Make holidays more meaningful for children
Children are constantly observing and learning from their environment, even during holidays. Positive memories such as holidays serve as “anchors” for children when things get tough, help regulate stress, build concentration, and increase attention span. Kids ‘R’ Kids shares how parents can make these holidays more meaningful for children and continue their learning.
1. Craft family traditions
Every family has its holiday traditions that help create memories and a sense of belongingness. Parents can explain to children how traditions help the family feel close and allow everyone to spend more time together. By choosing traditions that are unique to the family and planning meaningful activities, parents and children can further bond over the holidays. Playing board games at night, watching a special kids’ holiday, a trip to see the holiday lights in the neighborhood, singing carols, hosting a dinner for the family, or going for a family trip are some of the activities and traditions that can be decided upon. These traditions offer children an anchor and a plethora of memories when they grow up.
2. Create something
Gifts are usually the highlight of every holiday season, but creating something together as a family is a great experience for children. From creating wreaths and spray painting pinecones to baking and decorating cookies and making handwritten cards for family members, holidays can prove to be a source of learning for kids. Not only are they exploring new concepts, but they are also developing their motor, creative, and analytical skills as they immerse in these activities.
Holidays are about reconnecting or deepening bonds with extended family and friends. The holidays and the traditions are a perfect opportunity for kids to develop and practice their social skills as they meet extended family and friends. Letting the kids set up the table or help with preparing for an event empowers them. This increases their vested interest in the occasion and its proceedings. Socializing with extended family and friends also allows children to experience the joy of giving gifts.
4. Giving to those in need
Empathy is a very crucial part of emotional and social development in a child. During holiday celebrations, parents can create awareness among their children that some are less fortunate than them. Introducing the concept of giving to those in need and volunteering to help the unfortunate is a great way to build empathetic children. For instance, children can be encouraged to donate old coats, scarves, hats, and other no-longer-needed items in good condition to shelters in the neighborhood.
5. Give experiential gifts
Experiential gifts like traveling have a greater impact on a child’s mental development than material gifts. Holidays are not only fun and relaxing, but they also help children become smarter, build a stronger emotional foundation, and allow them to explore their natural curiosity. Whilst traveling children learn to exercise two genetically ingrained systems in the brain’s limbic area on holiday, which often goes “unexercised” at home. These are called the ‘play system’ and the ‘seeking system’, first discovered by a world-leading neuroscientist at Washington State University, Professor Jaak Panksepp.
Family holiday experiences activate these systems in the child’s brain as well as the adult’s, releasing and triggering feel-good chemicals. Enriching holidays support children’s seeking system when they explore new surroundings, as well as their play drive, which translates in adulthood to the capacity and ability to develop and play with ideas – a crucial aspect of most professions and personal development.
So make these holidays a time of fun as well as learning for the young ones. Kids ‘R’ Kids at Fishhawk wishes all parents and children a wonderful holiday season that is filled with laughter, learning, and good health.
Why Kids ‘R’ Kids?
The philosophy of “Hug First, Then Teach”, defines every aspect of what Kids ‘R’ Kids, Circa Fishhawk stands for. Unlike many daycare centers or childcare providers, its methodology is a whole-child approach. It constantly strives to strengthen and encourage every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being through the expertise of its childcare providers and a unique partnership with parents.
Kids ‘R’ Kids International is accredited by AdvancED®, the world’s largest education community, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS/CASI). SACS/CASI is an accreditation division of AdvancED®. This accreditation ensures that the high accreditation standards are met and exceeded.
Call today at (813) 654-7000 to learn more about the Kids ‘R’ Kids before and after school programs (Kindergarten to Grade 5) or to schedule a visit.