Holiday Activities

Fun Ways Kids Can Say Thank You After Christmas

We’re almost back to regular day routine, but before it gets forgotten, there’s one detail. Here are some fun ways kids can say thank you after Christmas.

In the midst of all the excitement, we need to pause and say thank you. Kids are not too young and there’s more than one way to express thanks. With a little creativity and imagination, the process can simple, easy, and even fun. Arlene Pellicane at writes, “There’s not an arbitrary age when a switch flips and a child can comprehend and express gratitude. However rather early on, around age two or three, you can begin to teach children the concept of sharing and saying thank you. There are many good habits you can teach kids very early on – things like saying thank you to a parent at mealtime or after receiving a gift.”

online and on screen time for kids

1. Thank-you Call: There are so many choices now. Besides the good ol’ land-line, there’s cell, Skype, or facetime. You may want to phone ahead and make sure the other person is available. Also, let your child know that soon you will be phoning Grandma, for instance, and talk beforehand about telling her thank you. What does your child like about the present? We all know kids can be embarrassingly honest so what is one nice thing about the gift. Besides saying the words, kids can sing them. Use the tune Frère Jacques:

Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you.
For the gift, for the gift.
You were thinking of me, you were thinking of me.
Thanks again, thanks again.

Fortunately, relatives think this is marvelous, cute, and clever. You can make up your own words for the music.

2. Thank-you Note: Not many young kids will be doing the writing, but grownups can be the writer for what kids want to say. You can ask your child a couple of questions to prompt then, like: what was the gift? what can you do with it? what do you like about it? Print their answers and send via snail, email, or text message. If you use paper, kids can add a few letters or scribbles of their own. For email or text, let them find a letter or two of their name, or just randomly type a few letters of the keyboard for their message. It’s still precious.

Keys may be able to find with or without help the 1 and 0 keys to make 10. Then, the letter Q. When you put 10 and Q together and say them outloud, it sounds like t’an kyou or thank you. Now, isn’t that a great choice for fun ways kids can say thank you after Christmas?

3. Thank you Art: This can be a painting or drawing. Start by suggesting to your child that the giver might like a picture. Ask your child to create a thank you picture and you will write the story for them. It can be about anything.

4. Thank you Photo: Snap a photo or video of your child playing with or wearing the gift and send it to the giver. Photos are so welcome. Even if the person was there when the gift was opened, these are often treasured. Especially for the smiling face of the child.

5. Thank you Treat: A cookie popped into a little bag or wrapped in tissue paper, is an edible way to say thank you. Little fingers can help you stir up a batch of thank you cookies. What a yummy way to express gratitude.

familiarity with letters

A thank you feels good both to hear and to say. It becomes part of the bond between two people. Are there some other fun ways kids can say thank you after Christmas?


After Christmas –  The Best Gift for Kids is PLAY

The day after Christmas comes without the celebration but, without doubt, the most wonderful present of all because the best gift for kids is play. Hasn’t that been the reason for giving them new toys and adventures, to encourage and extend their play? So today’s play-of-the-day is do that, to play.

best gift for kids is play

Sometimes, the adults are discouraged because the kids seem to want to play with the boxes instead of the toys. Play with the boxes can be what some kids need most right now. With all the changes and disruptions to regular, ordinary routines, many kids have to re-establish some control and order. They can do that with a box because they are in charge of the play. They direct what happens, make the rules, and create the play.

play with box

Other children may need to be outside and channel their tremendous energy and excitement. If the weather isn’t forcing an inside day, kids can dress for the temperature and conditions and head outside. Is there a new sleigh to try out on the snow? Or, maybe there was a bike that came for Christmas. For a lucky few, the day could be fine enough to go outside and ride bikes. Half an hour in the backyard or at a park or playground gives an opportunity for some vigorous physical play. A hockey stick and a ball are great toys for some outside play time.

value of play for kids

If kids have been around lots of other people, they may need some quiet, alone time. Several sheets of paper and new crayons or markers could be how your child wants to play for a while. While this doesn’t sound complicated, in some houses finding a quiet out-of-the-way space might be tricky. If needed, spread a blanket or sheet over the backs of a couple of chairs to give a child a small, quiet area for play.

crayons coloring play

New books are also great for play accompanied with cuddles on a friend’s or relative’s knee. There’s nothing like a lap for cuddles and the feeling of a secure base before setting off for more explorations.

reading to children

As parents and caregivers, you will have a pretty good idea of how your child needs to play. It could be inside or outdoors, active or quiet, with others or alone. The best gift for kids is play. How will you provide some time and space today for play?



