When the family is over on Christmas Day what activities will fill the time between courses of ham and turkey? How about getting everyone up and active with these outdoor games for Christmas Day. You’ll be a great host and have happier guests when they're up and active!


Bocce Tournament

Always a family favourite, Bocce is fun for all ages and skill levels. You can play it with the toddler grandchildren right through to the treasured grandparents. Bocce could even be a great gift idea if families are buying gifts for one another. The Bocce set can come out at the start of the day and groups can return to the game throughout the day.


Bocce is suitable for the back or front yard. But if you can walk to a local park you’ll have even more fun with longer stretches of grass and more interesting terrain.


Gift Wrap Recycle

Ah, something constructive to do with the torn up wrapping paper. If you play a Secret Santa game keep all the wrapping paper for the unwrapped gifts – even encourage people to really tear up the paper as they open their present. Once you have a room filled with strewn about paper, you’re ready to play Gift Wrap Recycle. You’ll need the paper (already sorted), sticky tape and a rubbish bag for each team.


Get all the kids into the the room and pair them up. Their first challenge is to pick up as much Christmas wrapping paper as possible – points later for the team with their rubbish bag filled with the most paper. Then one child from the pair will construct a Christmas costume on their buddy who will serve as a live mannequin (that’s what the sticky tape was for).


Award the the most creative or ingenious costume with the winning prize and another prize for the team that can fill their rubbish bag with the most wrapping paper after the costume show is finished.


Christmas Croquet

Another great family gift idea as well as an active game for Christmas Day. Croquet is a yard game that rolls back into popularity every couple of years but always great fun. Players use wooden mallets to hit their ball through hoops in the correct order. It’s a little like mini golf in your backyard or at the park.


Most croquet sets come in a carry bag which makes it easy to pick up and take along to the Christmas gathering at your relative’s house.


Santa Belly Limbo

Put a holiday twist on an old favourite by using a set of Christmas lights or a strand of tinsel instead of a limbo stick. Add a ‘Santa stomach’ (cushion inside your shirt) to each player for a little extra challenge. Then play some Christmas music and watch the mayhem unfold J You might need a couple of large shirts on hand and of course some cushions.


Can't Forget the Treats?

Eventually dessert will be served but why not sneak in a few more minutes of exercise for the kids (or adults too) before they get into the sweet treats. You can play Christmas Pudding Shuffle to mix up the order that everyone is served dessert. This works great if you’re doing Christmas pudding with threepences hidden within.


Christmas Pudding Shuffle

Draw a circle made up of numbered spaces using chalk or pieces of paper taped to the floor. Write the same numbers on slips of paper and place them in a bowl. Instruct the players to move or dance around the circle from number to number as music plays.

When the music stops, the players have to freeze. Pull one of the numbers from the bowl and announce it. Award the player standing on that number with their serve of Christmas pudding!


The things you’ll need – chalk, paper, pen, bowl, music, pudding!


Crazy Catch Cricket

Backyard cricket is always a favourite at our house. On Christmas Day it’s all about preparing for the Boxing Day Test. Why not add in some crazy slips catching practice?

Crazy Catch is a sprung net stretched over a frame against which a player throws a ball. The Crazy Catch net ricochets the ball back to the thrower at unpredictable angles making it great for slips practice or ‘classic catches’ into the pool.


Boxing Day Blues

Hopefully you’ll have lots of fun this Christmas with family and friends. We certainly hope your kids will keep getting good use out of their Christmas gifts for months or years to come. Remember that activity gifts can keep creating new social experiences for your kids – every time they play the game with a new friend or when they advance to the next level of skill. An active game should keep your kids busy well beyond Boxing Day.


Now let's hear your favourite Christmas games, share with us here or on Facebook.


Jump back to the Kids Off Couches Community.