Start New Memories with Holiday Traditions
November 28, 2018
The holiday season is an exciting time of year, especially for children. Whether you observe Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or simply ring out the old year and welcome the new, the season is alive with cooking, shopping, decorating, wrapping, singing and playing games. It’s also a time that’s ripe with opportunities to learn about the holidays observed by different faiths and cultures, and for passing down your own traditions – or creating new ones – to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
In our Academies
Holidays offer a wonderful learning opportunity in our Academies, says Richard Peterson, Kiddie Academy’s Vice President of Education. “Learning about holidays in a preschool setting can broaden children’s awareness of their own and other’s cultural experiences. We keep celebrations educationally based, making a distinction between asking children to participate in celebrating a holiday versus inviting them to learn about someone else’s holiday. We encourage our directors to invite parents into the Academy to read books about holidays they celebrate, and to share certain foods and artifacts relating to those holidays.”
In the Home
In the home, you can share with your children the traditions you grew up with and begin some new ones. This time of year in particular, there are plenty of entertaining ways to start new traditions that help your children learn about thankfulness, giving and the stories relating to your faith or culture.
Here are some ideas for a few things you can do:
Cook together as a family – Cooking with your children is a fun – and tasty – way to pass along family recipes and lore from generation to generation. Whether you’re making Christmas cookies, latkes for Hanukkah or Chakhokhbili for Kwanzaa, you can use the occasion to talk about your faith or culture, while mixing in a little math as they measure out ingredients for the recipes.
Donate a toy or book – A nice way help make the season special for someone less fortunate is to donate a toy or book. Let your child pick out the item to donate and have them wrap it. It also presents a good opportunity to talk about being thankful for all that you have in your life.
Volunteer – This is another effective way to help teach empathy. Our partners at PBS Parents recommend finding something easy and fun, where you can be a giving role model for your children. Locate an organization in your community that participates in a holiday outreach program like a soup kitchen or clothing or toy drive and see what your family can do to help.
Read together – Reading together as a family is an enjoyable way to learn more about the holiday you celebrate or those observed by others. After you’ve read a story or book, talk about it together to share what you learned or liked about it.
Make a calendar – A fun seasonal art activity is making a calendar. You can make an Advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas or calendars to mark the nights of Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
Here are sources for more ideas about holiday traditions you can start:
“Christmas Tradition Ideas,” Southern Living
“Best Family Christmas Traditions,” Anxioustoddlers.com
“Hanukkah Traditions for Kids,” Thoughtco.com
“Kwanzaa Traditions for Kids and Families,” Verywellfamily.com
“Tips for Volunteering with Kids,” PBSParents.org
Thank you for reading along, as we work together in raising the next generation of amazing kids!
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