Besides the endless days of summer, the best time for kids is during the holidays. The lights, the family, the food, the gifts – all add up to a bunch of excitement. The more you let them in on the holiday planning fun, the more exciting it will be for them, and the more pride they can take in a successful holiday. There is a tendency to exclude kids from the holiday preparations for many reasons: we want everything to be perfect, most of the work we do is for them so that they can enjoy the holiday, or may be we don't trust that they'll do it right. However, involving kids in holiday preparations can be empowering for them, as well as fun for you.
Creating Decorations and Decorating
Kid-created decorations are often the highlight of any holiday table. From hand turkeys to painstakingly crafted ornaments, people always love the handmade decorations the best, because they are truly made with love, and they're usually the most fun. Find small things your kids can do, like creating centerpieces or napkin rings, and supervise their creations. Be sure to put these things out where people can see them when they come over, because there's nothing worse than creating something you're proud of and having it hidden. Let them show your guests what they've made and talk about it. They'll be happy to do so! You can also have the kids help plan how to decorate the house for the season. Kids have great ideas, and their creativity is endless. Have them help mix up your usual decorating routine!
Shopping for and Wrapping Gifts
What better way to get into the spirit of the season than to go shopping? Kids love to pick out gifts for their parents, siblings, and friends. Give your kids a price limit, and then let them choose whatever they think the person they're buying for would like. This will help them to be proud of their gifts, as well as try to budget according to the amount of money they have. These are valuable life skills, and it's fun to see what they pick out for the ones they love. You can also let them wrap their own gifts. Give them options of gift bags or wrapping paper and watch them go to town. It may not be perfect, but it will be precious, for sure.
Kids love to cook. They love to get their hands dirty and create fun meals with the help of their parents. They also feel a sense of pride in the food items they create, and they love it when people eat what they make and talk about how delicious it is. Allowing your kids into the kitchen can help them learn cooking and baking, and can also give them ownership over the holiday meal. Of course, you'll have to help them along the way, but taking that time can really make a kid's day. It will also give you some time with your child among the hustle and bustle of holiday time, which you'll never regret having.
Holiday crafts are the best. There are so many things you can do with just a little glue and glitter. Creating centerpieces and ornaments is fun, but you can also look to nature for inspiration. Leaf collages or prints are a fun way to capture the fall. Jack-o'-lanterns are an excellent way to celebrate Halloween (and don't forget to toast those pumpkin seeds!), and there is endless inspiration to take from the first snowflakes that fall in winter. Your imagination is the key!