This holiday season, you may be wondering how you can get your young child more involved. No matter what your family celebrates, holiday traditions are an ideal way to spend quality time together, and create lasting memories for everyone. As well, holiday traditions can reaffirm to your child that they are part of a secure and loving environment, and demonstrate the importance of showing goodwill to others.
Here are some ways you can get your child involved in holiday traditions.
Depending on the age of your child, they can get involved by helping you prepare a festive holiday meal. Preschoolers can help you stir flour and salt for cookies or mash cooked potatoes. Older children can measure ingredients or wash vegetables. This is also an ideal time to teach your child about kitchen safety and cleanliness.
Hosting family and friends
The holidays are a time for visiting family and friends. If you’re hosting a holiday get-together in your home, it can be enjoyable for your child as well. Depending on your child’s age, they can get involved by helping to take guests’ coats, setting the table, or handing out gifts. It’s also a great time for your child to practice their conversation skills.
Holiday hosting can be overwhelming for your child, so setting expectations with them beforehand and remaining patient will help the event to go smoothly for everyone.
Decorating the home
Holiday decorations are a quick and easy way to help your child become involved in a family tradition. Older children can help decorate a Christmas tree or light the menorah. Younger children can get involved by picking out ornaments to hang, or drawing holiday designs on kraft paper for DIY gift wrap.
Getting involved with charity
Teaching your child the importance of charity and goodwill over the holidays will help them to develop empathy, and reduce the focus on gifts and material possessions. Families with older children can volunteer to serve meals at a local homeless shelter, visit seniors at a nursing home, or help organize food at a food bank. Children of all ages can get involved by choosing their gently used toys and clothes to be donated to children and families in need.
Incorporating cultural traditions
For holiday tradition ideas, take some inspiration from elements of your own cultural background. You can prepare a holiday meal that you remember from your own family history, attend a traditional worship service, or teach your child how to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” in another language. You can also spend time as a family learning about holiday traditions all over the world.
No matter what your family celebrates, getting your child involved in holiday traditions is a great way to spend some quality time together, and help them to feel included in the family.