For a lot of families, having your pre-school age families home for the holidays instead of at school or daycare adds a lot of stress. But with a little pre-planning, this time home with the kids can be especially fun and rewarding for the whole family.
First, recognize that you don’t need to make every minute of every day a group activity. Simply providing your children with do-it-yourself things to do will ensure they don’t get bored. For example, give the kids coloring books, crayons and a table to work on…and they’ll entertain themselves. Same with activity books that include age-appropriate puzzles, games and stickers. And while they’re having fun, you’ll have time to take care of other things on your holiday to-do list.
Here are some links to websites where you can order a variety of these publications online:
https://tinyurl.com/5n85zuhh (Barnes and Noble)
Of course, the best and most cherished holiday memories will be the ones you do together with your kids. For example, baking holiday cookies and packing them in colorful tins to give as gifts to grandparents, other family members, and friends are great ways to spread the joy. And making decorations to put around the house is fun and a great backdrop for amazing photos. Even wearing different outfits to create a special holiday photo album could be fun and also a great gift (especially for the grandparents). More great holiday craft ideas, including washable paints, holiday card handprint kits, gingerbread house decorating, Chanukah jewlery kits, and more, are available at:
https://tinyurl.com/6x2wak4s (Oriental Trading Company)
And best of all, involve your kids in planning, cooking, and serving a holiday meal. It’s not only fun, it’s an extended teaching moment to promote teamwork, patience, and creativity. Start with getting some fun holiday cookbooks. Sit with your kids to see what they want to cook. Visit the grocery store together to shop for the ingredients and give them money to pay for everything themselves. Work with them to organize everything, mix the ingredients, cook the dishes, display the food on decorative platters, set the table, and help serve the holiday feast. (Again, take lots of photos so you and they will remember these days forever.)
Finally, a great family holiday activity is to teach your kids the importance of sharing; especially with those less fortunate. Taking a trip to donate food to a foodbank, dropping off unwanted clothing at a thrift store, sending care packages to our members of the military who can’t be home to celebrate the holidays with their own families….These are all great experiences for kids and parents alike.
Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays from all of us at The Boulevard School.