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Christmas Activities for Foster Families

Explore engaging Christmas activities tailored for foster families, creating joyous memories together.

December 21 2023 - 4 min read

foster child at Christmas

Not only is Christmas the most wonderful time of the year for most, but celebrating the festive season together as a foster family is a brilliant opportunity to create treasured memories and strengthen the bond between you and your foster child. 

Whether you’re fostering teenagers or younger children, in this blog post, we’ll look at the importance of Christmas activities for foster families and give you a range of fun and exciting ideas for foster families with children of different ages. 

Why is it important for foster families to do Christmas activities together?

While Christmas is a magical time of year for many children, it’s important to remember that it can be a difficult time for some children and young people in foster care. 

Many children who come into foster care have experienced some kind of trauma, abuse, or neglect, and they might not have experienced the wonder of the festive season that every child deserves. They might also be missing their birth family and the thought of spending Christmas without them can be upsetting.

As the festive season approaches, your foster child needs to feel special, included, and a part of your family, so you can all enjoy the magic together. As challenging as it might be for some, Christmas provides a lovely opportunity for you to bond and show your foster child how loved and special they are.

Remember, there are many different ways to celebrate Christmas as a foster family, and it’s important to choose activities that are appropriate for the ages of your children, and are sensitive around their needs. Whatever type of fostering you have, flexibility and adaptability are key, as each child may have different preferences and comfort levels.

Engaging in fun Christmas activities for foster families is a way to build a sense of belonging and create a positive environment for the child in your care. It's a chance to make the festive season special for everyone in the family.

4 Christmas activities for foster families with young children

1. Visit Father Christmas

What could be more festive than taking your foster child to visit the main man himself? There are lots of Santa’s Grottos around, some include full, busy days out, while others are local and smaller. Consider the needs of your foster child before planning your trip to meet Father Christmas. Would a larger crowd be stressful? Would they prefer a more intimate and quiet grotto experience? Whatever their preferences might be, you’ll be able to find the perfect Santa meet and greet for them.

2. Christmas story time

Plan a cosy evening together in the lead up to Christmas Day. Buy everyone matching Christmas pajamas, gather some festive snacks together, make some hot chocolate, and snuggle up as you read some beautiful Christmas stories. There are so many classics to choose from, including The Polar Express, The Night Before Christmas, The Snowman, The Elves and the Shoemaker, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and so much more.

3. Christmas karaoke

If your foster child enjoys singing and performing, or just loves to express themself, then a Christmas karaoke party could be the perfect family activity. You don’t even need a karaoke machine to do it. Websites such as YouTube have lots of Christmas playlists that come with lyrics, so everyone can join in with the musical fun. You can sing duets together or let them be the star of the show. Don’t forget the hairbrushes for your microphones!

4. Christmas baking

Grab your aprons and get busy in the kitchen with your foster child. Pop on some Christmas tunes and have fun whipping up some classic Christmas treats. From gingerbread men to Christmas pudding, there are so many delicious goodies you can make together. If your foster child is too young to bake, but they still want to get involved, buy (or bake) some simple biscuits and get a range of edible decorations. With your help, they can decorate gingerbread men or create snowflake biscuits.

4 Christmas activities for foster families with older children

1. Plan a Christmas movie night

Line up the TV with some classic Christmas films, pop some popcorn, and pour the hot chocolate. See if there are any Christmas films your foster child particularly enjoys and add that to your festive movie marathon. Then all you need is plenty of blankets and top ups of snacks to make the night perfect.

2. Create Christmas ornaments

This fun Christmas activity for foster families is ideal if you have a foster child that enjoys arts and crafts. Creating their own Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree or give as gifts is a lovely way to include them as part of the family. You can even make decorations that include their name and a photo so you’ll always have something special to treasure.

3. Decorate the tree together

Whether you just have a Christmas tree or you go all out with your decorations and fill the house with festive decor, including your foster child is a wonderful way to include them in the festivities. You can go out and choose the tree and decorations together and then spend the day putting everything up as you sing along to some Christmas songs. 

4. Ask about their traditions

Find out how your foster child feels about Christmas, and ask them to share any special Christmas memories or traditions. If they do have their own traditions from their birth family, then make plans to include as many of them as possible so their Christmas feels a little more familiar. Maybe there’s a certain dish that they always ate for Christmas lunch, a film they watched every year, a place they visited, or a story they read. If your child is happy to open up then encourage them to share their traditions so you can all enjoy them together.

Making the most of Christmas activities as a foster family

While you may want to do everything you can to make Christmas as special as possible for your foster child, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make it perfect.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun as a family and enjoy the festive season together. If you need any extra advice, don’t be afraid to reach out. We offer lots of support for foster carers to help make Christmas as magical as possible. 

Following these tips can help you make the most of Christmas activities for foster families with children of all ages:

  • Don’t be afraid to change plans - sometimes the best memories are made when plans take an unexpected turn. If this does happen, embrace the spontaneity and enjoy the moment with your foster child.
  • Be flexible - when it comes to the unpredictable nature of the festive season, it’s important to stay flexible and go with the flow. If your plans change - that’s OK. The main thing is to have fun and spend time together.
  • Ensure your foster child’s needs are met - always consider the individual needs of your foster child (and birth children if you have them). This way, everyone will feel included, valued, and heard.
  • Forget perfection; make memories - Christmas is all about being together as a family. We all want the perfect Christmas, but instead of focusing on perfection, focus on the moments that make Christmas special. It can sometimes be the simplest things that make the best traditions and memories.
Enjoy Christmas together 

Enjoy Christmas together

As a foster carer, Christmas is a golden opportunity to welcome your foster child into your home, create special memories, and build bonds. By introducing these fun Christmas activities for foster families and keeping your foster child’s needs in mind, you have everything you need to create a beautiful family Christmas you can all cherish. 

If you’d like to know more about fostering with FCA Scotland, or you’d like to find out how to transfer to us, just get in touch. Our friendly team would love to answer any questions you might have. 

Are you thinking of fostering?

Download the FCA’s complete beginner’s guide to fostering a child. Find out more on how to foster a child and the process involved.

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