No matter what you celebrate this time of year, you may be looking for ideas about how you can help your child celebrate the spirit of the holidays. Here are seven family-friendly ways to get into the holiday spirit this year.
1) Learn about holiday traditions around the world
This time of the year sees many different sorts of holidays celebrated all across the globe, and learning about them will help your child understand other cultures. Visit National Geographic Kids with your child to read more about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, and others.
2) Create holiday crafts together
Your toddler or preschooler will love getting into the holiday spirit by making crafts and decorations to help your family celebrate. Some examples include: a paper wreath, handprint menorahs, and a flag made with traditional Kwanzaa colors. Decorating together is another way to help your child feel the holiday joy.
3) Focus on good deeds
The holiday season can seem overwhelming, with all the shopping-related advertising that begins before Thanksgiving is barely over. However, you can help your child understand that the holidays are about more than presents. Depending on your child’s age and what activities are available in your area, you can do any number of things from donating non-perishable food items to your local food bank, choosing old toys or clothing to give to charity, or even helping you bake gingerbread men to give to his preschool classmates. By instilling in your child the importance of being kind and helpful to others, he will begin to see that the holiday season is a time for goodwill as well as gifts.
4) Spend time with family and friends
Another way to help your child understand the meaning of the holiday season is to spend quality time with family and good friends. Having a small group of people over for coffee, or visiting family for dinner, are two ways to help demonstrate to your child how nice it is to show your loved ones that you care this time of year. You can help her to feel like a vital part of the visit by asking her to help you with certain small tasks, such as helping younger kids with a toy, or setting the table.
5) Start new traditions
Young children love to feel like they are helping and being involved in family activities, and the holidays are an ideal time to show your toddler or preschooler he’s a vital part of the family too. Starting a new holiday tradition with your child, whether large or small, will help to build a sense of family unity and happy memories he will look back on fondly.
6) Track Santa’s progress
Beginning on December 24th, you and your family can track Santa’s progress around the world on the NORAD Tracks Santa website. Before Christmas Eve, the site also provides fun Christmas games and music to help get you and your child in the Christmas spirit.
7) Get out in your community
Most communities across America hold Christmas or other holiday events, and many are family-friendly. As a family, try to discover and attend as many of these events as you can. Not only will your child have fun and enjoy festive activities, but she’ll also begin to understand the importance of community, another important pillar of the holiday season.
There are many ways you can help your child celebrate the holiday spirit, including learning more about other traditions, creating holiday crafts, and tracking Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve. Try our seven family-friendly tips to experience the joy and magic of the holiday season today.