24 festive things to make and do

Your ultimate activity guide to keeping girls busy over Christmas and the holidays

Zoe, Girlguiding Digital team
27 November 2018

There’s nothing like a few festive activities to get you in the mood

Whether you’re looking for a quick craft idea or something to do with your family, try one of these very merry activities over the holidays.

There are craft ideas suggested by our expert volunteers, interest badges for girls to try at home and ideas for how to have a greener kind of Christmas too. Plus lots lots more, all covered in Christmas magic of course.

Food, glorious food

1. Toast the season with a hot chocolate reindeer 

We love these hot chocolate reindeer kits that volunteer Tracey’s been making with her unit. Sweet to look at and to eat. Simply fill a piping bag with hot chocolate and mini marshmallows. Then decorate with googly eyes and a pom pom for Rudolph's face and twist together pipe cleaners for his antlers.

2. Get cooking 👨‍🍳

For many, food is a big highlight of Christmas. Lots of it. But could girls make a healthy version of some Christmas classics? Or try cooking new foods over the holidays? There’s lots of foodie things to explore in the Cooking interest badge (Rangers).

3. Make a marshmallow snowman 

Make your own jolly marshmallow snowmen⛄, like the1st Newtown Rainbows. Thanks to leader Cheryl for the sweet suggestion. It wouldn’t be Christmas without a few sweet treats.

To make, thread three marshmallows (or more if you like) onto a skewer. You can decorate with strawberry laces for a scarf and smarties for buttons – using icing or melted chocolate to stick. Add details to your face with writing icing for your eyes and fondant or candied orange for your nose.  

Celebrate the season of goodwill

4. Do a good turn 

‘Our Ranger unit always do a Christmas good turn.’ says Rachel, leader with 1st Enderby Ranger Guides. ‘This year we are joining in the Leicester's hospitals Make Christmas Special campaign and filling gift bags for adults in hospital on Christmas morning.’

Take inspiration from 1st Enderby Ranger Guides and do your own Christmas good turn. Lots of girls are collecting for the local food bank or gifting toys to families who need them through local charities. No matter how big or small, it could make a difference to your family or community this winter.

5. Lend a helping hand 👍

Rainbows can spread some more festive cheer by helping others through the Helper interest badge.

6. Help others 

Brownies can think about how to help others at Christmas with the Charities interest badge 💕

7. Run a reindeer food bar fundraiser 

We love leader Hannah’s reindeer food bar, which she runs as a fundraiser for her District at their Christmas Fair. She says 'Girls and their families love filling little bags with oats, seeds, cereals and coloured sugar to sprinkle on the ground on Christmas Eve to guide Santa's helpers. So easy and inexpensive and very popular.'

8. Give your time 🕑

The holidays could be a good time for older girls to start thinking about giving their time as part of their Volunteering interest badge (Rangers). No matter what skills or time you have, there’s an opportunity for you.

Tis the season to…reuse and recycle

9. It’s a wrap!

Follow the example of 13th Worthing Guides and make your own eco-friendly wrapping paper. Leader Paulette makes hers with brown paper, potato stamps and natural colourings. You could even reuse old newspaper.

10. Banish the bin

Christmas is full of glitter and sparkle – but it can also be full of waste. Girls can think about how best to reuse old things and reduce waste with the Recycling (Rainbows), Zero Waste (Brownies) and Upcycling (Guides) interest badges. ♻

11. Be a conscious consumer 🛒

Get older girls to think about what they buy and where their presents might have come from with the Conscious consumer interest badge (Guides).

12. Breathe new life into old trees 

Leader Malaika has a clever way to reuse old magazines and paper: turn your old mags into a unique folding Christmas tree.

13. Or into plastic

Bradley Stokes Rainbows made their own full-size Christmas tree out of non-recyclable plastic waste from the local hospital, including a drip stand! What could you reuse to make one out of?

Make the most of the moment

14. Explore your family tree 🌳

For some, Christmas and New Year are a time to catch up with family and friends. So it could be the perfect time for girls to explore their roots with the Family tree (Rainbows) or Genealogy (Rangers) interest badges.

Lots of Bradley Stoke Rainbows have been trying the Family tree badge. They say 'Family tree has been very popular in our unit, we have awarded five so far.'

15. Capture the magic

Hanging out stockings on Christmas Eve. A blue-sky wintry walk. The clock turning to midnight on New Year’s Eve. There’s lots of magic moments to capture over the holiday. Guides can have a go at snapping their favourites by doing the Photography interest badge at home over the holidays.

Some girls at 8th Paisley Guides have been having a go at completing the badge says leader Lorraine. 'They captured lots of great pictures, learned about all the important parts of the camera and made a wonderful collage of all of the pictures that they had taken.'

16. Plan the perfect party 

December is often a time for parties, sparkly social events and family gatherings. Rangers can put their organisation skills to the test by planning their own festive event with the Event planning interest badge.

17. Go for a wintry walk

Blow away the cobwebs by getting outside for a wintry walk. It's a great time to look at nature at its most glittery – think spider’s webs covered in dew and leaves tipped with frost. Rainbows can work towards their Nature interest badge by getting out in the great outdoors.

Get crafty

18. Make your own merry mice 🐭

We love these cute candy cane and felt mice. Their simple design makes them perfect for girls of all ages. Thanks to leader Angela from 3rd Washington Blackfell Rainbows for the suggestion – although she says 'all credit goes to Maureen (my mum) and unit helper with the idea!'

19. Let it snow with your own snow globe ❄

Snowy owl Samantha has been making glittery snow globes with 1st Bingham Brownies. She told us 'Our Brownies made snow globes with old baby food jars, plastic cake figures, water, glycerine, fake snow and loads of glitter! I'd recommend you super glue the figures to the lid first'. Make sure you check for allergies first too.

20. Craft a Christmas gift 

1st Brightwell Guides have been turning buttons into homemade earrings. Their thrifty presentation boxes are made out of old Christmas cards too. Thanks to Jo for the suggestion.

21. Bring a snowman to life

Walk in the air with your own snow family made of socks! Leader Lindsey says 'Very easy to do with a pair of socks and some rice. Totally customisable too'. Cut your socks to size, fill with rice and hold together with elastic bands. Then decorate with buttons, beads, ribbons and fabric.

Put stars in their eyes

22. The show must go on

Turn off the telly (it’s all repeats anyway 😊) and instead, get girls to put a show on at home. With the Performing interest badge (Brownies) girls can explore all types of performing. Will they be a magician, a storyteller, or comedian?

23. Rock around the Christmas tree 🎄💃

Get girls rocking around the Christmas tree with the Dancing interest badge (Brownies). Throwing some shapes is a great way to express yourself while keeping fit too.

Goodbye 2018…hello 2019!

24. New year...new you

With a new year about to start, get girls to think about what they might like to achieve in 2019. The Aspirations interest badge (Guides) will help them aim high and achieve their dreams!