The 2020 holiday season is upon us. Unlike other years, most of us will celebrate these occasions though Zoom or exclusively with members of our own household.
We may cancel typical holiday outings this year, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end too. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to respect each other. One of the best ways to manage that is to learn the traditions of other holidays.
No matter which holiday your family celebrates, they all have one quality in common—love of friends and family. Whether exchanging gifts or preparing a feast, it all comes down to spending time with our loved ones.
I’ve dug through my teaching files and scoured the internet to help make this holiday period a multi-cultural one for you and your little ones.
Here’s a list of easy-to-do activities I’ve put together:
1. Holiday Seek & Find
Add a twist to your tree trimming this year! Hide your child friendly ornaments and send your kiddos on a hunt to locate them. The one who discovers the most ornaments gets to place the first ornament on the tree.
2. Drive By Christmas Lights
Okay, I recognize the title says At-Home activities, but this one requires you to leave your house. Pile into your car and cruise around the neighborhood to admire all the lovely Christmas lights. Here’s a checklist to use during your tour.
3. Gingerbread House Contest
Buy a few Gingerbread House kits or get creative like these gingerbread connoisseurs, then have a friendly competition. The winner earns bragging rights until the next contest.
Image by RitaE from Pixabay
4. Holiday Baking & Snacks
There are countless recipes online. Here’s a link to a few.
Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream
Make Sufganiyots (A round jelly donut eaten by Jewish families during Hanukkah.)
And Latkes (A potato pancake also eaten during Hanukkah.)
Here’s a link for Kwanzaa recipes.
5. Homemade Holiday Ornaments & Decorations
There are so many options for this one. You can order through Oriental Trading Company or Michael’s, use paper and glue, or make a salt dough.
Here’s a few suggestions:
Handprint Menorahs (The link has other Hanukkah crafts.)
Handprint Kinaras (The link has other Kwanzaa crafts.)
Handprint Reindeer (The link has other Christmas crafts.)
6. Write a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa Story Together
As a teacher and writer, I’m partial to this one.
Here’s a few story starter ideas:
Describe the picture on a Christmas card
Pretend to interview Santa Claus (I did this one, and it was a lot of fun.)
All I want for Christmas is…
On the first day of Hanukkah…
My favorite Hanukkah tradition is…
On the first day of Kwanzaa…
What Unity means to me.
by Judith Crowell from Pixabay
7. Write A Letter To Santa
8. Write Christmas Cards
9. Make a December Alphabet Scrapbook
10. Rudolph Hide and Seek
You can play this with any stuffed animal or toy. Hide the toy while your child closes their eyes, then have them find it.
11. Watch Christmas movies
12. Read Holiday books
Here’s a list of a few of my favorites:
Snowflakes With Sugar By Amelia Griggs
Gingerbread Baby By Jan Brett
The Great Latke Cookoff By Lauren Ranalli
Hanukkah Bugs By David A. Carter
My First Kwanzaa By Karen Katz
13. Sing Christmas Songs
14. Turn Old Christmas Cards Or Gift Boxes Into Puzzles
Cut them into pieces and put them back together.
15. Have a Christmas Song Competition Or Christmas Karaoke
16. Sort Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa colors
17. Have A Holiday Parade
Put on your merriest holiday attire, pump up the Christmas music, and march around your house. You can even pull stuffed animals along in wagons/carriages and pretend their floats.
18. Celebrate St. Nicholas Day
19. Play the Dreidel Game
20. Learn how families celebrate Christmas in other countries
In Syria they celebrate The Littlest Camel
In Sweden they celebrate St. Lucia Day
Spain and Latin America countries celebrate
For even more ideas please visit:
Do you have a holiday tradition you’d like to share?