It’s easy for parents to get caught up in it all and forget that the holiday season is overflowing with authentic opportunities to help children develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially.The season is filled with chances for parents to help their children with physical development.
Fine motor skills are easily cultivated by allowing children to help with wrapping gifts and decorating cookies. Fine motor skill development is especially crucial for younger children who are just developing those abilities. Don’t worry if the gift is not perfectly wrapped. The experience is worth a few loose ends and a bit of wasted tape.
Many of the bigger holiday projects are good for older children to help with. Strength and balance can be improved when they assist with things such as putting up a tree or outdoor decorations and lights or carrying a stack of gifts.
There are also occasions to help children develop their intellectual skills during the season.
Reading holiday stories with younger children is a great way to work on language and reading skills. They can also benefit from going grocery shopping by helping pick out items at the store and reading price tags.
For older children, it’s beneficial for them to assist with making food and baked goodies so they can learn how to measure and add in the correct amounts of ingredients. It’s also good for them to begin learning more deeply about family traditions and culture.
Since time with family and friends is such an integral part of the holiday season, emotional development can be fostered easily, and empathy is a great place to start.
Children tend to get so caught up in anticipation of parties and gifts this time of year that they often don’t think of how the holidays may affect others. Taking time to talk to them about giving will initiate more emotional intelligence.
Having younger children help choose a toy to donate to an organization for another child is a great starting place. For older children, donating items and helping at a local food bank will help them begin tapping into a deeper part of their emotional development.
And while there are chances for different types of development everywhere during the holidays, children have the most opportunities to develop socially. Events are abounding, and it’s an excellent time for children to work on communication and social skills.
Younger children often have parties to attend with games and fun activities. Helping them work on sharing with others, taking turns, and using good manners at these events will foster positive social skills. For older children, taking part in conversations with different people, as well as being a “host” for an event, will help them work on more mature social skills.
With the freedom and overabundance of events of the holiday season, fostering children’s developmental needs can be overwhelming. However, utilizing the opportunities at hand can make it easier. Taking time to make this a priority will have lasting benefits for everyone.
To learn more about the powerful Skillz childhood development program that uses martial arts as the vehicle for growth, or to get your child started at our Patchogue location, click the button below:
4GK MARTIAL ARTS
380 East Main St
Patchogue, NY 11772
Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide.
Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology. She has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.