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Dear Dr. Cherrye,

I’m a Social Worker, and I work with many families within and outside of the school settings. The Winter Break (about two weeks at home with families) can sometimes be tough on some kids.  Please provide activities, or even book title ideas that can be used to assist children with taking their minds off their problems. I want to help encourage better moods, and behaviors this holiday season. Due to the array of backgrounds, some children are just born into terrible home lives.

~ Not all children are as fortunate as others ~

Happy Holidays for some Children

Dear Not all children are as fortunate as others,

Some children are indeed very fortunate. The Christmas holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year for many of them! We’ll see children scurrying around with their parents making holiday preparations, ringing in the season to be jolly, singing holiday tunes, and all with happy wide smiles from ear to ear.

BUT….

Not so Happy Holiday for Other Children

Among happy children frolicking around we’ll also notice a few smiles turned upside down. As you know, this can also be the toughest time of the year for many children. Some children may be driven into depression and/or feel a sense of hopelessness. Many will want and need someone to talk to – perhaps a clinical therapist, pastor/minister/religious affiliate, even a close relative.

So, let us not forget children who won’t find this time of year as joyous as a few others attending their schools and living in their neighborhoods. For whatever their personal reasons (death of a loved one, hunger/poverty, loneliness, mentally/physically ill parents, separation from their parents, abusive home lives, being bullied and isolated at school, just to name a few), the holiday season may bring about sad memories/moments. Some children may stem on the negative, and spend lots of time on flashbacks of dreadful moments in time.

Here’s a Question or YOU!

What can YOU do to help children who may be feeling blue around the holiday season? How can we help lift a child’s spirits/hearts so they can enjoy what other happy children enjoy during this season?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, and perhaps you can think of many more ideas and/or activities than I can, but together we can decide to start somewhere lending a shoulder, or an idea in efforts to help lift these kids’ spirits.

Anti-depressants may help some children, but if we can avoid this, perhaps some children can get through the holidays without medication.

What about Fun Holiday Activities?

Interacting with children during the holidays may uplift their spirits.  A few items and activities that come to mind are the following: Building Gingerbread houses, Christmas caroling, decorating the home, baking/decorating cookies, playing games, going to the theatre, preparing/drinking your favorite holiday drinks, building a snowman,  watching holiday movies, or a simple talk or hug.

  1. Gingerbread houses
  2. Christmas Caroling Songbook
  3. Disney’s Christmas Crafts for Kids: More Than 75 Festive Ideas for Making Decorations, Wrappings, and Gifts
  4. Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, Giving
  5. The Peanuts Family Cookbook: Delicious Dishes for Kids to Make with their Favorite Grown-ups
  6. Holiday Christmas Bingo
  7. Inflatable Reindeer Ring Toss Game
  8. Christmas Trivia
  9. Christmas Puzzle
  10. Character Holiday Mugs with Nestle Hot Cocoa Packets Gift Set
  11. Peppermint Candy Cane Spoons (great for hot cocoa)
  12. Christmas Movies for Kids (The Classics)
  13. Build Your Own Snowman Kit

What about Fun Holiday Books?

Fun, upbeat books may help children relax, put a smile on their faces, help them laugh a little, or soothe their minds. Perhaps other children would love to spend time journaling. Writing can be another past-time to get through the holidays helping children take their minds off their personal home life/environmental issues.

Of course there are many other ideas, but I thought to share a few books from great authors/writers/bloggers who love encouraging your children/grandchildren with reading and ‘feel good’ resources that can also assist them with getting through the holidays. Books

  1. A Christmas I can Remember
  2. How to Catch an Elf
  3. Santa’s Super Sleigh!
  4. Christmas in the Manger
  5. The Christmas Swap
  6. Who’ll Pull Santa’s Sleigh Tonight?

Activities

  1. Holiday Notebook Journal
  2. Christmas Crossword Puzzle
  3. Christmas Activity Book for Kids (4-8)
  4. Fun Express Holiday Activity Pads (1 dozen)

‘Tis the Season! Books Make Lovely Stocking Stuffers!

Important

I’ve made it my mission to assist parents in resolving the bullying issues their children are suffering. Offering your feedback and suggestions in the comment section could facilitate meaningful dialog on this critical issue among ourselves and I encourage this. I will respond to each comment in a timely way. Should you wish to speak privately with me, please email be at CherryeVasquez@gmail.com, and I will reply promptly.

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2 thoughts on “Keep Kids Busy during the Winter Break

  1. Barbara says:

    What a fantastic list of resources! Sharing it everywhere.

    1. Dr. Cherrye says:

      Thank you very much, Barbara and thank you for sharing! I appreciate you.

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