Newsflash: Sometimes kids are not as excited about planning for the holidays as you might be, well at least with the cooking, cleaning, and wrapping presents bit. The visit from Santa is a whole other story. How do we get kids involved without holiday planning and actually be happy about it?
Well, I have a secret to share with you.
Whether you’re planning an out of town trip or staying close to home for the holidays, let's be honest, it’s more fun for the whole family when everyone gets involved in the process.
How do we achieve this goal without nagging and feeling like we're torturing our kids?
Well, I am going to share a little trick we use in the world of Montessori. Here is the deal: stop looking at involving your child as a chore and stop dreading it. Change your mindset to be one of opportunity. Kids add a lot to the holiday season and can make the experience 100 times better than you juggling everything on your own from cooking to cleaning to gift giving to tradition making.
Got it? Okay, I am done. Are you ready to learn how I get my kids to participate? Well, not yet, I need you to do something first. Stop right now and think about your child and her passions. What does she love to do? What drives him? What motivates him?
So, that's it. The answer?
Find your Child's Hook.
I have written extensively about this approach to engaging kids from a teacher in the classroom standpoint but finding your child's hook works wonders for the home environment, too.
10 Ways to Get Kids Involved with Holiday Planning
- Your Cartographer – Have a child who likes maps? Have him map out your drive to relatives, or track Santa's path around the world.
- Your Writer – Do you have a child that enjoys writing, encourage him to pen notes not only to Santa but to close family & friends wishing a Happy Holiday, or maybe even write a toast for the holiday dinner.
- Your Artist – Do you have an artist on your hands? Have her design your holiday card!
- Your Researcher – Have him research the history of the particular holiday and report back.
- Your Nurturer – Have your child come up with a list of traditions for your family. Share traditions with him to get him inspired.
- Your Baker / Cook – Do you have a child who loves to cook? Pull out the recipes (old and new) and start planning the menu, items you need, and how you will get it all done. Maybe even entice your child with his own kitchen tools.
- Your Banker – Assign chores based on baseline family contributions to a scaled allowance system of pay based on the brevity and challenge of the chore.
- Your Builder – Have him build a frame, or other gifts such a jewelry, boxes, iPhone case, decor, etc. out of Legos or with whatever material she likes to work. Check out this amazing Lego Etsy shop for inspiration & ideas!
- Your Mathematician – Give her a budget and hand her a few catalogs to discover gifts for grandparents and/or siblings.
- Your Reader – Encourage your child to open holiday cards, read them aloud, take note of who sent the cards, and display the cards. Also, go to the library and discover a new batch of books perfect for the holiday season.
Discovering and then leaning into your child's interests and passions – finding his hook – will get him excited about being involved in the holidays. No more nagging. No more mild forms of torture.