Christmas is a few days away! Don't miss out on activities you can do at home with your child. Check out this list of how to involve your child in family holiday traditions.
Get outside and take them to help pick out a Christmas tree. Having them choose creates interest, attention, and ownership in the project. You could even go on a scavenger hunt to find miniature or the real deal Christmas trees in the woods together if you live near a forest. Either take pictures or get a permit to do the actual cutting to take it home.
Stage a child-friendly decoration area close to the tree where your little one can learn how to hang some ornaments (or make one with Playdo/clay while you decorate).
Let the tree topper be your child’s finishing touch. Lift them up to place it perfectly in their eyes.
Live Christmas trees - a new tradition and popular option these days is to buy a live evergreen tree, take it home potted to enjoy the holiday, then plant it in your yard. This will depend on where you live and climate. But it will teach your child about growth, seasons, care, and living things. We keep plants in our home that my daughter loves to give drinks to throughout fall, winter, and spring.
COOKING AND BAKING
Children love joining big people in the kitchen to create! Indulge them this year with exposure to many different tastes, new smells, interesting textures/touches, and fun!
Make sugar cookie dough and have them use the cookie cutters to make different shapes.
Play with food coloring in different textures. Make red, green, and pink whipped cream for drawing in-painting with.
Let your child take turns with you pouring ingredients into a bowl for baking time.
Have your child out their hands on yours and help you mix with the mixer or spoon. Even give them a chance to stir!
Get a duplicate set of kitchen utensils for baby to pour and mix next to you.
Play telephone and call Santa to put in a request.
Draw pictures of the story of Jesus and let baby scribble along with you.
Let them use the novel Christmas decorations you pulled out to stage their own nativity scene for pretend play. Get onof this special time together. Trave baby’s hand on a dessert paper plate and use piping to hang the decorated version up. Don’t forgeyear and age of baby. You can even make one year after year to remember. Other options include decoupage and finger paint.
Make a tree with blocks on the coffee table. Take turns with baby stacking the blocks to make a tree! If you don’t have blocks in the home, this can also be done with sequentially sized rocks, paper plates, plastic cups, and more.
Take a picture in front of the tree and do that same pose every year to watch your child grow through the years. Make a book of the photos that you can add to and bring out as part of your decorations every year. I also do this with my Christmas cards from our dearest friends. We like to remind ourselves of years past and all the love that surrounds our family.
Show your family what an important tradition giving is by taking coats to donate where they are needed.
Have your child pick out food to fill a bag and donate at the store for a food bank or take it to a food bank.
These activities will involve not only your child but also you as a parent. It's very important to spend time with your child - especially during these times. Make this holiday memorable and fruitful!
Here's a good resource for clinicians available in the Tandy Therapy Box store:
Dysphagia Therapy Using Family Coaching via Telepractice Form
Signs and Symptoms of Airway Invasion Form
Household Food Inventory
Household Oral Stimulation Inventory
Lauren Tandy, M.S., CCC-SLP is a certified speech-language pathologist licensed in Idaho and Washington. She has a special interest in early intervention, feeding and swallowing issues, oral myofunctional disorders, telepractice, and speech-language development. Lauren is the administrator of Early Intervention Telepractice Facebook group for early intervention professionals. She is the Tandy Therapy LLC founder/CEO, and creator of Tandy Therapy Box LLC products, professional coaching, and classes. You may find more information at tandytherapy.com. Feel free to contact Lauren with any questions at email@example.com.