Toddler Sensory Play And Role Play For Christmas

Christmas sensory role play area for toddlers

Toddler Sensory Play And Role Play For Christmas

Creating a toddler sensory play and role play area for Christmas is an awesome holiday themed activity that introduces real-life/real-world situations.

A toddler sensory and role play holiday area is a space where you can display a few books and objects that correlate with whatever holiday we’re currently in – in this case, Christmas. What’s great is that you can also add this to your list of toddler sensory play ideas (or role play ideas) for your Christmas themed activities because it can act as both a toddler role play and sensory play area in one.

I have seen moms create awesome holiday sensory bins for their children and loved the idea! Actually, that’s how the idea of a toddler sensory play and role play holiday space came about.  

Having said that, I will be showing you how to create a toddler sensory play and role play area for Christmas

Related Post: Chinese New Year Role Play Space For Toddlers


SIDE NOTE: A toddler role and sensory play area can be great for younger kids too. You will just need different books. For this post, I will be focusing on toddlers.


There’s a lot of developmental learning going on with your toddler right now. Fun stuff like social and fine/gross motor skills. This Christmas toddler sensory play and role play space I have created is actually a great way to promote sensory, language, and fine/gross motor skills. Maybe you might find some inspiration within this post!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a qualifying purchase, then I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Table of Contents

    Things you will need

    Creating a toddler sensory play and role play area for Christmas is very simple. You won’t need very much, especially if you already have some of these items in your Christmas bin already.

    • Manipulative Christmas items. I was able to find my son’s mini Christmas tree and ornaments that I got him a couple of years back. I just went with that.
    • A small shelf. A table, box, or floor will do. I’m using a weaning chair because it works as a table and/or chair.
    • 2-5 Christmas books (keep it at 1-2 for the busy child. This is not to overwhelm them)
    • A basket/box to place the ornaments/toys in.
    how to create a holiday space for toddlers manipulating items
    tree and ornaments
    how to create a holiday space for toddlers books
    Christmas books
    how to create a holiday space for toddlers basket
    box/basket

    MOM TIP: Always save your Melissa & Doug wooden crates/boxes the toys come in.


    Christmas themed manipulative items

    When creating your toddler sensory play and role play area, I found that choosing Christmas themed items your child can manipulate are the best. This is what encourages role play and real life situations.

    You don’t have to go with a Christmas tree and ornaments like I did. Listed are other great and more affordable options you can use. Try not to stick with just tangible items. Go for items your toddler can actually manipulate because this is what makes it role play.

    The sensory play are the items the toddler will be role playing. As you can see by the items, they consist of different types of sensory.

    • small Christmas stocking with maybe 2 toys to stuff inside of it.
    • small Christmas gift bag, tissue paper, and a toy or 2 to place inside of it.
    • Santa, a reindeer, and a sleigh
    • Buildable snowman

    Go for real world items. Use real life situations like decorating a Christmas tree, stuffing the stocking, and making a gift. 


    CAUTION: Keep in mind size of ornaments and toys. Big choking hazard if left unattended.


    Christmas themed books

    Choosing books that serve multiple purposes is the best when creating your toddler sensory and role play area. Find sensory books, pop-up, or lift-a-flap books. That way they can hone on those fine motor skills too! I have found that hard books work the best because they can independently turn the pages and are less likely to ruin the book. 

    how to create a holiday space for toddlers books in detail
    Toddler Christmas themed books

    Christmas themed book list

    1. Christmas pop-up peekaboo (pop-up – promotes language and fine motor)
    2. Santa’s Workshop (lift-a-flap – promotes language and fine motor)
    3. Babies Love Christmas (lift-a -lap – promotes language and fine motor)
    4. Merry Christmas Little One (lift-a-flap – promotes language and fine motor)
    5. Baby Touch and Feel Merry Christmas (touch & feel – promotes language and sensory)

    Looking for gift ideas for your toddler?

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    Christmas themed book content

    My toddler loves 4/5 of these books. I will explain each book from the most favorite to the least.

    1. Christmas Pop-Up Peekaboo – a book about helping Santa’s friends find certain winter animals. The winter animals will pop-up once found.
    2. Santa’s Workshop – a book about Santa and his elves making toys for Christmas. My toddler loves this book because it makes a sound when the flap opens!
    3. Babies Love Christmas – a book that helps toddlers find what Christmas item goes with what. They will find out once they lift the flap.
    4. Baby Touch and Feel Christmas – a sensory book of flashcards bound together. It consists of touch-and-feel Christmas items with their corresponding word.
    5. Merry Christmas Little One – a lift-a-flap book about Christmas coming once a year and so on.

    Here is an example of what I created as my toddler sensory play and role play space for Christmas. I placed the ornaments in a wooden box under the tree for her to place onto the tree. This will act as the role play for my toddler.

    This actually promotes language, sensory, fine, and gross motor skills too. The idea for this gross motor skill is to have her bend down to pick up an ornament and stand back up to put it on the tree.

    The sensory play for my toddler here is feeling the ornaments and the Christmas tree the ornaments will be placed onto.

    how to create a holiday space for toddlers holiday space
    how to create a holiday space for toddlers holiday space ornaments

    SIDE NOTE: Apologies. The picture quality is not the best. Still trying to figure it out. Any tips?


    Things to note when creating a toddler sensory play and role play area for Christmas

    Every child is different and has different interests. My toddler loves hard books and that’s what usually grabs her attention to go to her holiday space. This will also promote sensory and language depending on the type of books chosen.

    Keep in mind your child’s interests. She doesn’t quite know how to place ornaments on the tree yet. I’ve noticed that she will hold the ornaments and point them towards a branch. The effort is there.

    This space has been up the day after halloween. It took her 2 weeks, but some toddler’s may pick up on the concept sooner than she did. Other times you will find them like this..

    how to create a holiday space for toddlers playing
    Oh herro!

    This is okay. We just have to remind ourselves that they’re still learning and having fun.

    ACTUALLY, that is totally gross motor skills! Good job baby girl!

    Related: 5 Best Indoor Gross Motor Toys For Toddlers

    Take away

    A toddler sensory play and role play holiday area is a great way to promote learning for toddlers and younger children. It’s also a twofer because it can act as both a toddler sensory play and role play area in one. It’s a fun way to assist your child in their developmental learning.

    With thoughtfully chosen manipulative items and books, this toddler role play and sensory play holiday area can promote language, sensory, and fine/gross motor skills.

    They are also learning about real-life situations! There’s Christmas, how to decorate a Christmas tree, how to stuff a stocking, and how to make a gift.

    Remember that patience is key! They might not pick up on the manipulative holiday items fast. For some, it may even take as long as 2 weeks!

    The big takeaway is to remember to have fun with it. So have fun!

    Did this post inspire you? Have you already been creating a holiday space for your child? Are there any other tips you can share with me and other mothers who may be reading this? If you created a holiday space for your child, please take a pic and post it in the comments. I would love to see what you were able to come up with.

    Related Holiday Posts:

    Fun Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Kids At Home

    Ways To Celebrate New Years Eve At Home With Family, (2020)

    Minimize Holiday Stress With This Easy To Setup Christmas Tree

    how to create a holiday space for toddlers
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