Three major holidays are soon approaching – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Typically, parents plan all the activities and children enjoy the fun, including days off from school and eating lots of sweets. This year, have your children actively participate in the planning of each day’s activities to help them build organizational skills and appreciate what needs to be done.
For gifts, get suggestions from your children on what should be purchased or handmade. Family members usually enjoy receiving personal, handmade items from children. If your children are artistic, encourage them to think of presents that they can make. There are many websites as well as stores that have ideas for projects. The key is to plan ahead and make sure that you and your children have time to make each gift.
If you decide on buying some gifts, encourage your children to come with you to select the gifts. You can build fond memories looking for the perfect item for a grandparent, for example. The gift recipient can be told that the child helped to select the item. Oftentimes, that makes the gift extra-special.
Each holiday will need a special menu for meals prepared. Ask your children to participate in building the menus and then grocery shopping and cooking with you. They will learn about selecting meals and obtain hands-on- knowledge of ingredients as well as learn your cooking secrets.
Decorating the house for each holiday should be a planning activity too. Many families have already accumulated decorations over the years that are kept in storage until the time to put them out. Consider adding some new, special touches to this year’s decorations – some that your children select. For example, one of my nieces wanted specific Christmas decorations in their front yard one year. She and her parents discussed the decorations, arrived at an agreement on what could be purchased, and then went shopping for them. Everyone assisted in putting them up. The new decorations turned out to be an extra-special touch for their yard.
Children love to be included in planning activities – it shows them that they are truly appreciated. They can learn so much by doing so too!