When my children were young, they typically would become excited over the prospect of the coming holiday. With that came a renewed sense of energy that I needed to find a way to deal with, otherwise I would quickly find myself wanting to pull my hair out. After giving it some thought I decided to use the holiday as a new learning experience and a chance to embark on new projects. Here are my tips for engaging the kids with new and exciting things to do on those days leading up to the holidays.
Making cookies is pretty standard and straightforward holiday activity. That being said, kids usually love makeing and decorating cookies. In addition, the types of cookies to make are endless. The cookies can be made from scratch or buy a cookie log and simply cut the cookies or roll out and use cookie cutters. This was a personal favorite with my kids. After baking, I would let the kids decorate with frosting and all kinds of sprinkles and afterward we had quite an assortment of cookies. You can take it a step further and package the cookies in colorful tins for gift giving.
One year I decided to make ornaments. Some of the best ornaments I own are either handmade by my kids and me or received from my kids as school projects. I looked forward each year to see what ornaments they would bring home from school. One year after collecting pine cones from a mountain trip, we spray painted the cones and tied on ribbons. The ribbons served as hangers. They were simple, but quite beautiful. They still hang on my tree every year!
Try making a video. Kids naturally like to perform and with a little coaching and some practice, you can make a great video of your family singing songs or telling stories or even a small play. We made a video one year and the kids gave it to their grandparents as a gift. The kids had a great time and the grandparents loved it.
Find a small tree and let the kids make all the decorations such as paper ring garland, popsicle stick ornaments, pretzel wreaths or pipe cleaner ornaments. When I was a child, I loved having my “own” tree in my room. Let the kids come up with there own ideas for decorations. You will be surprised how creative they really are.
The possibilities are endless. These are just a few of the activities my kids and I did together. Please feel free to leave a comment about what you and you kids do or have done. I would love to hear them!
Oh, my daughter continues the cookie tradition. Sometimes we still get together and make cookies or if it is not possible, she makes them with her daughter. I am quite sure my granddaughter will continue someday with her own children.