Make Christmas magic with fun seasonal games for the kids to play while they are patiently waiting for Santa. Have the kids search for the gingerbread man, send them on a Christmas Eve scavenger hunt or, if you are feeling ready for a little mess in the house, let them play a game of Blizzard.
Gingerbread Man Hunt
Drag out your Betty Crocker cookbook and turn to the page that has the recipe for gingerbread cookies. Make the cookie dough and allow the kids to create a large gingerbread man that they can bake and then decorate.
Bake their creation and as the gingerbread man is cooling, ask the kids to occupy themselves with another activity or turn on a Christmas DVD. While they are distracted, hide the gingerbread man in a safe place in the house.
Leave small notes around the house that will be the kids' clues to finding the gingerbread man then announce to the kids that the gingerbread man is gone. Where can he be? Leave your first note in the same place where he was cooling to start the kids on their hunt.
When the kids finally find the gingerbread man, have them bring him back to the kitchen and ask the kids to decorate him before they eat him.
Christmas Eve Scavenger Hunt
If you are hosting a houseful of kids on Christmas Eve, keep them occupied with a fun Christmas Eve scavenger hunt. For an extra special surprise, ask each child's parent to bring a wrapped gift for the child and give it to you in secret. Place all the gifts in a large black plastic garbage bag that Santa will drop off when the hunt ends.
Begin the hunt by dividing the kids into teams of two or more depending upon how many you have in the house.
Give each team a Christmas collection bag that includes the first clue stapled to the side. You can create a generic Christmas theme for the game or it could focus on how the kids have to find Rudolph because he is missing on Christmas Eve and Santa's sleigh can't fly without him.
Plant 10 small gift boxes throughout your house, outside (weather permitting) and even at some of the neighbors' houses. Each box contains another clue plus should have enough candy for all the kids.
If you use the Rudolph theme have the kid find reindeer hoof prints in the dirt or snow along with some half eaten carrots and glitter. Leave a note that tells the kids thanks for finding him but he's late for Christmas Eve and had to leave and find Santa right away.
While the kids are checking out the hoof prints have an adult run around to the front of the house with the black bag of gifts and ring the doorbell and run. Open the door and let the kids see what Santa left for them.
Create a Christmas blizzard in your home playing this fun, but messy Christmas game. Play "Blizzard" by purchasing a large supply of white polystyrene packing popcorn (packing peanuts), a small Christmas tin for each team, a large Christmas container for each team and a scoop for each team.
The object of the game is to shovel the most packing popcorn, or pretend snow, from one container into the other the fastest. Place the small container on one side of the room and the large container on the other side.
Divide the kids into teams or let them play individually if you have only a few kids. On your mark, get set, go---let the kids furiously scoop packing popcorn from the large container and run to the other side of the room and dump it into the small container.
The game ends when all the popcorn is used up. Measure each container to determine which team or child is the winner.