, get cuddled up on the sofa with some popcorn and a hot chocolate, and get in the Christmas spirit. Favourites for us include Elf, the Polar Express and A Christmas Carol.

3 – Read a Christmas Story

Definitely an activity for when it’s cold and dark outside, read the kids a Christmas-themed story to really get them in the spirit. If they’re a little older, turn the tables and ask them to read a Christmas story to you. It’ll be a great way to spend half an hour together and will give you chance to talk about the true meaning of the festive season. We like The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher; Elmer’s Christmas by David McKee and One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell.

4 – Do some Christmas Colouring

This one’s a good’un if you need something to keep them quiet while you get on with Christmas preparations. Crayola actually have a number of free, printable pages which are perfect for big and small kids. There are 50 to choose from so it should take them a while to get through. You can search and print them on Crayola’s website.

5 – Make your own decorations with the kids

Not only is this a cost-saving technique, it gives the family a chance to get creative together. MyKidsTime have provided us with a great list of 20 decorations you can make – some of which with bits you’ll find around the house. Making your own decorations has a great sentimental value too. Imagine getting their homemade decorations out to show them ten years down the line…

6 – Make some gingerbread men

Who doesn’t love gingerbread? This recipe from BBC Food is easy to make, and doesn’t take too long (for when they lose concentration!) You can decorate them with icing sugar too, if they last that long!

7 – Get outside and collect some pine cones, then turn them into decorations

Get them outside and hunting for pine cones, before venturing home to decorate them. From painting and glitter, to mini reindeers and Christmas trees, the opportunities are endless! Check out this Pinterest board for some inspiration.

8 – Share the Christmas card workload and have the kids help with writing and addressing the cards this year

We understand this could go one of two ways, but everything is worth a try once right?! Get the kids to help with writing the Christmas cards. Not only will it be a nice touch for family and friends receiving the cards, but it’ll save you some of the job. Younger kids can join in too by popping on the stamps.