How to Include Your Kids in Holiday Preparation

Holiday preparation and planning can often cause many families, especially parents, unnecessary amounts of stress. Between gift shopping, cleaning, and the many get togethers, we all tend to feel as if we are spread too thin around this time of year. Surrounding ourselves with family and loved ones is the best way to combat these feelings.

Christmas is such a magical time for our children, so it’s important to make an extra effort every year to include them in holiday preparation. In addition to spreading holiday cheer through presents, increase quality time with your children! Including them in holiday tasks is a great place to start. Keep reading for easy and effortless ways to encourage engagement with holiday preparation.

Create your own decorations.

diy christmas ornament

A huge part of holiday preparation is decorating your home. It’s also one of the most fun things to do as a family! There are many different ways you can go about creating your own holiday decorations. Here are four fun and simple ideas:

1. Entryway Decor

For starters, you can focus on your entryway. Constructing some Christmas decorations for your door is not only kid-friendly, but a perfect way to showcase your kid’s crafts. 

2. Wreath Decorating

Another easy option is to take a traditional wreath and transform it into something your whole family can be proud of. Each family member can create their own paper ornament, bow, snowflake, etc. to add to the wreath.

3. Paper Plate Crafts

If you’d rather stay inside, try making some paper plate reindeers that you can hang throughout your home. You’ll need simple craft supplies that are likely already in your home: paper, paper plates, safety scissors, paint or markers, glue, etc.

4. DIY Ornaments

Designing themed ornaments is a crafty way to personalize your tree. Filling clear plastic ornaments with anything and everything is a very trendy activity with a beautiful result!

Place an emphasis on tidying up.

child cleaning up for holiday preparation

While toddlers can’t help very much with deep cleaning around your home, they can help with small cleaning tasks like washing dishes, dusting and picking up after themselves! Instill a habit within their routine that after they finish playing with their toys, they will immediately put them back to where they are usually stored.

However, any parents know, this is anything but an easy thing to instill. Once kids are finished with one toy, they are usually on to the next activity  instantly. Practicing and teaching tidying up at a young age will help make cleaning up a habit! This will make it extremely easy when guests stop over throughout the season by significantly reducing last minute clean up time. 

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Bake together to accomplish holiday preparation tasks.

making cookies for holiday preparation

For parents with children ages two and older, baking is a great aspect of holiday preparation to connect with your children. This can also be a time consuming task around the holidays. For those two reasons, it provides a great way to get your children involved in the planning.

There are a lot of recipes out there that are simple enough to be able to use the assistance of your little ones! You may of heard the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen,” however, this will not be the case when you have your family surrounding you. Schedule a Sunday afternoon to bake cookies, or prepare your pies for the upcoming festivities. Children will appreciate the end product much more when they are included throughout the process!

Limit screen time.

child playing on phone

This is huge! Limiting screen time will increase the opportunity to bond with your children. It also gives you a chance to work together while preparing for the holidays. Kids will instantly become more involved in holiday preparation when they are able to focus on the task at hand. If they are constantly distracted by video games and TV shows, they will most likely choose not to join you. There are a lot of positives to using technology, as it can provide chances to learn outside of a school setting and many apps tend to promote healthy lifestyles. However, at the same time, too much screen time can lead to less sleep and kids will potentially miss out on some lasting Christmas memories. 

Incorporate a movie night.

child watching movie

Not everything has to necessarily put a dent in your holiday preparation to-do list. Sometimes just by simply spending time together and taking a step back from all of the checklists can put you in a better mindset to accomplish more the following day.

Put a holiday themed movie on one night a week. This is an easy way to get your family geared up for Christmas day. It’s also a great way to start a tradition! Each week you can set aside some time to gather the family on the couch with a classic Christmas flick. Take these couple of hours to share your memories from growing up and choose a few of your all time favorite holiday movies. Trust me, nights like these are what the kids will remember as the grow up! 

Make time for family.

family reading books together

Modern, everyday life can often get too busy to properly enjoy quality family time that we often long for. Between our jobs and keeping our homes in check, while also maintaining effective sleep schedules, family time can get away from us.

With lots of days off, the holidays provide the perfect excuse to spend as much time together as possible! Let your children know they are the most important things in your life during the holidays—not holiday preparation!

Try to relax and have fun. Remember that table settings, christmas trees, and decorations don’t have to be Martha Stewart worthy! It may seem that your holiday preparation can get in the way of your family-time, however, it actually just creates more opportunities!


  1. Sara Fox

    December 31, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Limiting screen seems to be a hard task sometimes. Even our toddler seems very attached to “devices” and we limit her exposure as much as possible. We just try to get her outside so she doesn’t think about it. But, during the winter months it can be a tough balance! I think we will add a movie night to our calendar soon!

  2. Whitney

    December 31, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Christmas has been so magical with our 2 year old this year! She has loved absolutely everything about it – most importantly the Christmas lights and our tree! One of her favorite things has also been the felt Christmas tree we hang on our refrigerator and while I’m making dinner she can decorate it over and over with the Velcro ornaments!

  3. Crystal Steinberg

    December 31, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    DIY Ornaments! I never considered allowing my little man to choose things to include in a clear ornament! I am totally incorporating this into our traditions for next year❤️

  4. Alaina

    December 18, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Aw, I love these ideas! This is our babe’s 2nd Christmas so she’s at a perfect age to start understanding some family traditions.

  5. Cat George

    December 16, 2019 at 9:47 am

    We love our having our kids “help” us wrap! We also have been doing a nightly advent calendar that has really helped them (I think) grasp when Christmas is. 25 days is a long time for a kid!

  6. Lori

    December 11, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    We love including the kids in the kitchen and decorating of the house – even at young ages they can enjoy the time spent and learn so much! Last night we painted ornaments and we can’t wait to finish decorating them.

    1. Meaghan Barrera

      December 18, 2019 at 11:03 am

      I like having my oldest pick out gifts for others. It takes the focus off what he’s going to get and on giving back too.

  7. Jennifer Clark

    December 7, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Perfect timing! We have already made lots of paper snowflakes but we were wanting to make a few more things. I love the reindeer idea! Definitely going to check out all of this stuff.

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