Home for the Holidays: 6 Ways to Connect With Your Kids
Connecting During the Holidays
Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you that the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year. From attending school concerts and holiday parties to buying and wrapping gifts to traveling to see relatives, there is always something to do or someone to see. While this makes the holidays an exciting time, it also means important time spent learning or with immediate family is sacrificed. Plus, as kids get older and closer to adolescence, they might go through a period where they start losing interest in regularly participating in family activities or in sharing experiences and stories with parents and siblings. Fortunately, Skillmatics has a solution to keep those family bonds strong with a wide range of activities and ideas to inspire you to make some new traditions, connections, and memories this holiday season!
SIX WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR KIDS AROUND THE HOLIDAYS
One of the best ways for families to bond during the holidays is to create new traditions. Having something to look forward to each year builds anticipation and excitement, and coming back to the same activities year after year allows for your family to view them with a new perspective each time you revisit the activity. Consider incorporating some or all of these activities for a cheerful and loving holiday season with your family!
Have a Snow Day
If you live somewhere chilly, plan a family snow day complete with snowball fights, sledding, and building a snowman. If you are without snow where you live - head out for a family adventure day with a hike in the mountains or stroll along a waterway. Once everyone works up an appetite, head home to make a meal to enjoy together! Try out this creamy and crunchy chicken casserole, this flavorful chili chock full of delicious spices, or this hearty split pea soup topped with smoked ham. Each of these tasty recipes are perfect for after a day out in the cold and are sure to be a hit with the whole family!
Host a Cookie Party
Holidays are all about bringing people together, and a great way to do this is to throw a cookie party with friends, classmates, and neighbors. Before all of the guests arrive with their treats, get your family’s help making your own signature holiday sweet! Make a family of gingerbread people with outfits that match yours, a collection of edible ornaments from these easy sugar cookies, or get a little fancy with these beautiful ginger spiced sugar cookies. Baking and hosting a party with your family is a great way for you to get to know your community, plus, picking your favorite treats and debriefing the event the night after will definitely bring you closer!
Play Train of Thought
Get cozy in some holiday pajamas and start some deep conversations with Train of Thought! Full of thought-provoking questions and peppered with engaging activities, this Skillmatics game is perfect for sharing family stories and creating new memories. Each card is one of three colors and includes a question for players to answer, from “what is your favorite memory with someone in this room?” to “what is something that you wish would come true?” The first player to collect three cards –– one of each color –– completes their “train of thought” and wins! With creative questions that allow players to share their wishes, favorite memories, and fun personal facts, Train of Thought is designed to help families connect. In fact, parents often report that they learn something new about their own kids after playing!
Volunteer in Your Community
The holidays are a great time to volunteer in your community! While full of family and cheer for some, the holidays can also be lonely for others who may not have a warm place to stay or family to see. You and your family can help out by looking into volunteering in a bunch of different ways! From donating gifts to visiting seniors to making warm meals for those without homes or food, there is always a way to spread good will and help someone out during the holidays. Get your kids involved by asking them to pick out a gift for someone their age that can be donated to a local shelter or community organization, ask them if they have any special skills like playing an instrument or telling jokes that could brighten a senior’s day, or enlist their help making a huge batch of soup or another delicious comfort meal that can be donated to people without homes or food. Teaching your children to show generosity and compassion is one of the greatest gifts they can receive from you.
Have a Cozy Family Movie Night
Hollywood loves the holidays, so get cozy and enjoy an on-theme movie with the whole family! Reach into your Christmas Crate for matching pajamas, hot cocoa, and popcorn, then take turns picking a movie to watch as you count down to the holiday! Go for comedies like Home Alone or Elf, classics like The Polar Express or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or newer hits like Jingle Jangle and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms - when it comes to holiday movies, there’s one for everybody!
As mentioned before, part of the fun of having holiday traditions is looking forward to doing them only at a specific time of the year. One easy and special way you can do this is by making your own collection of favorite Christmas stories. Snuggle up together and dive into classic holiday books like The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dream Snow, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, along with new books like The Nutcracker in Harlem, Dasher: How A Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever, and Amazing Peace, a poem by Maya Angelou, all of which you can include in your Christmas Crate to keep your little one reading and learning throughout the holiday season. If you can only bring them out once a year, you and your little one can start to identify your favorite books and look forward to reading them each holiday season.
Connecting with your kids during such a chaotic time of the year can be difficult, but keep these six tips in your back pocket to have a fun and sweet holiday season with the people you love most - spending time and connecting with them is the real gift!