The holidays season can be tough if you are on a tight budget. For families who feel the financial hardships of COVID-19 hitting their wallets this year, it can make gift giving feel like almost an impossibility. While adults are struggling with paying bills, staying on top of changing school schedules, and getting groceries the holiday season arrived. Not to worry! There are lots of activities you can do as a family that can maximize your time together and are budget friendly. Maybe play some holiday music in the background while you work with your children on these homemade activities.
- Gingerbread Houses-You can find a ready-made kit but you can also get creative and shop discount stores for graham crackers (even pop tarts), frosting, and your favorite candies. Cut the corner off a plastic sandwich bag to pipe the frosting to glue the “walls” of your house together, decorate, and enjoy!
- Salt Dough Ornaments-Using a simple 3 ingredient recipe of salt, flour, and water will help you create your own ornaments. Visit this link for directions that will have your tree looking stunning! You can use cookie cutters to create some great shapes to paint once they dry.
- Handwritten Notes– You can ask your child(ren) to create some handwritten holiday cards and notes to family, extended family, and friends. This is a great way to show others that you are thinking of them and show that you care to take the time to create a note for them.
- Video Calls-Schedule time to make conference calls with loved ones in other cities, states. It’s often time spent with loved ones that make the best memories during the holidays.
- Baked Goods-You can find easy recipes online or teach them your family recipes for homemade sugar cookies. Your kids may also enjoy making a batch of cookies to leave out for Santa!
- Photo Album- You can also put together a collection of photos and create a handmade photo album. These homemade treasures are great ways to relive old memories, maybe laugh at old hair styles and even make plans for the future once the pandemic allows for it.
- Recycle Old Cards-Do you have old holiday cards laying around with beautiful artwork on them? Glue some toothpicks or popsicle sticks together to create a frame for these images, cut a hole and thread some ribbon through and and make ornaments.
- Recipe Box-Collect some family recipes, your favorite recipes, or new recipes (handwrite or print), organize them and put them in box. You can even paint or decorate the box as part of this gift.
- Festive Bookmarks-Assemble your own bookmarks by using paper, fancy ribbon, one of those designs you saw on an old holiday card.
- Donate old toys-You can ask you child to go through their toys and find one, gently used toy to give away to someone in need this holiday season. This also teaches children about sharing and how to bring happiness to others in times of need. (*You may need to check with the donation center ahead of time to see what toys they accept.)
We want to remind you that this holiday season you can still find ways to brighten someone’s holiday. It’s also a great time to talk to your kids about giving and how giving to someone else not only benefits someone else but can feel deeply rewarding too. These activities also help develop fine and gross motor skills, communication skills as well as helping to grow their creativity and imagination. Overall, remember to spend quality time with each other and remember the holidays are not about what gifts we receive but the time spent together. It is a great time to reconnect and create a holiday with life-long, memories.