This weekend we received a Christmas card from our niece and her family. I noticed that the envelope had been addressed by her young son. “What a great idea!” I thought.
I called my niece and asked her about this. She’s a full-time occupational therapist, and is also going to law school at night. She said, “I’m so busy that if the children didn’t help out, no one would have received cards this year!”
This reminded me of the many ways parents can put young “helping hands” to productive and educational work this holiday season.
- Counting out dishes and silverware to help set the holiday table.
- Folding napkins into triangle or rectangle shapes (fine motor skills and shape recognition).
- Writing out place cards, so everyone knows where to sit.
- Cutting wrapping paper and ribbons. Wrapping small presents (fine motor skills).
- Reading holiday stories to younger siblings.
- Estimating, measuring, and mixing ingredients for holiday baking (with adult supervision, of course!).
- Counting out mini-marshmallows for equal amounts in hot chocolate cups.
- Counting out 100 Cherrios, in sets of 10. Then, stringing them all together so your child has a strand of 100 Cheerios to drape outside, as a holiday treat for the winter birds.
- If you have not already sent holiday cards, have your first or second grade student help you address, seal, and stamp them.
Don’t forget to complete this holiday learning experience by having your child send brief thank-you notes to relatives and friends for gifts received.
Holiday chores for children can be great fun, as well as educational. You might be amazed at how helpful young hands can be!