WIth less than 100 days until Christmas, the holiday season is looming on every mom’s mind. From gathering Christmas shopping lists and hunting for the best bargains to planning out the holiday decor, there’s a lot to do in a short amount of time. To keep focused on one of your favorite reasons for the season — family — here are a few age-appropriate ways that you can get your kids involved in your holiday projects.
Toddlers & Preschoolers
The littlest ones are often earnest in their desire to help, but their attempts to help can quickly go off the rails without a little planning and guidance. This is especially true if yours is very active and has a short attention span. To make sure your toddler or preschooler’s assistance is actually helpful, take some time to pre-plan all of your decorating activities and ways in which they can help. By having everything clearly fleshed out and written in a to-do list, you can help everyone to stay on task and avoid any overly ambitious projects that lead to both of you having meltdowns.
One easy way to involve your toddler is by having him help you shop for wreaths, ornaments, lights and other holiday decor. Let your child choose between two items at a time to maximize a short attention span and get decor that he can be excited about seeing around your house. By editing the options down to two items that you like, you can ensure that you’ll love his choice and avoid having a Paw Patrol Christmas wreath on your front door.
Another great way to involve your toddler in seasonal prep is by putting a creative spin on activities they already like doing. For instance, you could have your little one create a holiday-themed drawing that you scan into the computer and have made into holiday cards. Or engage your little artist in painting with some metallic silver and gold paint and then cut the paper into star shapes and string them into an abstract-painted garland to adorn your tree or mantle.
As kids reach elementary school, following directions begins to become second nature to many, making their involvement in holiday decorating much easier than with their younger siblings. Make the most of that small stature by having your school-age kids help you retrieve all of the holiday decor from your attic or crawl space. If you have multiple children, form an assembly line to make this process go even faster.
Help to inspire your school-aged child’s creativity by tasking her with planning an outdoor holiday display for your home. She’ll surely beam with pride every time she see your home’s outdoor lights glowing at night; you may even win as the most festive house in the neighborhood.
Encourage your kid to bring their holiday creativity indoors too by getting him or her a miniature Christmas tree to display in their room and decorate to their heart’s desire. Offer a small budget for decorations to help your little one learn the value of a dollar and how to make a little money go a long way.
Tweens & Teens
By the time your child has reached middle school and high school, the magic of Christmas isn’t quite the same as it was when they were small and believed in Santa Claus. It’s up to you to bring the youthful charm back to the holiday season in any way that you can.
One trend that’s gaining popularity and is sure to make your tween or teen do a double-take is an upside down Christmas tree. Add one of these to a room in your house where space is scarce and infuse the room with some seasonal sparkle in a flash. Have your teen help design the decor scheme and hang all of the lights and ornaments on the tree for a finished look that you’ll both love.
Ask your teen to hang all of the outdoor Christmas lights as well. This will be a useful practice of patience for both of you, but with extra help, you can finish this time-consuming task much faster than if you wearing hanging the lights outside alone.