As we enter the holiday season, we want to remind our families of the fun festive activities you can engage your child in! Let’s take a look at a few ideas to get you in the holiday spirit…
Decorating cookies with your family is always a fun activity, no matter what time of year! Not only are they fun to make, they are also sweet reward for all of your hard work! While the idea of cookie decorating with your child might sound messy, the opportunities for language development and social interaction are plentiful.
To make this activity festive, we recommend selecting a festive holiday book to read, or even taking a picture walk through with your child. Once this is done, you can make holiday cookies that incorporate different vocabulary you’ve encountered while reading the story. This will require you to plan ahead, so make sure you have some cookie cutters handy that tie in with your story!
Reinforcing the vocabulary words you come across will ultimately help your child learn valuable comprehension skills. As for the preparation part of cookie making, engagement help them to practice following directions, answering wh-questions(who, what, where, why), and learn social reciprocity.
Elf on the Shelf/Mensch on the Bench
Elf on the Shelf/Mensch on the Bench might seem like a very overwhelming idea, but you have the opportunity to keep it simple. We believe this is a great activity to introduce to your child during the holidays.
If you’re lucky, your child will want to go to sleep in anticipation to find Mr.Elf or Mr. Mensch when they wake up. A great way to get your child in bed early! Even if you are unable to entice your child to fall asleep, we believe it’s still a great way to reinforce object permanence, locatives (words that tell location), direction following, and more.
Most importantly, all kids love the excitement of being able to locate their holiday friend! A great activity to help them create memorable moments!
Letters to Santa
For any kiddos who are in the process of learning to write, crafting a letter to Santa should be taken advantage of. This allows your child to practice fine motor skills, executive functioning skills (planning and execution), syntax, spelling, and how to address an envelope.
When your child is done, give them the opportunity to find a Santa mailbox. You will then be able to send their letter off to the North Pole. Additionally, there are some Santa mailboxes that will send back a letter to your child. What child wouldn’t love getting a personal letter from Santa?!?
Lastly, meeting Santa is an activity that could benefit your child’s social skills. Preparing your kiddo beforehand will help them to understand what meeting Santa entails. If you choose to go forward with meeting Santa, remind them of personal boundaries, and respectful interactions. You can even have your child wave from afar, to warm up the idea of interacting with Santa.
However, if you believe your child would not react well to meeting Santa, talk to your BCBA for a better individual assessment of your child’s current standing. If they tend to be overstimulated by situations like this, you can always opt in to trying something calmer at home, such as watching a Christmas movie.
Overall, there are plenty of holiday activities to involve your child in. As always, if you have concerns about these activities, speak with our staffing who have a good understanding of what your child will react well to. Happy Holidays!