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22nd Dec 2016

5 Magical Things To Do With Your Kids This Christmas

Alison Bough

Although Christmas is a special time of year no matter what age you are, it’s especially exciting for children. Here are my top 5 magical things to do with your kids this Christmas…

1. Decorate: Everything – Children are often drawn to colours and pretty things so there’s no curbing their enthusiasm when it comes to Christmas. Even though it’s tempting to take over the job in an effort to re-create an interiors mag, do try to involve the little ones in the festive decorating. Ask the kids to make their own unique ornaments or decorate their bedroom windows with homemade paper snowflakes or ‘Santa Stop Here’ signs. A super cheap and easy option is to buy some spray-on snow and let them go nuts spraying their bedroom windows. The fun is worth the clean-up!

2. Go To See: Smock Alley Theatre’s production of The Snow Queen – running until the 23rd of December. This new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale re-imagines the timeless story of Gerda and Kay who live in a watery town in a watery world. Some time ago, there occurred on Earth a seismic event known as ‘the Melting’, and since then there has not been a single flake of snow or cube of ice. As such, Christmas has been cancelled. Forever. Along the way Gerda meets killer whales, cut-throat pirates, and a once-famous dynamic Christmas gift giving duo called Nick and Rudolpho. A funny and highly energetic production, that uses both puppetry and song to bring this festive adventure bursting to life, this is definitely on the magical things to do list this Christmas.

3. Teach: The Joy Of Giving – It is all too easy for children to get wrapped up in the toys and commercialism of Christmas and miss the true meaning of the season. Why not take a seasonal opportunity to teach your little ones about the spirit of giving – a lesson that lasts all year round. This year, the kind peeps at SPAR are giving generously to The National Children’s Hospital. For every tweet sent using the hashtag #underthetree this Christmas, they will send a donation to the hospital; when the tree is fully illuminated, The NCH will receive an awesome €20,000. Easy-peesy and you don’t even have to put the kids’ coats on!

4. Make: A Christmas Eve Box – This is surprisingly easy and children adore them. Put together a box for the kids to open on Christmas Eve. Include new pj’s, a seasonal story to read before bed, or some reindeer food to sprinkle outside. A favourite holiday DVD for the family to watch together and some microwave popcorn for the movie always goes down a treat with my lot. If you don’t have a chimney, you can include a ‘Santa Key’  for the man himself to use when he’s dropping off the toys. Dipping an old key in glitter makes a magical addition to the box that your little ones can then hang up just before bed.

5. Download: A Santa Tracker App – Do you remember when you were a kid on Christmas Eve and you wondered how Santa would get from the North Pole to your house as well as everyone else’s around the world? Before the invention of smartphones, we had to use our imaginations to visualise Santa and Rudolf leading the sleigh out of the north Pole and all around the globe. Nowadays, tracker app technology means we can watch Santa making his journey in real-time on Christmas eve. The ever-popular Norad Santa Tracker website gives a GPS location of Santa throughout the night.

Simply use the #underthetree hashtag and tweet to light up SPAR’s giant Twitter Christmas Tree, and Raise MONEY for The National Children’s Hospital.