Celebrating festivals like Diwali, Christmas etc together with kids offer a great opportunity for parents to exhibit a spirit larger than the festivities and showcase life skills in Kids just like inclusiveness, kindness, and sharing to their kids. And as we often say, kids are great at imitating, let us give them something great to copy.
The religious significance and traditions are of course important and is purely a personal choice of how one wants to follow them. Other than that, it is essential that the festivities help us and especially our children learn important life skills that will help make a difference in their lives and that of others. Christmas is approaching and wouldn’t you want your kids to do something different than usual this year that is fun and yet helps them learn to be better human beings? Let’s look at five different ways we can help teach our children pick-up vital Life Skills in Kids this Christmas.
1. Celebrating a Green Christmas this year – making kids understand the importance of nature and finding out ways to preserve it, is one crucial life skill that needs to be imparted to kids of this generation. Some ways of going green this Christmas are:-
- Buy a Christmas tree that can be reused every year. Going natural is definitely a great option.
- Use lights to decorate the tree that has a timer switch or a smart plug thereby controlling consumption of electricity
- Send electronic greeting cards. Recycle the physical cards that you receive from others to make nice decorative.
- Gift your family and friends small potted plants that will help improve the quality of indoor and outdoor air. Gift seeds to ones who have backyard gardens and abundant space.
- Use and recycle gift wrapping materials like ribbons and bows, boxes etc.
- It is good to use recyclable paper for wrapping gifts. Abstain from plastic and other shiny wrapping papers that adds on to the garbage dumps.
2. Help an under-privileged child smile this year – one of the best ways to help your child learn the life skill pertaining to empathy, sharing and kindness is through charity. Show him ways that he can make a difference in the lives of children who are less fortunate than him. Some of the ways are:-
- There are plenty of charitable organisations in our country who work with under-privileged children. You can tie-up with one in your area and let your children organise a small event, spend few hours doing voluntary service or donate gifts for the needy kids.
- You can buy gifting items from organisations that work with the less fortunate ones. Attractive handmade gift items, made by children are sold by such organisations at really affordable rates.
- Your child and you could also shop for useful gifts for kids of your maids, drivers and other staff members who belong to the lower economic groups. Your child can then personally hand over the gifts to the children on Christmas Day before unwrapping his gift.
3. Prepare decorations – a good way to make Christmas fun, participative and yet instrumental in teaching important life skills like self-reliance and importance of participating is to create your own decorations and ornaments for the Christmas tree. Some lovely craft ideas are mentioned here:-
- There are abundant temporary tattoos that your kids buy throughout the year. Teach them to paste these tattoos on plain looking baubles to make them look extraordinary.
- With lots of scrapbook paper at disposal, use these papers to prepare different shapes and cut-outs. Use strings and wires to tie them up onto the branches of the Christmas tree.
- Buy lots of small sized wooden stars and let your younger ones use their creativity to paint them to look stunning.
- If you wish to save electricity organizations then show your kids to make tiny little Christmas lights using mini jars and battery operated tea lights.
4. Bake a cake – let your kids taste independence by getting them busy during the holidays to bake their own cakes, cupcakes, cookies and biscuits. Show them how to mix the ingredients and support them by giving all the required material and equipments and then let them showcase their creativity. Simple ideas that look attractive and can be easily crafted by kids include – making smiling bear heads from a peppermint cream paste; making Christmas cones using marshmallows, sugar and icing; rolling and coating sweet snowballs; let the kids decorate as per their imagination pieces of ready-to-eat biscuits or homemade gingerbreads.
5. Share – one key learning that kids should take away from a festivity like Christmas is the spirit of working together. Cooperation, helping others, team work etc. are essential life skills that need to be taught to children early in life. Encouraging them to participate! They can offer to help their parents in cleaning up the house; decorating the Christmas tree, helping in the kitchen during preparations etc. are different ways that kids can help in sharing their parents’ work. After all, Christmas is all about sharing with one another and indulging in small acts of goodness so that the spirit of celebrations remain intact and is upheld at all times.