Creating Family Traditions with Your Toddler

041Toddlers see the world through innocent eyes. The smallest thing is super exciting to them. Just last week we got out our Nutcracker music box. My 2-year-old thinks it is the coolest thing ever and requests I play “cracker” daily. Here are some fun ways to create family traditions with your toddler around the holiday season.

  • Get crafty. Websites like Pinterest are full of fun ideas on how you can get crafty with your toddler. For example, my family is big into snowmen. We have several we displayed in our yard for Christmas. (We need an Olaf!) So, I thought it would be fun to do a snowman craft with my daughter every year. This year we will be decorating her door like a giant snowman and maybe doing some more crafts. Use your child’s handprints to create a Christmas tree or reindeer each year. It will amaze you how much different their hands look. Take the time each holiday season to create a craft together for grandma. Make it something your kids look forward to. Homemade coasters, bookmarks, and even gift baskets can be a craft you do together.
  • Get in the kitchen. When I was growing up, we always made goodies at my Grammy Max’s house. Make baking a family affair. Each year, bake sugar cookies and buy some colorful decorations. (Buy the slice and bake kind. It’s okay!) Let your toddler be in charge of decorating and use the cookies as a reward for potty training. Teach your child about colors and numbers with the decorations. Sort all of the candies by color or come up with a fun game to play as you bake.
  • Get together. As far as traditions go, there is nothing your toddler will cherish or remember more than the time you spend as a family. Read books like T’was the Night Before Christmas or your own family favorite together. Spend time singing Christmas carols as a family. Rent a movie, pop popcorn, and have a movie night in your pjs. (Check out this cute craft you can do ahead of time and then share in your family time!) Make sure to spend time together as a family enjoying the little things- go look at lights, decorate your tree, share what good things you have experienced together this year. Create a tradition of just being together.

Whatever family traditions you pass on to your kids, be sure to start your own, too. Your child, even though they are young, will remember them for years to come and look forward to them each year.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. Her favorite family tradition right now is watching Christmas movies in their PJs with popcorn.

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