Christmas Parlor Games for Kids

by Jim RadenhausenUpdated September 22, 2017
christmas tree in colonial home living room image by Jorge Moro from

Kids have a lot of anticipation and excitement around Christmas time, as they enjoy decorations, trees and unwrapping gifts that Santa brings to their home on the night before Christmas. As kids wait for Santa's arrival, they may gather in the parlor or living room for socializing and play games to elevate holiday spirit and tide them over until Christmas morning.

Candy Cane Relay

Kids divide into two teams and try balancing an inflated balloon on a candy cane, carrying it across a goal line and back to the start line. If the balloon falls off, players must replace the balloon before continuing. The first team to complete the relay wins the game.

Christmas Charades

Kids divide into two teams for this holiday take on the classic parlor game. Before the game, an adult drafts lists of Christmas carols, movies and programs, and items, and selects each round's category. Kids may not make sounds as they act out clues for their teammates. If a team fails to guess guess an answer, the opposing team gets a chance to steal. Teams receive one point for each correct guess, and 2 points if they steal an answer. The adult should determine the target number of points a team needs to win; the team that reaches or surpasses that target wins the game.

Christmas Snooze

An "elf" tries putting every kid to sleep in "Christmas Snooze." Kids pick folded pieces of paper out of a bowl, with one kid picking a paper containing the word "elf." With the room very dimly lit, the "elf" discreetly winks at another kid, who then "falls asleep." Kids takes a turn guessing the "elf's" identity. If the "elf" puts all kids to sleep before someone guesses his identity, he wins a prize. If a kid correctly guesses the "elf," a new game begins.

Family Tree

Kids divide into teams and decorate one of their team members in "Family Tree." Players choose one kid to serve as the Christmas tree, and decorate the "tree" with aluminum foil, construction paper, crepe paper, decorations and masking tape within an allocated time frame. An adult judge chooses the best-looking tree and that team wins the game.

Fill the Christmas Stocking

Kids race to "Fill the Christmas Stocking," as an adult puts a candy-filled bucket and spoon in front of each team at the starting line and hangs a sock across the room for each team. Players take a piece of candy with the spoon, carry it to the sock and put the candy inside, proceeding to run back to their teams and hand the spoon to the next players in line. The team that puts all of the candy inside the sock wins the game. As a more difficult variation, kids may hold the spoon in their mouth.

Santa's Helpers

Kids divide into teams of two, each with a present and wrapping materials. Each kid must keep one hand behind her back, leaving just one hand to wrap presents. The object is to be the first team to get their present wrapped. Kids must communicate and work together to wrap the presents. The pair who wraps all of their presents first wins the game.

Sing the Christmas Carol

Excluding the ever-popular "Jingle Bells," kids write their four favorite Christmas songs on a piece of paper. An adult assigns each song a random number from "1" to "20." When the game begins, the adult shouts a number; if the adult calls one of a kid's numbers, the kid sings the correlating song. The kid who gets to sing all four of his songs wins the game.


Photo Credits

  • christmas tree in colonial home living room image by Jorge Moro from

About the Author

Jim Radenhausen is a freelancer who began writing professionally in 1998. A resident of Reeders, Pa., he spent over two years working at the "Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal." Radenhausen received his bachelor's degree in English/professional writing from Kutztown University in 1997.

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