The Christmas holidays are a special time for your child. They love being involved in the preparations and you can slip in some learning fun as well.
It's easy to make Christmas a fun learning time by involving your child in the preparations and focusing on spending time together.
Christmas gift ideas
By making gifts together, your child learns about giving and receiving, and thinking of others. Family and friends really treasure things made by children. It can also take the pressure off the budget.
- decorations for the Christmas tree
- a family wreath – made out of the traced and coloured-in hands of your children, glued onto a circle of cardboard
- “vouchers” for things like hugs, back rubs, and stories to be read together
- get older children to make 'vouchers' for each other and for parents – for example, one free dish-wash, one hair-do, or one car wash
- school artwork – this is often brought home at the end of the year
- a handprint made out of clay
- a treasured old family recipe
- family photos – these can be attached to cards, made into a calendar, put into a decorated frame or laminated to put on the wall
- decorate an old clay pot for a pot plant
- decorate anything that doesn’t cost too much – like photo frames, hair clips, caps. Glue on glitter, letters, small pieces of shell, stones or other ‘found objects’.
- make a special family book
- a container of shells.
Your child can help measure, mix, count, roll out, taste, decorate and wrap up homemade goodies.
- plain biscuits that your child can cut into shapes and decorate with jelly crystals, small lollies, icing and icing sugar
- jam biscuits - make a thumb print in biscuits and put jam into the hole – even very young children can do this
- uncooked slices, balls and crackles
- fruit mince pies
- small Christmas cakes in muffin tins
Summer holiday ideas
Make time with your child count. Enjoy the long summer days:
- get out and about and be active – summer is a great time for water play in the back yard, going to the beach, having a picnic, going for walks, and going to the park or playground
- pitch a tent in the backyard
- pass on or create traditions that your child can repeat when they are parents, like making a hangi
- choose two or three special trips or outings that you want to do together as a family over the holiday time – involve your child in choosing and give them choices that don’t cost much
- find out about what your local council and community groups are doing for families where you live.
The New Zealand sun is really strong, so remember to slip, slop, slap and wrap whenever you’re outside over the summer months.
It’s also important to remember that your child can’t be left on their own if they are under 14 years old. This also means they can’t be dropped off at the mall, the library, or swimming pool on their own without reasonable supervision or care. You can be fined under Section 10B of the Summary Offences Act 1981.
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