| 1) HOLIDAY STORIES
If you have a tape recorder, tape your favorite holiday stories.
This way, your child can Settle down and listen even while you
are not around. If you are taping the story from a book you
have available, tape the story word for word, so that your child
can follow along. Be sure to tell them when to turn the page
or ring a bell as a reminder.
You might also want to record
recollections you have about holidays when you were young
and what you remember the most.
2) WATER PLAY
Water play always has a calming effect on children. Set out
a dishpan full of warm water on a low table or on the kitchen
floor. Add a few drips of liquid detergent for bubbles and
a few drops of food coloring (if you want color). Give your
child empty plastic measuring cups, straws, small plastic
containers, etc. Children should wear old clothing and an
apron of some sort. (A plastic garbage bag with holes cut
out for the head and arms works well.)
Music can excite or calm. Choose calming tapes or music on
the radio for your child to listen to while playing during
the holidays. Drawing or painting to soft peaceful music usually
has a calming effect on children.
4) SAND PLAY
Most areas of the country are too cold to play out in a sandbox
during this time of year. You can, however, create a small
sandbox indoors for your child. Cut the sides down on a sturdy
cardboard box or else use a plastic dishpan. Fill the pan
half full with either cornmeal, crumbled cork, washed coffee
grounds or small beans. Set out small cars, play people, spoons,
cups, craft sticks, etc. in the pan.
5) FELT BOARD FUN
Make a felt board by covering a heavy piece of cardboard or
a light board with felt or flannel. A carpet square or a piece
of indoor-outdoor carpeting can also be used. Next, cut felt
pieces to represent a holiday scene. A felt tree with different
colored circle bulbs is fun to decorate and redecorate. Make
felt pieces that represent presents, toys, etc. to place under
the tree. And don'’ forget a star shape for the top of the
6) WALKING TOURS
During the holiday is a great time to bundle your children
up and take them on a walking tour of your neighborhood. Have
children try to spot signs of the holiday in windows and yards
of people’s homes. Exercise and walking in particular is a
great tension reliever.
7) BIRD WATCHING
8) PLAY DOUGH
Wintertime can be a fun bird watching time. Help your child
to make a bird feeder. Fill it with breadcrumbs or birdseed
and set it out where your child can observe it from indoors.
Simple bird feeders can be made by cutting out large windows
in plastic bottles or milk cartons.
Children can usually play peacefully for a long time with
a batch of play dough. Here is a quick recipe.
|In a large bowl, put 1 cup salt, plus 1 cup hot water.
Stir until salt dissolves.
Add 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil and some food coloring and stir.
Finally add 2 cups of flour. Stir and knead the dough,
add more flour if sticky.
Sprinkle some extra flour on a washable kitchen table
and set out a ball of dough.
Also, set out blunt knives, rolling pins, small pans,
Look through your kitchen gadgets for other safe items
for your child to use.
Birthday candles and cookie cutters are especially fun
9) OLD PICTURES
Take time to look with your children through old snap shots
of friends and relatives, especially baby pictures and pictures
of previous holidays.
10) COLORING BOOKS
Make a giant coloring book for your children during the holidays.
On large sheets of paper, draw large holiday shapes. Staple
the sheets together. Set out crayons and let your child finish
color or finish the shapes, however they wish.