Fun Christmas Messy and Sensory Play Activity Ideas for Kids

A child plays with her fizzing snowman Christmas activity.

The Christmas season invites warm hot cocoa, fun social gatherings, and cozy time to cuddle up and play games with your family and friends. When you’re trying to decide the best ways to spend time with your kids, consider Christmas messy and sensory play activities. Below I’ve gathered all of my favorite ideas so you can make the most of this holiday season, while engaging with your little ones in a style of play that promotes learning

While you’re all huddled around the table enjoying the benefits of messy and sensory play, you can also teach your kiddos about these fun 10 facts about Christmas. Your children may also be curious to know why some families celebrate Christmas as a religious observance, while others practice xmas as a secular holiday. Now, let’s dive in!

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Christmas activities inside a stocking.

Christmas Sensory Play Activities for Babies

Baby plays in Christmas rice activity.

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If you’re just getting started, try these messy and sensory play tips and tricks to ensure facilitation is fun for you and your kiddos. From materials lists to keeping the mess contained, these tips will make sensory play so much easier to execute with your family.

Here are a list of Christmas activities for babies that will engage your tiny human in embodied play, while improving brain development.

Handprint Keepsake

Christmas Handprint Kit

My Handprint Keepsake Kit will preserve your baby's hand or foot shape for years to come! It includes blue and pink coloring so you can dye the dough either of those colors or purple by using both! For the holiday, poke a hole in it and hang it as an ornament on your tree. Or grab some paint and make the hand look like santa! Buy one for your family or gift to another family with a new born. This kit makes a great stocking stuffer.

Christmas Colors Food Play

Baby plays with Christmas colored food like avocado.

Pull out all of your green and red foods that are soft and safe for babies to consume. Place them on a piece of butcher paper on a low table or the ground, or in a plastic container or bathtub, and let your baby squish and move everything around! Try avocado, bell pepper, green beans, cucumber, pureed spinach, red bell pepper, pureed beets, strawberries, raspberries. You can also add red and green natural food dyes to yogurt or applesauce for a seasonal treat! 

Christmas Sensory Bags

Squeeze red and green paint into a plastic bag and let your babies squish the colors until they combine. You can also add large glitter or beads to the bag for more texture. Be sure to observe them so they don’t put the bag into their mouths. You can also tape the bags down to the table or floor to make them a bit sturdier.

Christmas Bathtub Paint

Baby playing with paint in the bathtub.

Place your baby in the bathtub with washable, non-toxic paint and let your little one paint the sides of the tub. I love this activity because of its easy clean up! Just turn on the faucet and let baby and the bath rinse right off! 

Christmas Board Books

What’s your favorite Christmas tale? Find it in a board book and start reading to your baby. Language development begins by kids simply listening to others speak. So reading books to babies is a great way to introduce your little one to new words and the tales of the holiday that are so meaningful to your family.

Christmas Sensory Play Activities for Toddlers

Child plays with a Christmas sensory bottle.

Keep cleanup easy with my Washable Drop Cloth and Mess Makers Apron. Both will help keep floors and clothes cleaner while your toddlers explore these christmas sensory activities. Although kids this age should be observed at all times, those who are still putting things in their mouths should be watched extra carefully to ensure safety.

Christmas Sensory Bin

There are so many Christmas and winter sensory bin ideas to celebrate the holidays. You can buy my Arctic Sensory Bin that includes instant snow, arctic creatures, snowflakes, a shovel, and net. Or DIY your very own sensory bin by grabbing a plastic container, picking your kiddos favorite sensory base material, then throwing in a bunch of winter or Christmas-themed toys. 

Christmas Sensory Bottle

Check out my DIY Winter Sensory Bottle Pack to get all the materials you need delivered right to your doorstep. Or grab a plastic bottle, fill it with your favorite base material, glitter, and toys and make your very own snow globe!

Contact Paper Christmas Scene

Put some contact paper on the wall, sticky side out. Then give your little ones felt or paper Christmas and winter shapes like trees, presents, reindeer, religious symbols, and nature images. They can stick the shapes to the paper to make their very own Christmas scene!

