With the holidays rapidly approaching, even those we love the most can get underfoot while we are trying to prepare for this wonderful but busy time of year. Kids in particular can seem to be in the way during busy times. Rather than send them off to their rooms, why not include them in the holiday preparations?  While this may not work with very young children, most children can help out by making simple holiday crafts, assisting with simple baking, or even age appropriate cleaning projects.

Getting the Home Ready for the Holidays

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Cleaning your house for holiday guests or to make room for decorations is perhaps the least fun thing to do, but take Mary Poppins advice and make the chores a game. This won’t just include the kids, but it will make dusting and scrubbing so much more fun. Play some music and sing along. You can also make a holiday chore chart and add festive stickers for each item completed on the list. Go ahead and add yourself to the list as well. Even adults need a gold star from time to time.

After the cleaning, you can move on to more fun activities, such as decorating. While you handle the more delicate or heavy decorations, your little ones can help create new decorations for the home.

Handmade Decorations are FUN for Kids

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You’ll want to adjust the crafts to the kid’s ages, but garlands are a good craft for any age.  Paper chain garlands are fairly easy to make, with the only materials needed being construction paper, glue or tape.  Popcorn garlands are a bit more of a challenge, but older kids may enjoy the extra work. Also, you can eat the leftover craft supplies!

Painting pinecones are another kid friendly craft. The kids can paint the cones with kid safe paints and brushes or they can dip the cones in glue and then in glitter for a snow covered effect.  Once painted you can place them in vases or bowls or glue loops unto them so they can be used as tree decorations.

Wrap it UP!

headleveler holiday gifts happy healthy sleep kids

You’re going to need wrapping paper, but rather than buying it all, take a roll of brown or white paper and let the little ones draw holiday designs on it. They can also personalize the paper with friends and families names, favorite colors and so forth. Another special touch is for the kids to write short letters or poems on the paper. This works especially well for grandparents or other relatives who do not see the kids often.

If those out of town relatives are visiting, then the kids can create holiday wall art for guest rooms.  Adding a decorative frame turns the art into a one of a kind gift. The kids can not only draw but can also write poems or notes, whatever they feel like sharing for the holidays.

Baking 101

headleveler holiday gifts happy healthy sleep kids

Another wonderful thing to share is a cookie, or maybe an entire dozen of them.  Every house needs cookies around the holidays and they are an easy introduction to baking. This gives you the chance to pull out fun holiday cookie cutters or brightly colored sprinkles, or both. The cookies are not only a tasty treat for your family, but for visitors, neighbors, and of course Santa Clause.

Count Your Blessings

Preparing for the holidays can be stressful, but it’s important to take time and enjoy the season with your family. The memories you make creating new decorations and cutting out star shaped cookies will last more than the time spent in line at the mall looking for the perfect gift.  While gifts do make the season special, it’s the people and the memories that truly matter.