The holidays are upon us and holiday traditions such as decorating the house and baking tasty treats provide the perfect opportunities to engage your little learners’ five senses. It is wholesome, simple, and something that will also help children cherish holidays for years to come!
Exploring the five senses can help children:
- Improve memory, communication, and listening skills
- Support brain development by building nerve connections in the brain’s pathways
- Retain more information and improve thought processes, understanding and reasoning
- Develop fine and gross motor skills
Here are some ways you can incorporate exploration of the five senses into your holiday traditions:
Touch: What are some things you typically use to decorate your house for the holiday season? Have your child help you decorate and ask them questions as you do. Is that soft or rough? Is it heavy or light? For years to come, they will remember the big and little things that you put out to usher in the holidays.
Sight: Do you have a favorite holiday movie or book that you wait for all year? Try to find a way to incorporate that into your traditions. Can you watch the movie together? Read the book aloud the night before?
Taste: When you think of holiday foods, what comes to mind? If you bake your own holiday treats, find ways your child can help. Even if they’re very tiny, they’re probably able to use a spoon to mix ingredients. Once you’ve put all the ingredients together, spend some time waiting by the oven for it to cook, then enjoying the first batch together.
Smell: Every season has a smell. Whether it be pine needles, a cold winter snow, or hot chocolate, what smells do you associate with the season? Are there activities you can you do with your child that will allow them to recognize and enjoy that same familiar smell?
Sound: Music and laughter: two things children love! Put on your favorite holiday music, and encourage your child to sing along and dance with you to the music. At a young age, they won’t be able to recite the lyrics, but you can do a funny dance together. As they grow, their love for that harmony will too.
Regardless of the holiday you are celebrating, just remember you are a SUPER parent and you already have the greatest gift… your child!