As crazy as the time leading up to winter break is, it’s easy to let the break slip away without having fun and accomplishing the not so fun things that you have planned. While not necessarily a “break” for parents, this is your holiday season too.
Simply keeping children busy while you work at home may be one important goal; however, here are some ideas to help you get the most out of your winter break. Some are things we do every holiday season, some are things we mean to do all year but don’t, and some are things that just need to be done!
Let’s first explore activities that can be done while still in our cozy holiday PJs. No one is more enthusiastic about holiday decorating than children! They throw themselves into it with an energy most adults just don’t have this time of year. And that’s what makes it so much fun. As children get older, you may even put them in charge of decorating and strike it from your holiday to do list.
For a sweeter activity, let’s try mixing things up in the kitchen. From toddlers to teenagers, children love the mixing and the measuring, but most of all, they love the treats at the end. As you teach children to bake be sure to scale holiday baking projects to your children’s abilities and ages. Add activities to keep little ones engaged while you are doing more complicated baking tasks or simplify baking projects so that more experienced bakers can take the lead.
While watching a family movie can be fun, reading a meaningful story together exercises the brain in a different way—creating a more memorable experience—and enables you to interact more directly with your child. Try reading a new holiday story every night or picking up a classic like Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol and read it all season long.
Take a step outside the house and drive through the lighting displays around town, see a holiday show at your local theater, and take advantage of holiday deals, discounts, and free events. There are countless special events this time of year, and many of them only come around once a year, so don’t let the holiday break slip by without stepping out.
Don’t forget about Holiday Shopping! “Haven’t I done enough shopping already?” you say. This time, though, instead of shopping for your children, shop with your children. If you can pull it together to shop with your children before the holidays to let them pick out their gifts, I applaud you. But for many, taking children shopping at the after-Christmas sales is a better bet. Funny how children who think shopping is torture, change their tune when they have gift cards or cash they received as presents to spend.
‘Tis the season to recall all the good things…love and family, friendship and laughter! Enjoy the holiday season!