Promote Development Over The Holiday Season

Now that the holiday season is here, it is time to think about how to make this an extra special time for your family! Try some of these fun ideas that will also help to promote your child’s development:

  1. Pick a time to play with your children when you are not busy, distracted, or tired. Take advantage of the moments where it is okay to make a mess or be silly. Get lots of sleep to better manage holiday stress.
  2. Let children bake cookies or other holiday treats. Baking helps develop bilateral coordination and visual perception (hand-eye coordination).
    • Encourage helpers to pour ingredients into a bowl. Speak about the movements that are required. For example, “Wrap your hand around the handle. Lift up the cup. Pour the milk into the bowl.” Keep the language simple to help improve success and reduce frustration.
    • Support children physically and verbally to be successful.
    • Roll cookie dough into a ball then press it down with a fork, or help roll out the dough and encourage your children to use cookie cutters.
    • Decorate cookies with icing and candies.
  3. Make holiday cards for your children. Identify the recipient and guide your child to glue on pictures, paint, or draw whatever they wish on the front page. Involve them in writing the inside of the card by asking what the message should say, and spelling the words out as you write. Support your child to sign or stamp their own name at the bottom.
  4. Play “I Spy” with Christmas decoration. This is a way for children to practice visual perception skills.
  5. Get moving and dance to your favourite holiday songs. This is a great way to practice gross motor skills while receiving vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (pressure to the joints) sensory feedback.
  6. Get outside and enjoy the snow, for for a walk, build a snow man, build a snow fort, or go sledding. Go for a drive in your neighborhood to spot holiday decorations. Be sure to dress warmly.