Traditions and rituals are important because they help kids make sense of the world. As we pass down traditions or create new rituals around a celebration, it is the explanation that is key. Nothing fancy or rehearsed needed. Just little casual remarks give meaning to holidays or birthdays or any repeated event. Phrases like “we celebrate Thanksgiving because . . . ” or “we have sweet potatoes this way because we remember how much grandma liked them”. Moms don’t have to go all out to make things memorable! Here are a few quick and simple ideas to add to your holiday celebration without stressing over time or breaking the bank.
One Tough Mother used canvas to paint a tree trunk and branches for a beautiful heirloom look. You can find canvas board in art sections of stores like Target, office supply, teacher or art stores. In a pinch, poster board, foam board, a thin piece of plywood — anything that will hold its shape will work. Download and print her colorful leaves that say “I’m Thankful for. . . ” Make your own tradition — add a leaf every day, or everyone write their blessing when they arrive for dinner and stick it on the tree. Save the leaves for next year if you want. Or cut leaves from construction paper. Whatever works for you. You won’t have to do exactly the same thing each year — the root tradition is expressing thankfulness so you can vary the way in which you use the tree!
Kids love to be a part of preparations so let them set the unbreakables on table(s) ahead of time. The cutlery place mat reminds them which side to put silverware. Provide washable markers and let kids add their names and decorate. Use them on a separate kid’s table or under kid plates on the main table to help catch drips. Consider using the fancy swirly one under buffet serving dishes with the name of the dish written on the edge. And dozens of other possibilities. Older kids can help with ideas or do the printing, too. You can find the printables at The Pretty Blog.
Anticipation is part the fun of celebrating holidays! Kids will look forward to the little things you do leading up to the big day – another part of creating tradition and meaningful rituals. You can change up the activities each year. Here’s a couple of ideas for fun!
For school age kids, here are some lunch box printables from Darling Doodles.
Fun for all ages, including the younger set, a Crazy Turkey game! A custom made die for little hands, coloring matching practice and fun! Greene Acres Hobby Farm has an easy to follow tutorial to make the items and rules for playing the game.
When you visit the sites with these great ideas, please leave them a comment and let them know how much you appreciate their creativity and sharing!
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