We try to keep holidays sweet and simple at our house, and I’m doing my best to impart the joy of giving of ourselves in my twin girls, who are now almost six.
I love to think of opportunities to involve the girls in the process of making handmade gifts, at least in some small way. Approaching six years of age, there are lots of things the girls can do, especially when it comes to making holiday goodies with me in the kitchen. I had to be much more creative when they were smaller…the idea of four little hands in the flour was not one I wanted to tackle with twin toddlers!
Today I’m sharing a some of the things we’ve done over the past few years, going back to when our girlies were approaching two.
Gift tags. It’s become a tradition that our girls make gift tags to adorn the presents and goodies we give to our friends and families. (I love that a few family members save the tags and use them as ornaments!) The first year, I let the girls go to town with green finger paint on white card stock.
I used a scallop punch to cut out 2″ ‘wreaths’, and I punched holes to show through to a red paper circle of berries. I applied glue to the ‘wreaths’ and let the girls put the two pieces together. Here’s the finished product:
Another year I let the girls loose with a ‘present’ stamp, which they then colored. (I had visions of checkered red and green packages…but they had other ideas, using almost every color in the crayon box.)
And my favorite to date the girls did last year. At almost-five, they were able to complete these all by themselves, but these could be done with younger kiddos with some supervision. We used washable brown ink to make thumb prints, and the tip of their index fingers in washable red ink made the nose. The girls used markers to draw the eyes and antlers. I love all the personality these little reindeer have!
Gift bags. The girls had such fun making these bags when they were near-three. I let them pick out button eyes, and I assembled the other pieces from card stock, felt, and sequins. I applied glue to the pieces, and they put them in place.
Cards. I LOVE making cards with the girls. These were some of our earliest holiday creations. At not-quite-two, I had the girls scribble with green crayons. I cut out their scribbles in the shape of a tree, and I glued them to a blank card. I let them decorate the tree with stickers, a favorite pastime at that age.
Charitable giving. The last couple of years, the girls have had so much fun shopping for the food bank…it’s the one time of year I let them drive the miniature shopping carts at the grocery store, and they so look forward to it. And of course we have to decorate bags to carry our goodies.
Tidings of Cheer. The girls always go with me to deliver goodies to our neighbors.
Since they were tiny, I’ve worked with them on a holiday message. The first year they were able to participate, just shy of two years old, it was a simple, “Merry Christmas!” We worked up to them singing, “We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!” when they were almost three. The last couple of years, they’ve sung an abridged version of Jingle Bells as we passed out our goodies. (Reindeer antlers add to the fun!)
Holidays seem infinitely more fun with littles in tow, and I love involving my girlies in all the festivities. It’s something pretty special to see the light in their eyes when they share their own creations with our friends and families.
How do you involve your kiddos in the holiday season?
MandyE is mom to almost-six-year-old twin girls. She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.