Fun Christmas Eve Traditions for Kids – What Are Yours?

Finally, the day is almost here and it’s time for fun Christmas Eve traditions for kids. Some might be generations old, some new and unique for your family.

fun Christmas Eve traditions for kids

Around the world, kids leave cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer. With eight reindeer and Rudolph, maybe they take turns eating the lone carrot. Maybe Santa shares the cookies with them or takes a few back for the elves. A tradition in our house is to leave them on a special plate the kids have colored. Since seeing this a few years ago, we use a paper plate each year and the kids use crayons and markers to decorate it with their best design for Santa.

fun Christmas Eve traditions for kids

Many Christmas Eve traditions center around food. On a radio call-in show, there were so many different ones. One family always had oyster stew and another had lasagne. Not just main dishes, but special desserts. A friend mixes pudding and whipped cream with torn bits of cake and tops it with cherry pie filling. Whether you do the same menu or a new one, kids enjoy being part of the action in the kitchen. Is there something your child can mix, stir, roll-out, or wash? Being in the kitchen with the adults means kids feel like part of the grown-up group. While we think this is work, from a child’s perspective it’s fun and they feel included.

Santa reads to kids

Opening one present of new pajamas is a tradition for many families. After reading about the “Jolabokaflod” or book flood in Iceland, we’ve decided that sounds like a tradition for our family. For a warm, cozy evening people give books on Christmas Eve, then curl up by the fireplace with the books and cups of hot chocolate. We don’t have a fireplace but can turn on the tv and watch a burning log. What better way to share and enjoy the bedtime stories.

fun Christmas Eve traditions for kids

Whatever your family does, these fun Christmas Eve traditions for kids will echo in their memories in years to come. What are yours?

Merry Christmas!

Baking Christmas Cookies with Kids – Why Leave Cookies for Santa?

Today’s play-of-the-day is a favorite activity for this time of year, baking Christmas cookies with kids. What’s the top cookie at your house? And why do we leave cookies for Santa? I don’t know about your FB feed, but there were and still are lots of posts for baking cookies yesterday and today. From all … Continue reading Baking Christmas Cookies with Kids – Why Leave Cookies for Santa?

Stockings or Socks – Christmas Sock Fun for Kids

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…” but there’s more to do that that, how about some ways to have Christmas sock fun for kids? After all, stockings is a fancy word for socks. Socks make great puppets. Any sock can be slipped over a hand and instantly becomes a character. All that’s … Continue reading Stockings or Socks – Christmas Sock Fun for Kids

Longest Night Stargazing for Kids – May Help Fear of the Dark

What to do on the shortest day of the year? Night starts in the afternoon so there’s plenty of time for this activity: longest night stargazing for kids. It’s something to anticipate all day long, but no worries because the day part seems so short. When it’s dark enough, dress for the weather and go … Continue reading Longest Night Stargazing for Kids – May Help Fear of the Dark

Kids Christmas Yoga Poses – Fun and Calming (also for Grownups)

Excitement growing at your house? Here are a few kids Christmas yoga poses shared from last year that are both fun and calming. Hmmm…maybe adults need them too. Catch a Snowflake: Go down on all fours, kneeling on your knees. (This is the table pose.) Lift your head up, tilt it back, and open your … Continue reading Kids Christmas Yoga Poses – Fun and Calming (also for Grownups)

Kids Can Help with Family Chores – Do You Include Your Child?

With the date getting closer to Christmas, there’s more to do and kids can help with family chores. They like to be included and there’s lots to do. What are some of the chores that young children can do? This will depend on their ages but washing some non-breakable dishes, dusting, sweeping the floor, putting … Continue reading Kids Can Help with Family Chores – Do You Include Your Child?

Boxes + Paper Tubes = Christmas Fun for Kids

Two very simple ingredients stirred with imagination cook up some another Advent play-of-the-day: boxes + paper tubes = Christmas fun for kids and families. In the midst of adults trying to wrap presents kids are enjoying another tradition, playing with the empty boxes and the long wrapping paper tubes. Combined with imagination, these two objects, … Continue reading Boxes + Paper Tubes = Christmas Fun for Kids

Kids Recycled Christmas Decoration – Handmade and Homemade Too

Christmas has a very special kind of magic; a kids recycled Christmas decoration is a way kids can make some of that magic and pass it along to others. In Big Sister’s own words after she made something to give away, “I feel good.” Just a quick search oh Google gives so many ideas for … Continue reading Kids Recycled Christmas Decoration – Handmade and Homemade Too