The Paranoid Dad and I have been brainstorming ideas for having a richer holiday experience with the kids without a huge emphasis on gifts and getting. My son, in particular, needs to learn more about the joy of giving and the joy of this beautiful season. We’ve come up with a list of twelve family activities to incorporate into the next three weeks or so. Not surprisingly, some of these have a “preparedness” theme, but others are just for fun. I’ll be posting one each day for the next twelve days. Hope they inspire you and your family!
By the way, I know the traditional 12 Days of Christmas begins on December 25 and runs through Epiphany, January 6, but if I started sharing with you all my great holiday ideas on the 25th, that wouldn’t be very helpful now, would it? 🙂
Day 1, A new craft for your kids
Make the most of your kids’ Christmas vacation …or Winter Holiday or Solstice Observation Days or whatever term your local school district is using these days! Your kids have about fourteen uninterrupted days at home, and no doubt you’ll start hearing complaints about boredom and how there’s nothing to do. Start planning ahead right now to teach them at least one new craft skill that might also help them create gifts for family members or friends. Don’t worry about being an expert yourself. It’s even more fun when parents and kids learn something new together!
Since all of us have different learning styles, I suggest getting an instructional book and then using YouTube videos to supplement the learning process. With their hands actually holding the craft supplies and their eyes and ears engaged with instruction, your kids and grandkids will be able to master these crafts for kids much more quickly.
Here’s a fun variety of skills to consider, along with links to helpful, instructional books:
- Macrame — This 70’s fad is making a comeback!
- Woodworking & Carpentry
- String art & instructional book
- Stained glass patterns & instructional book
- Mosaics kit & instructional book
- Punched tin
- Flower arranging
- Origami and origami flowers
- Hand lettering (more modern styles than classic calligraphy)
For supplies, check out eBay, garage sales, and Craigslist and watch for craft store coupons. Even better, find a family friend or relative who can teach a new skill to your kids. The beauty of a gift like this, whether given during the holidays, on a birthday, or one of those “just because” gifts, is that they all invite interaction. When my daughter and I are sitting on the couch knitting our different projects, we have time for relaxed and casual conversation. If you give this type of gift, set aside some time to help your kids or grandkids get started, maybe start a project of your own, and then enjoy the time together.Give your children a gift that could last a lifetime: a new hobby. Read more here... Click To Tweet
Honestly, in my 17 years of parenting, time together is irreplaceable and priceless. Too often, I get consumed in one of my many projects, leaving my kids to figure out something on their own. Ultimately, that undermines the home environment and atmosphere I desire. A shared hobby goes a very long way toward creating bonding time, and it’s so easy to do.
NOTE: One of my Skills of the Month is “Handicrafts”. Check out this section for many more related articles.
One possible benefit to many of these crafts for kids is that they can become an income source down the road. A very good friend of mine creates gorgeous wooden tankards with her husband and that provides income for them throughout the year. There’s always a market for beautiful and well-crafted items, whether they’re knitted scarves, a quilt, or a beautiful handmade birdhouse.
This month, before your young’uns even say the words, “I’m bored!”, be ready with craft supplies to keep them busy and productive! If the craft has practical applications, such as knitting, so much the better.