Turn summer boredom into festive magic! Prepare for Christmas this summer with 11 fun projects to keep the kids busy and your holiday stress-free.

A Jolly Festive Exclusive
A Santa Hat on a barbed wire fence post with two baubles and a bead garland next to it and a green summer field behind with blue sky above.

Who says you have to wait until the ‘ber months to get into the Christmas spirit? While the sun’s blazing and school’s out, why not sneak in some festive prep to keep the kids from bouncing off the walls?! Turn that summer boredom into Christmas magic -keeping the little ones entertained without the need for hefty spending.

What’s top of Santa’s summer to-do list?  Here’s 11 fun school holiday projects to keep the kids busy and have you sleighing the season long before the first snowflake falls!

Repaint Old Decorations

Got baubles that no longer fit your colour palette?  Summer is the perfect time to give them a new lease of life.  Spray paint them outside – less mess, quick to dry, and no nasty paint fumes lingering!  Need inspiration for a new festive theme?  Check out our Christmas Trends inspiration for new festive theme and colour ideas.

Flock Your Christmas Tree

Give your Christmas fir a snowy blanket!  Fabulous for showing off your ornaments, breathing life into older trees, or simply embracing that winter wonderland vibe!  There’s no better time of year to flock your tree than the summer holidays.  Keep the mess outside and help the snow dusting dry quickly. 

Make Wrapping Paper

Another brilliant Christmas prep activity that benefits from the warm, dry summer weather! Unroll that kraft paper across the patio or driveway and get busy personalising it with stamps, paint, and markers.  No need to restrict yourself to Christmas of course – create homemade gift wrap for all occasions!  We love to decorate Christmas tablecloths this way too. 

Make Christmas Cards

Why stop at the wrapping paper?!  Handmade Christmas cards are the ideal rainy day activity to keep kids busy.  Starting in the summer months means you’ll have plenty of time to get cards made before the autumn busy-ness kicks in.  If you’d like to create footprint or handprint designs, take advantage of the warm weather to capture prints outdoors where there’s less risk to your furniture!

Collect Petals To Dry

If you’re thinking of making any wellness gifts this Christmas, gather flower petals now whilst they are in abundance and dry them ready to use.  Rose petals for DIY bath salts, lavender buds for homemade soap, cornflowers and jasmine for hand-poured wax melts.  The sky (or the garden!) is the limit – be sure to make hay while the sun shines! 

Start a Herb Garden

Expecting to cook up a storm come December, with parties, housefuls, and homemade food gifts?  Start a herb garden now and build up a stock of homegrown goodies to use through the autumn, winter, and beyond.  A herb garden makes a fab summer holiday project for any budding young gardener.  And faster growing herbs such as coriander and cress will keep younger children engaged whilst you’re waiting for other shoots to take hold.

Pick Fruit for Homemade Jams & Chutneys

What’s a summer holiday without a little fruit picking?!  This time of year is perfect for harvesting sweet berries, apples, pears, … all that summer fruit and veg goodness to use in homemade festive food treats.  Then enjoy making jams and chutneys together, ready for the Christmas table as well as gifts under the tree.  Don’t forget to keep back some strawberries for our yummy berry and candy cane gin!

Capture the Christmas Photo

Going to be with the family on holiday?  Now’s the perfect time to take that Christmas photo.  Everyone will have that beautiful summer holiday glow and there’s hours of bright daylight on offer.  Plus, getting the photo in the bag now means you’ll catch the early bird offers on cards and prints.  A big tick on the festive to-do list! 

Upcycle Jam Jars

Looking to create your own table centrepieces and sideboard décor?  Take advantage of summer outdoor living to spray paint or decorate old jam jars and lids ready to use as candle holders, snow globes, mini vases, extra drinking glasses… whatever your creativity can think up! A fun, low cost project for all the young artists in the family and brilliant way to keep those old jars from the recycle bin.

Declutter for Christmas

Decluttering is good for the soul anytime, but summer means more space in which to sort and store. Go through those hastily-stashed Christmas decorations—repurpose, upcycle, or recycle what you don’t need, and list what you want to get in early once the stock hits the stores. Hosting Christmas this year? Use this time to clear out guest rooms and overflowing cupboards. Get the kids involved, clearing out outgrown items and giving you early gift inspiration as they refresh their rooms. Perfect for pouncing on sales and discounts!

Get Entrepreneurial

Christmas can be pricey, so building a Christmas fund ahead of time really helps. It’s never too early to teach kids about money, and the long summer break is ideal for developing entrepreneurial skills. Pick a family Christmas adventure to save for—earning now means you can book before events sell out. Seasonal car boot sales, yard sales, and summer fetes are great for selling those decluttered items and boosting your Christmas savings. Get the kids involved in finding other creative ways to contribute too.

Why Prepare For Christmas In Summer?

Still not convinced why we’re starting to prepare for Christmas now?  We know it probably sounds a bit loony, but hear us out… There are plenty of reasons why getting a summer jump start on Christmas is actually a game-changer:

  1. Keep The Kids Entertained. Stop the ‘I’m Bored’ whinges in their tracks.  Keep the kids busy with Christmas prep that guarantees they are entertained and productive.
  2. Perfect Weather for Crafting. The warm, sunny summer days (here’s hoping!) are perfect for outdoor craft activities.  Take advantage of better weather for quick drying times and less mess inside to tidy up.
  3. Ideal for Rainy Days Too. When the weather doesn’t play ball, it’s easy to bring the festive crafting indoors for great, affordable activities that’ll put pent up school summer holiday energy to good use.
  4. Cost-Effective Fun. Have yourself a very Merry Thriftmas with homemade decorations, gifts, and treats saving you money as well as adding personal touches to the upcoming festivities. Plus, as summer entertainment goes, home craft activities are low cost, so you’re saving now too.  Who doesn’t love a budget-friendly double win?!
  5. Less Stress, More Fun. Start early to avoid the last-minute holiday rush.  Take your time and enjoy the process of preparing.  When December rolls around, you’ll be the smug one kicking back with a mulled wine ready to soak in all the festive fun!
  6. More Creative Freedom. With more time on your hands, you can let your creativity shine. Experiment with new recipes, craft unique decorations and gifts, and plan memorable Christmas activities.  Do all the things you promise yourself each January you’ll do next year, without the December time crunch.
  7. Not Just for Christmas.  Many Christmas preparations work for other occasions too. So, even if you can’t quite persuade yourself to dive fully into Christmas yet, there’s plenty of other calendar dates to target with some multi-purpose prep.

Have we convinced you? Will you be grabbing those baubles and flocking that tree this summer to keep the kids busy and help clear the December diary? Let us know in the comments what festive tasks you tackle early. Need more Christmas planning tips? Check out more Christmas jobs that pay to get sorted early!

MORE LIKE THIS: Christmas In July

Share Your Creations!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @jollyfestive.

And be sure to tag #jollyfestive in your photos.  We love to see which Christmas activities you’ve been enjoying!

Big Sis - Hannah

Hannah Bartlett

Hannah Bartlett, former Travel & Hospitality Professional and Mum of two, co-founded Christmas blog Jolly Festive alongside her sister, Jo.  The pair have a voracious appetite for all things Christmas, researching and creating inspiration year-round for all aspects of the festivities.  More about Hannah