Surviving the Holiday Break with Kids

The holiday season is upon us.  But recently, all around us, we are bombarded that we should be stressed.  Stressed about holiday shopping, stressed about store crowds, stressed about cooking and baking, stressed about traveling, and stressed about what to do with the kids out of school.  How are we going to survive?!?  There are numerous recommendations however one simple one seems to be overlooked:  Enjoy the simple stuff.

Enjoy that you don’t have to adhere to a strict school schedule.

Enjoy that you can play past 7pm.

Enjoy that you can you watch movies on a weekday.

Enjoy your kids by becoming a kid.

Several things that you and your family can do over the holiday season to Enjoy.  Let this season be full of family and memories.

  1. Cook together.  Plan several meals or just one meal.  A meal can be simple as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to hamburgers and vegetables to pasta.  Food brings people together but all the responsibility on one person can be stressful.  A three year old can help mix, a 6 and 8 year old can mix, spread, assemble, while the 12 year old can do all that and cut and cook.  Don’t forget to get them involved in setting up and cleaning after as well.
  2. Bake together.  Pull out the pre made cookie dough, let kids place on baking sheet, and after the cookies are done let them decorate.  For those more ambitious, start bake goods from scratch.  Starting from scratch also has embedded opportunity to learn about fractions.  Again, give kids age appropriate jobs to help clean up.
  3. Create a fort.  What kid doesn’t like a fort.  Yes all the blankets, chairs, pillows and cushions will be used up but hey it’s going to be incredible! Enjoy a meal, snack, a book or even nap time under the fort.  Why not?
  4. Play age appropriate games.  Create some time as little as 30 minutes per week to play.  Playing is simply fun.
  5. Have a family book club.  Pick age appropriate books.  Again, take 30 minutes at a future time, and discuss the book.  A three year old’s favorite book can become a source of questions such as: Who is your favorite pup? What color is your favorite pup? Why don’t you like the green pup?  You would be surprised the opinions of a three year old.  For older kids, try to pick a book that can span several age ranges so the whole family can be involved. Some great books for the season include How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Twas the Night Before Christmas, ect. For older kids, discuss the authors as well such as the famous Dr. Seuss and the literary history of Clement Clarke More. Even holiday topics can be fun such as discussing all the world December holidays.

In a world were stress underlines day to day activities, bring simplicity back into the holiday season to create priceless family time and memories.

Happy Holidays!