2020 has been a year full of change for us all. Whether it is canceled trips, postponed events, navigating remote learning, or juggling working from home, uncertainty has been looming almost daily. With the holiday season approaching, as parents, we have to accept that some traditions may be broken this year. It is easy to get swept away in the hustle and bustle of this busy time. However, our current state of uncertainty has forced us to slow down and reconnect with our families because the holiday distractions simply are not there. While accepting that change can be difficult and missing out on yearly traditions can be disappointing, we must focus on what we CAN control—quality time with our kids. Chances are we'll all be spending more time at home this winter, so I have come up with three engaging, intentional, and memorable activities for siblings this holiday season.
Indoor Snow Play
I know what you’re thinking…this crazy lady wants me to bring snow inside my house, all for the sake of quality time between the kids?! Hear me out…This snow is composed of two ingredients that you probably already have at home anyway—baking soda and hair conditioner. Simply combine 1 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup of hair conditioner. The “snow” should be packable but still, can crumble. Dump your mixture onto a tray and add in a few cookie cutters, scoops, and spoons and you’ll be surprised how long your kids are engaged and playing! Bonus—you will save about 15 hours by not having to put gloves on your kids to play in this snow! For a step by step video guide on creating this indoor snow, check out Yippee’s “The Read It, Then Make It Show!” My girls and I show you the entire snow-making process and you’ll get an inside look at my children’s book, THE OUGHT NOT TOTS.
Build a S.T.E.M.-Inspired Holiday Village
Instilling creativity in my kids is huge for me. I grew up as an only child so, a lot of times, imaginary play was my only option. Some of our family’s most successful activities have been open invitations to play. You set out a multitude of materials and let your kids create! Seems simple enough, right? To keep things festive, I set out cranberries, candy canes, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, and red and green pompoms. The possible materials you can use are endless! I asked my kids to create a holiday village and all three of them (ages 3, 6, and 8) were focused and engaged! They were proud of their creations and kept building off each other’s ideas. We even added our fake snow mentioned above to their villages! While the kids saw just a “fun activity,” I saw three children working independently while encouraging each other, using their creative minds, and playing together uninterrupted and void of other daily distractions. Mark that down as a parenting WIN!
Most Extravagant Hot Chocolate Contest
At times, I have been known to be a little “extra.” Over the top. I’m guilty and I admit it. I always tell my kids to find the magic in everyday life and that there’s nothing wrong with making your own magic when needed. The most heartwarming thing about children is that it takes very little to impress them. To them, everything is magic. Therefore, it’s no surprise that all of them are still talking about our Most Extravagant Hot Chocolate contest we had the other night. I gathered all the fixings for hot chocolate—marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate chips, etc. I set it all out and let the kids create their masterpieces. We all voted for our favorite and the winner got to hold the title of “Hot Cocoa Champion.” It’s hard to believe it only takes a few sprinkles to make their eyes light up. We are already planning our next competition!
I hope you and your families will find as much joy in these activities as mine did! The holidays may look different from years past, but I hope it is a memorable one nonetheless. Whatever it may look like, from my family to yours, Happy Holidays!