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11 Creative Activities for Kids of All Ages

by Jean Van't Hul
November 20, 2023
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These creative activities for kids work well with a group of mixed-age children. Simple, open-ended ideas to explore, perfect for holiday gatherings.

Updated October 2023

This time of year, we tend to spend a lot of time with family. Often there can be a range of ages with cousins, siblings, neighbors, and friends gathering together. Here are some creative activities that work especially well for a group of children with mixed ages.

We hope you find this list helpful for inspiring creativity in your kids whether during the holidays, family get-togethers, or during play dates.

creative activities pinterest
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

Creative Activities for Kids

playdough play
Photo by Rachel Withers

1. Playdough Play and Modeling

Playdough is one of our favorite sensory materials because it is fairly low-mess and kids of all ages have a blast using it. Try making playdough turkeys for Thanksgiving or creating a playdough tray for some small world pretend play!

children making toothpick sculptures
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

2. Toothpick Construction

Building toothpick sculptures is a construction project that is simple enough for young children yet challenging enough for older kids. And you can use just about anything to attach the toothpicks to each other, but grapes and marshmallows are our favorite!

child doing sticker art
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

3. Open-Ended Art Activities

We love a simple art invitation to gather kids around the table together. The key is to keep things super simple and as mess-free as possible, so you’re more likely to do it! Some favorites are sticker art, paper collages, and tissue paper suncatchers.

Photo by Catalina Gutierrez

4. Cooperative Drawing Games

Drawing games are the best. They are fun, they are creative and connecting, but they are also easy to fit in whenever and wherever. We especially like the back and forth drawing game, this fun family drawing game, and the scribble drawing game.

sensory play for kids
Photo by Andrea Martelle

5. Sensory Exploration and Play

If you have the space to spread out a little, sensory play is a great mixed-age activity. For low-mess options, we prefer kinetic sand or playdough. If you want to get messy or can take things outside, our kids love oobleck or slime!

children in fort
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

6. Build a Fort!

What kids don’t love making a cozy fort?! You can simply use furniture + sheets + pillows or if you have one, use our favorite Fort Magic fort-building kit.

cardboard building discs
Photo by Samara Caughey

7. Smaller Scale Construction

If you don’t want the living room turned into a fort, you can try building on a smaller scale! Try these 5 fun building ideas using cardboard. Or bring out the LEGOs, Magnatiles, or wooden blocks!

How to Make Cinnamon Ornaments_Feature
Photo by Rachel Withers

8. Get Started on Holiday Decorations

You can never start working on holiday decorations too early! Whip up a batch of salt dough for ornaments, try some yummy-smelling cinnamon ornaments, or a dried orange garland. The family will love working together to create some beautiful holiday decor.

Photo by Andrea Martelle

9. Play a Game Together

If you don’t have a family favorite, check out some of ours. We also have a great list of games by age.

Bookshelf of seasonal home library for children
Photo by Anna Harpe

10. Read Books Together 

This is one of favorite activities to do with kids of all ages. You can create a seasonal library together, or head to the library and check out some of these Thanksgiving children’s books.

filling muffin tins
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

11. Bake together!

Kids love to help in the kitchen, and if you’re gathering for Thanksgiving or another holiday, why not include them in the preparations? Try these yummy pumpkin muffins, this easy apple Bundt cake, or some teddy bear bread!

How about you? Which of these creative activities will you try this holiday season with your family, friends, and neighbors?

Want even more creative ideas?

Check out our Thanksgiving Creativity pack!

Full of wonderfully fun ideas to help your family practice gratitude this season, this 38-page printable eBook includes: Drawing Prompts, Conversation Starters, Art Projects, and more!

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