Written by: Cally Worden
The run-up to Christmas is usually a mad rush of gift and food buying, meal preparations, present-wrapping and parties. The excitement mounts and there is always a long list of things to do. As Christmas Eve draws to a close we relax a little, and drift our way into Christmas Day when everything rolls smoothly. In theory anyway. We all know the Day itself holds its own stress, but it represents the culmination of all the effort beforehand, and a time to put the To Do list to bed. But then what?
Many of us take time off work over the Christmas period, to spend time with family, take a trip away, or simply to have some down-time. Children often become worn out by all the over-excitement, and despite countless new toys may seek some guidance from Mum and Dad for other things to do. This time is as precious as any other, so how can we make the most of it? Here are some ideas on things to do over Christmas.
Spring may be a long way off but, provided there is no snow around, mid-winter is a great time to prepare the garden and sow seeds for flowers and vegetables to enjoy in the summer. The fresh air will drag the kids away from their techno-devices, and they can help with all manner of things in the garden. If there IS snow around then you will probably find the little ones are dragging YOU outdoors instead!
Go for a walk
Okay, this is nothing new, but a trip to your local park can be turned into a game for the kids by looking for mushrooms, birds and insects, or trying to identify leafless trees. You can also gather interesting items like pine cones and to use as the basis for craft activities back home.
Not literally, but online. Research a different country with the kids, and work together to learn a few words of a new language, or find clothes in the wardrobe that reflect the traditional dress of a nation. Colouring flags, and making traditional food from a country can inspire children to learn more about other cultures.
Plan a holiday
When it’s cold outside it’s nice to huddle around a fire with a hot drink and make plans for your next family summer trip. It may be to a foreign country, a camping trip or a simple series of day trips in the local area.
Make a memory board of the year that is coming to a close. This can be a montage of photos, cinema tickets, and other special items that you have collected throughout the year. A lovely reminder of the times you have enjoyed together as a family.
Start looking at your family tree. A great way to give kids a sense of belonging, this can entail a simple look at where aunties, uncles and grandparents fit in, or with older kids it can provide a chance to show them the power of the internet as a research tool instead of just a gaming device.
Learn a new Skill
The whole family can participate in this. The internet is littered with helpful videos and How-to’s on all manner of things. Play the harmonica, make a paper snowflake, or learn dance steps from your favourite music video – The choice is vast.
Rearrange the furniture
Sounds weird, but with new toys, games and gifts to accommodate, rearranging furniture in one or more rooms can encourage you to have a tidy-up and create more space and order in your home. A perfect way to start the New Year.