The holidays seem to “belong” to young children. So many social customs and family traditions revolve around children and the magic of the season. Still, in this day and age, the holidays can get very busy. Driving to visit family members, hosting out-of-town visitors, and covering all the bases can result in children spending a lot of time on the go. How can you find quality time to spend with your young children amid all the chaos of the holidays? Here are some tips.
Make an Effort to Involve Young Children
This can be a challenge for parents. We just want to get the gift wrapping done and the food cooked, and we’d rather have the kids out of the way. But if you’re looking for ways to spend quality time with them, then all those necessary tasks are a good place to involve your kids.
How about letting them make the wrapping paper? Roll out a long sheet of paper or large pieces from a drawing pad, and let your kids draw whatever they like. They can also dip their hands in finger paint and make colorful prints. Relatives love gifts wrapped in this kind of paper!
Make Decorations with Youngsters
Get together with your kids and set aside some time to hand-make decorations. You can make inedible dough ornaments, paper chains, garlands, wreaths, paper snowflakes, and other decorations with your kids. Children especially love lights at holiday time – let them help you string them and arrange them inside and out.
Start a Fun Tradition with Young Kids
Do you have a favorite holiday tradition you remember as a child? Maybe things were different then, but you can still resurrect some of those old traditions, or start a new one. Children don’t necessarily need an elaborate, time-consuming activity. Many times, the memory is what counts and simple activities can build lovely memories. For example, spend a morning making holiday cookies and give some to local shut-ins or nursing home residents. Go looking for fresh greens to cut and weave wreaths together each year.
Not religious but want something fun to do during the holidays? This is a good time to incorporate your family’s heritage and teach your children about their ancestors or incorporate your family values.
Family Activities with Young Children
You can go caroling, visit shut-ins, volunteer at a homeless shelter, participate in a toy drive, or go on a holiday lights tour as a family. Include your young children in these activities, and teach them something about their community and the needs of others, all while getting to spend quality time with them.
Pick up our report, Creating Family Holiday Memories.