Happiest Holiday wishes to ALL!! This year has flown by and I can’t believe we are nearly jumping into 2017. Later this week I’m going to be sharing my favorite New Year’s activities to enjoy with your family, but today let’s tackle post-holiday decompression strategies. Nothing too dramatic or serious, but let’s face it, the holiday season is chock-full of over-stimulation. Lots of parties, school pageants, and family events, extra sugary treats, gifts, and more gifts… and in general LOTS of action and kid-focused attention. How do we reset the clock and begin to wind down to return to sense of normalcy?
Below is my top-5 list of taking things down a notch with your kiddos. I probably should have done this post earlier in the season as many of the suggestions would make great gifts or stocking stuffers. For those of you who celebrate Chanukah, there’s still plenty of time 😉 To be perfectly honest, these are some solid tips for any time of year. I plan on keeping a few of these at the ready when the mood needs to be mellowed at Casa Willis.
Get out those crayons:
There’s a reason why coloring has become an obsession with adults. Creative and meditative both at the same time. Detailed coloring books, in particular, are very popular with both kids and adults. Quality creative time for the whole family! This children’s Mandala coloring book is the perfect Zen canvas. If coloring a nature scene are what your kids love, then perhaps this Secret Garden Coloring book is what you seek. I love this coloring book called, Color Me Fearless which has nearly 100 templates to color to boost strength and courage. This I Heart Cute Coloring Book is loaded with cuties that your cuties will love to cover with their crayons.
Music to Soothe the Savage Beasts:
Now I wouldn’t suggest The Rolling Stones before bedtime but you get the picture. Calm, cool, soothing jams like the newly released Norah Jones album , Day Breaks is the perfect soundtrack for some relaxed downtime any time of day. Perhaps you can combine coloring AND your groovy playlist to double down on the relax mode.
Nothing too dramatic or serious, but let’s face it, the holiday season is chock-full of over-stimulation...
Sensory activities are great for the wind-down. Play doh is excellent for stress relief! Let your littles push and squeeze their cares away. A great trick is to add calming essential oils to your doh like Lavender or Chamomile . This Melissa and Doug Modeling Dough Play set is priced nicely and comes with 8 tools that are very cool like a pattern wheel. Even the lids of the dough can be used as molds for the modeling dough.
Did someone say chores?!?!:
Isn’t that why we have kids in the first place? Ha!!! Clearly, I’m kidding but this Mom is not afraid of a chore board . Household chores are a great route to learning important life skills. This can be especially helpful with putting away decorations that are specific to the holidays. It can become part of your healthy family traditions like I discussed in my previous post about holiday self-care . Chores like tidying up after a playtime are great for transitioning into another activity but are also great for calming and winding down.
We are family (Cue Sister Sledge):
I will admit it, I’m a bit of a photo album junkie . My girls love snuggling on the couch looking at our family albums and giggling at their baby pictures. There’s nothing funnier (and sweeter) than hearing your toddler say “remember when I was a baby”??? Show your kiddos you and your spouse’s baby pics and see how they react. Right after the holidays is a great time to go through family photo albums. Your kiddos will get a kick seeing how a family member looked like when they were younger. Especially if that family member was recently visiting. Not only is it a great relaxing activity, it teaches them about their family history.
I truly hope you are having a wonderful holiday and that you are able to enjoy time with your family. Here’s to 2017 and making many more wonderful memories!!
What are your favorite techniques or tips for downtime with your kids? Please share in the comments below!!