Christmas Pasta Play

Dye or buy some green, red, and white pasta and throw it wet or dry into a bin so your kiddo can listen to the shapes move against each other or squish the slippery substance!

Gingerbread or Cinnamon Oobleck

My Oobleck Kit comes with all the ingredients to make colorful oobleck. If you want to make it brown, you can add ginger or cinnamon for some seasonal fun! Or you can follow my favorite oobleck recipes to DIY it from home. 

Christmas Sensory Play Activities for Preschoolers

Child plays with Christmas sensory snow activity.

All of these fun Christmas activities in this blog post are appropriate for preschoolers. The list below is simply more appropriate to their age group.

Fake Snow

If you don’t have snow you can play with outside, then make fake snow for inside play! Here are my favorite fake snow recipes to get you started. Fake snow can go in the bottom of your sensory bin or can be poured on top of a sensory tray for a magical sensory snowy environment.

Salad Spinner Ornaments 

Grab some card stock, cut it into a circle, and place it at the bottom of your salad spinner.  Water down some non-toxic paint and pour it into a few cups. Get some pipettes or a spoon and let your little one squeeze or scoop and pour paint into the salad spinner. Add some glitter and give it a spin! Wait for the final design to dry, hole punch the top, then hang it with string or fishing wire around the house or on the tree as an ornament.

Melting Snowman Slime

You can purchase one of my slime kits and add snowman materials like a top hat, branch arms, a carrot nose, and googly eyes to make a melted snowman!

Indoor Fizzing Snowman

My Fizzing Snowman Kit combines science and holiday fun! Combine the materials with some water to create a dough, let your little one build a snowman, and then make it fizz and melt! Enjoy the activity up to three times with the materials provided. This makes a great stocking stuffer for a budding science-lover. Kids literally scream and yell with excitement when they do this activity! It’s an endothermic chemical reaction, which means it feels cold while it's happening, so it even feels like real snow! 

Christmas Dough

Combine some white conditioner with cornstarch to make a great two-ingredient dough! Add some ginger to make it brown or other liquid watercolors to create the dough of your kiddo’s choice.

Christmas Sensory Play Activities for Kindergarteners

Children play with a Christmas sensory bottle activity.

Christmas Cookies

Some Christmas themed cookie cutters make great cookies to celebrate the holiday. Your kiddo can help you make and bake the cookies, or just frost and decorate them for fun!

Christmas Cake

Choose your shape and bake a cake! It can be a present or a tree. You could buy snowflake shaped or red and green sprinkles. Baking is perfect to help your littles ones practice stirring, pouring, and the conservation of volume and precise measurements. 

Cinnamon Star Ornaments


Check out my video to watch me make these fun cinnamon star ornaments that can be baked in the oven, then hung on the tree for an aromatic ornament.

Dried Orange Garland

Make a dried orange garland simply by cutting oranges, baking them to dry them out, and hanging them on a string with other holiday themed decorations!

Spray Paint an Outdoor Snowman

Christmas spray painted snowman

If you live in a snowy region, and this cold white dust is currently sprinkled outside, have your kiddo build a snowman with an unexpected surprise! Bring easy trigger spray bottles, then fill them with water and some liquid watercolors. Then let your kiddo spray paint their snowman!

More Activities In My Polar Fun Kit

Kids play with the Christmas polar fun kit.

My Polar Fun Kit invites your kiddos into a world of wonderful play! They get to build a snowman with their hands, sculpt with playdough and watch it change colors before their eyes, and create salt crystal snowflakes. Then, they’ll also be able to control the weather by making a snowstorm in a jar! The kit comes with materials and instructions for these four sensory kid’s activities: Polar Fun Kit includes the following activities for kids:

  • A Pom Pom Splat Snowman
  • Color Changing Dough
  • Salt Crystal Snowflakes
  • Snowstorm In a Jar

No matter which fun Christmas sensory activities you choose to celebrate the holidays with your kids, I hope that you enjoy the season and especially the mess!