5 Things I Love During The Holidays

I always try and think about things I like to do with my two kids during the holidays.  I want them to love the holidays as much as I do!  My parents made the holidays so special for us growing up and I want to do the same for my kids.  Here are five things I love to do with my kids during the holidays:

1.  Decorate the Tree and the House Together

We always set-up the tree the day after Thanksgiving.  It’s become a family tradition of ours.  It started when we got our Elf on the Shelf book.  The story talks about the Elf, ours is named Chuck, coming out the day after Thanksgiving.  We decided we would set-up the tree and put Chuck in the tree to start his magic.  It’s so much fun, and the kids really look forward to “the day AFTER Thanksgiving.”  They also LOVE putting the decorations on the tree and decorating with lights outside.  Such a joyous time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Bake Cookies Together

I am the baker of the family and my hubby is the cook (as many of you probably already know).  I really love to make my “special” chocolate chip cookies and holiday sugar cookies!  I got this really cool cookie press from Pampered Chef that I use to shoot cookies out of!  The kids think it’s so funny to use this and the cookies come out great!  I love baking during the holidays and the kids LOVE to join in!  I think I need to host another Pampered Chef party soon here in RI!  They have so many wonderful hostess specials and I LOVE the stuff I get from them!  Also, check out MamaLuvsBooks soon where we will have a giveaway for the Pampered Chef cookie press!!  You can make your own holiday cookies with your kids!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Go to Shows Together

We LOVE shows!!!  We started taking my daughter when she was two years old and have been going ever since!  We saw Go Diego Go Live (an AWESOME show!), and I couldn’t believe how much she loved it and watched the entire show!  We have been to Dora, Barney, Thomas, The Nutcracker, Zillion Bubble Show, and much more!  This year we are going to Disney On Ice at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.  The kids can’t wait!  I am doing a giveaway on my personal site, MamaLuvsBooks, so if you want a chance to win a 4-Pack of Tickets to the show in Providence, please click on my site and enter!  The winner gets a choice of any showtime.  Hope you win and hope to see you there!  We will be there having a BLAST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  See Family During the Holidays

I LOVE to see family during the holidays.  We are the only ones from both sides of the family that moved away from the DC area, so whenever we get a chance to see family I love it.  The past few years we have rented a beach house and all stayed together for a week during the holidays.  With the growing family and multiple babies it is getting a bit harder to do.  This year my brother and his family are coming to visit in RI and so is my husband’s sister’s family.  I can’t wait to see everyone!  Holidays are about being with family!!!

5.  Find Something Charitable for the Kids to Get Involved With

I really like the idea of showing my kids that there is more to the holidays than just “getting presents.”  I want them to focus on being generous and loving to others and learn the real spirit of the holidays.  I would love to help out with my daughter at the Sharing Locker, a group in town the helps provide people with their essential needs.  My son is a bit young for this.  Last year we also helped with the Adopt-A-Family Program in town where you get wish lists from families that can’t afford to purchase everything on their own.  It’s nice to know you are getting something that someone really wants, and it’s such a nice feeling helping out others that need it.  I want my kids to learn to WANT to do this.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!  What are your favorite things to do during the holidays?

Kristin Wheeler

My 5 Favorite Activities I Do with My Kids!

With the hectic schedules most of us lead, it’s nice to find some quality time with the kids for at least a few minutes a day.  You can be around your kids all day, but sometimes that day can fly by without doing anything meaningful with them.  Research has shown that spending quality time helps in the maturation and social-emotional development of children.  It helps them feel bonded with and attached to the family as an important member with something to contribute.  Quality time builds a child’s self-esteem and confidence in things they do.  Here are my five favorite things I do with my kids to spend quality time with them:

1. Night Talks

Snuggling with the kids at night and finding out about their day for about 10-15  minutes can be a meaningful and very much a learning experience for parents.  I’ve had the most open and honest talks with my kids during this time.  I learn so much about who they are.  I try and do it about twice a week!  The kids love “snuggle time!”

 

2. Reading with the Kids

Many parents do this already!  You should read to your kids, or with your kids, every night.  This is a nice meaningful time with kids, and it is also an important time for them in their education.  It’s a nice bonding time as well.

 

3. Playing with the Kids

It’s important to play with your kids!  As young kids, they need the modeling of how to play, how to be creative/imaginative, and how to interact appropriately in play.  Kids also love it when you get silly and just “be a kid” with them once in a while too!  Have fun with it!  It will bring you closer to your kids!

 

4. Going to Shows with Kids

I love going to shows with my kids.  It’s nice for them to learn to sit and watch a live show and to enjoy it.  We usually talk about it beforehand so they know what is going to happen, and even what kind of music might be sung.  We’ve been to quite a few together, and they ALWAYS love this quality time with us!  Sometimes we go on Mother-Daughter dates to shows.  Go Diego Go Live was probably one of the best we’ve been to!  And yes, dates with the kids is important, especially when you have more than one child.  It gives one kid at a time their “special time” with mom or dad!

 

5. Dinnertime Roundtable

While growing up, this is the quality time I remember having with my family.  Whether at a restaurant or at home, sitting at the table together for meals creates a nice setting for talking and finding out what everyone is thinking and doing.  It’s so easy these days to want to just take your meal to the computer or TV, but you’re missing out on some quality talk and share time with your family if you do that.

 

Overall, it is just important to be engaged with your kids, listen to them fully (making eye contact), and make them feel important.  You can’t have quality time ALL the time, but you can make a point to try to make time for it throughout the week.  An hour here, and an hour there!  The kids will appreciate it, learn from it, and feel more bonded to you and confident as individuals.  It will also be meaningful for you and help you keep good memories with your kids to treasure.

* How do you make time in your busy schedule for quality time with the kids?

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Kristin Wheeler