I wrote about the fun and benefits of making your own wrapping paper with your children, so how about making Christmas cards with your children?
Children can make their own Christmas cards for their friends and families. Children can be creative. Encourage them to think about WHO they are going to send the cards to, and what they are planning to say on the cards.
When you do this exercise, it will help your child to reconnect to themselves, allows them to explore WHO actually they would like to send the cards to and what are they going to say. Allow them to explore their senses, identify their feelings and how to put thoughts into words or images. A personal message comes from the heart. And people still love to hold real cards.
If you child is too young to write, cut and paste pictures onto new cardboard – using recycled Christmas wrappers, photos or printouts from the computer. Here is some really good free software that I use to create most of my images http://www.picmonkey.com/.
In addition, by writing, colouring, cutting and pasting the images on to the card, your child is actually developing his or her fine motor skills as well.
The benefit of putting your own words and thoughts on the cards
When we send images or quotes via e-mail to friends and relatives; we don’t really think much about the content or what to say, as the “quote” would have possibly said everything. However, when you personally write to an individual, it is totally a different sentiment altogether.
You need to reconnect to yourself and explore your feelings and your relationship with that person. What do you have in common with them? How well do you really know that person? How does this person makes you feel?
By putting your thoughts and feelings into the card, it allows you to explore your feelings on a deeper level and your relationship with that person, i.e. what this person means to you and how you would like the relationship to be in the future…
It really opens up your thoughts and feelings, and enables you to explore and reconnect to WHO you are and WHAT you want in life.
How does this impact on your children?
When your child starts writing to his or her friends and relatives, it gives them the opportunity to explore their own feelings and thoughts in their own way. They can think about what they would like to achieve from the relationships.
For example, when your child writes to her grandmother, “Dear Grandma, wishing you a blessed and happy Christmas. Wish you were here to share the occasion with us. I miss you heaps!” … this message is telling you that your child is missing her grandmother and would have loved to have her around more often, especially during a special time like Christmas.
You can use this opportunity to explore the feelings, such as giving her the opportunity to tell you how she would like to spend more time with her grandma? Invite her to the house more often? Visit her during school holidays? Talk to grandma more often over the phone/Skype? Or write to her more often?
From a simple note, you can not only have a better understanding of what your children are thinking and experiencing at the moment, but you can use this opportunity to explore more avenues to create a deeper relationships with them.
This does not just apply to the Christmas season; use this example for all occasions, like birthdays, friendship day or for no apparent reason.
Get your kids into writing, exploring and expressing their thoughts and feelings through greeting cards. It is never too early to guide them.
Have a fantastic day with your family.