All those lovely packages under the tree are covered with colorful wrapping paper and sometimes ribbons. All of this goes in the trash after the gifts are opened. What a waste. I have some ideas about how to use them to keep the children occupied while dinner is being prepared and the football game is being watched.
The things you need are safe scissors, paste or glue sticks, and a good work space. I mentioned the discarded wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows before.
I made several 1 inch wide and 4 inch long strips from an empty cereal box to use as a pattern. Have each child cut at least 20 strips. If they want to do more, let them. After the strips are cut, take one and paste it end to end with the colorful side of the paper on the outside. The next strip will go through the first before it is pasted in the same way. Continue in this way to make a bright chain.
Another activity is to make snowflakes. Make squares of wrapping paper. They can be of different sizes. Fold in half, then fold in half again to make another square, then fold to make a triangle. Another way to fold is to take opposite corners and place them together to fold into a triangle, then fold over to make a new triangle, and once more. There are other ways to fold if someone wants to be really creative. After the square is folded use safe scissors to snip the pointed end off the triangle. Round the top. You do not need to make the top perfectly round because you will probably want to make a few cuts there too. Cut pieces from the sides. After all the cutting is done unfold. You will have beautiful snowflakes. Take a piece of ribbon and loop it through one edge of the snowflake and tie it to make a hanger.
Create more hanging items with ribbons and bows. When this is done have the children bundle up and take their artwork outdoors. They can decorate a small tree, or bushes, or even you front porch with their colorful Christmas decorations. If you like, they can add strings of cranberries and popcorn for the birds.
Let the children clean their work area so they can make reindeer food to leave out in the snow for Santa's reindeer. You can find the recipe here.
By now the game should be over and dinner ready to serve. Everyone have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the time with your loved ones. Merry Christmas