Oh there's no place like home for the holidays! And thank goodness, because at this stage in my pregnancy I am too worn out to leave the house. I'm nearly 38 weeks pregnant right now and besides waiting and prepping for the baby, I have a toddler to entertain. Lucky for me, Christmas time is one of the best times of year to cozy in and nest. Today it's raining in San Diego and feeling like the perfect December.
I've got a whole line-up of activities in rotation to keep my little man from going stir crazy. Of course we picked out a tree and decorated the house..but we've had to relearn how to do the holidays now that we are parents. It's funny because holidays are about the kids anyways, but after years of doing it "your way," it can be a bit of an adjustment to make it fun and relatable for babes.
Here's our activity list:
1. Deck the Halls:: Kid Style. We've added a couple little things to Bennett's room to enjoy. He and I made a construction paper garland to put on his tiny tree. He helped me line up all the colors and it was a perfect time to work on our color naming and sorting.
2. Make a special library trip for holiday books. We already go to the library at least once a week, usually twice. For one our trips, we had a scavenger hunt to find books with a Christmas theme. He is really good at identifying Santa and any Snowman so he actually did help with this. We've added a couple holiday books to our personal collection as well. It's been fun to add one or two holiday books to the nightly story routine.
3. Put up a kids tree. We are lucky enough to have a sunroom in our house (extra space) and we used it to put up a kid friendly tree. It's artificial, and filled with unbreakable, handmade, and toy ornaments. Yep, we put the toy cars on the tree. I knew once we got our pretty tree (which is also mostly unbreakable this year) that the temptation to touch the tree would be too great. Having the kid tree up has been a game changer. He knows he can rearrange the ornaments and point out all the special details. We will probably be "two tree people" forever. This has been so fun.
4. Make ornaments. I've decided to keep adding to the kids tree, so we've got a few different ornament projects planned. Today we painted clay ornaments. I've also got a couple handprint ornaments to do after the baby comes. These make such fun keepsakes to look at year after year. I can't wait to share these memories with the kids years from now.
5. Gift wrapping. No matter what I am working on, Bennett will come to me and say "Doing? Mama?" He, like any good toddler wants to be involved and help me with everything. So we've made gift wrapping a special event. We used white craft paper, paint, and stickers to make our own wrapping paper for some of our gifts. It actually came out great, and he was thrilled to help wrap up a present for Daddy with his very own handmade paper.
6. We've also got making a gingerbread house, baking treats, meeting Santa, town tree lighting, and driving around to look at lights on our agenda in the coming days.
How do you keep your toddler busy during the holidays?