Holidays bring about fun new activities, visiting with family, and lots of fun memories. With the holidays also come change in schedules and new situations for kids, which can be stressful. Below are some tips to make the holidays less stressful for your children and you.
• Prep child ahead of time with pictures of family he/she is seeing
• Prep child ahead of time on places he/she will be going
• Bring a calming tool kit (Fill small bag with favorite sensory fidgets, quiet activity, and favorite snacks)
• The day before a big event try to keep to a low-key schedule with a consistent bedtime routine
• For a child that may need a visual story of what to expect, social story creator app is a great free app to make a social story. You can put pictures of your own children and family in it. Kids really enjoy seeing themselves in the story!
• Let family know ahead of time that you may not be able to stay for the entire event.
• Allow movement breaks for your child. Especially small children will benefit from a movement break or movement activity prior to participation in a sedentary activity.
• It’s okay to have to leave early if your child is tired, sick, or having a difficult time. Do what is best for your child and your family.
• Plan small outings with your family short in duration so your child has a positive holiday experience without being overwhelmed.
• Bring a favorite toy that can be a comfort item.
• Offer kids headphones in the car to listen to music or movies.
• Audio books in the car for the whole family can be a great way to stay entertained
• Most importantly take time for yourself, rest when you are able, and join in the fun activities with your children
Fun and Mess Free Toys to have in the Car or Plane while travelling:
• Wet/dry magic ink marker
• Etch a Sketch
• Sticker books
• License Plate Bingo
• Puzzle Books
• Colorform Activity Kits
• Mini travel games
• Wipe off Activity Pad Games (Melissa and Doug has some great wipe off games)
• Wikki Stix Travel Set
• Magnetic Travel Set Games
• Usborne Activity Cards- 100 things for little Children to do on a Trip
• Car Scavenger Hunts
• Word Search, Maze, and Hidden Picture Books
Fun Books to Read about Holiday Travel:
• How Kids Celebrate Holidays Around the World
• Passport to Holiday Fun: Terrific Travel Activities
• Ty’s Travels: Winter Wonderland
• A Ticket Around the World
Wishing you and your family a fun, healthy, and happy holiday season!