Five ways to involve your kids in Christmas preparations

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Here’s a blueprint for a very merry Christmas – why not get your child to lend a hand? Not only do you save time and energy during the hectic holiday season, it’s a great chance to teach your child some practical skills. After all, learning life skills is one of the best ways you can prepare your child for adulthood, say experts.

Hopefully, he will learn something new that will stick with him for life, plus he’ll also get a confidence boost and the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from completing a task on his own. Here are a few ideas:

Decorate your Christmas tree
Instead of mass-produced plastic baubles, why not spend a day with your child creating simple ornaments? Younger children can cut out paper snowflakes (while learning a little maths in the process) or glue paper chains; older children can decorate glass balls with glitter or build their own 3D designs out of clay.

Bake festive treats
A simple sugared cookie is one of the easiest kitchen projects to tackle with your child – even if he’s too young to handle the baking parts, he can certainly help decorate each cookie! Older children can help make more complicated goodies, such as building a gingerbread house or making Christmas cake.

Create and send Christmas cards
All you need is some blank card stock, matching envelopes, and a festive rubber stamp or two – and even the youngest child can enjoy an afternoon of putting their personal touch on a Christmas card. If you and your child are feeling more ambitious, why not make holiday-themed collages out of old magazine pictures or even paint or draw your own designs? Here are more ideas. Older children can also practice their penmanship by writing out the cards and addressing the envelopes.

Get involved in giving
Christmas isn’t just about food, family and friends; it’s also a time to give back. There are many ways to make your child a part of the process, and it’s a great activity to let your child take the lead on. Brainstorm together with him to come up with ways to help. Perhaps volunteer some time? Organise a donation drive? Or perhaps there’s a neighbour you can extend a helping hand to.

Help with celebrating
Even on Christmas Day itself, your child can still pitch in in age-appropriate ways. Younger children can help tidy up or set the table; older children can help prepare food, wash dishes or supervise the younger ones!

Making time to do Christmas tasks together can be a great way to bond with your child. But it’s hard to enjoy these special moments if you’re feeling rushed or harried. When involving your child in your festive preparations, budget a little extra time to get things done at their speed. After all, in Christmas – and in life – it’s the journey, not the destination that makes it so sweet. Oh, and the sugar cookies!

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