5 Tips To Use Seasonal Celebrations to Love on Your Kids
Hey friends! Natasha here :) Today I asked my friend Ashley to come on and share how she uses the seasons to love on her kids well. I *love* using seasonal rhythms to love on others, especially my kids, and have learned so much from Ashley about the value of celebrating well and making special moments. I hope you love her tips and creative ideas as much as I do!
If there was one lesson that has marked the last 2 years it’s been this: celebration matters. What would happen in our hearts if celebration wasn’t just a response reserved for holidays, birthdays, or special achievements? What if it became our natural response to the normal things in our day to day. What if our lives declared that this day, this breath, these little moments, seasons and places that we have been called to were reason for celebration.
Let me be the first to say that this isn’t always my natural response. In fact, choosing to celebrate is so opposite of what I want to do most days. BUT, the more that I choose to celebrate, the more I’m realizing the incredible power of using celebration to breathe life into the ordinary days of motherhood and most importantly how it gives me a unique opportunity to show love to my kids in a tangible way. That’s why today I’m so excited to share with you these 5 Tips To Use Seasonal Celebrations to Love on Your Kids.
Tip 1: Look for Beauty in the Everyday
One of my favorite parts of the changing seasons is the unique beauty that each one brings. I love the blooming flowers in spring, sprinkler + popsicle filled days of summer, the changing leaves of fall, and the brisk temperatures of winter. Each season has countless things to celebrate if we will only open our eyes and notice. In choosing to see the beauty of everyday and declare it with our mouths, we are showing our kids how to fully appreciate the wonder and beauty of the world around them. Plus we can then use these things as a springboard for celebration in our ordinary days.
Tip 2: Make a Seasonal Family Activity List
Each season is full of amazing things to do together as a family. Whether it’s decorating Christmas cookies in the winter, apple picking in the fall, planting a garden in the spring, or having a water balloon fight in the summer there’s so many great ways to celebrate and connect with your family all year long. At the beginning of each season sit down with your family to create a list of things you want to do together and hang it up in a place you’ll see it often. That way you’ll have a seasonal idea bank when your family has some margin to do something fun, but can’t seem to remember all the things you wanted to do together.
Tip 3: Find Ways to Speak to Your Child’s Individual Love Language
“Children express and receive love in different ways — some through acts of service; others through affirming words; still others through gifts, quality time or physical touch. Each of these expressions of love represents a different language.” - Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages of Children
It’s important to realize that each child is unique and the way that they receive love might be different than you receive love. Figuring out what fires up your child’s heart is so important, because then you can fill up their love tank by speaking their love language and doing the things that will really make them feel loved. One child might really enjoy spending quality time together on a cold snowy day playing with trains by the fireplace while another may want to snuggle up on the couch with you and read a book.
When we understand what really communicates love to our kids we can start thinking of really effective ways to show that throughout the year. I also love this reminder from Chapman that, “Though children receive love best from one language, there's no doubt they benefit from all expressions of unconditional love.
Tip 4: Create a Simple Seasonal Celebration Box
Growing up, one of my fondest memories was a special drawer in my parents dining hutch that held hundreds of mismatched napkins, plates, and party goodies. Anytime my mom would host a get together and would purchase seasonal paper party goods she would put the leftovers in this drawer which resulted in a treasure chest of party goodness that was perfect for a just because celebration. As a child it was SO magical, because you never knew when she was going to pull out a fun napkin or serve lunch on a special plate. Now that I’m a mama, one of my favorite things to do each season is pick up a pack of napkins or special plates and add them to my celebration box that I keep on the top shelf in our pantry. I usually bring something out from this box on a very ordinary day, but it always seems to bring a smile to my girls faces. It’s not a large as my mom's magical drawer, but it’s become just as special.
Tip 5: Celebrate the Little Things
It’s so easy to forget the power of the little things. So often I think I need to plan a big elaborate craft, party, or seasonal specific activity, but what I am reminded of time and time again is that our kids really just want time with us. Undistracted, fully present us. Often it’s the most random and unplanned things that lead to the best memories. Maybe celebrating the little things looks like having a just because popsicle party on your front porch, building a beloved blanket fort, or going on a nature hunt in your neighborhood to find little things to celebrate. It could also look like having a living room dance party, drawing with chalk outside, having hot chocolate on a cold winter day or baking up a yummy treat for an afternoon tea party with special napkins that are in your celebration box.
Celebrating life doesn’t have to be over the top or elaborate. It can be, but it most definitely doesn’t have to be. Figure out what works best for your stage of life and take note of the little things that bring your family joy and then carve out intentional time to do more of those things together.
Now it’s your turn! What tip was your favorite? If you have any other ideas for using the seasons to connect with and love on your kids I’d love for you to share in the comments below. I sincerely hope that these tips inspire you and that you feel empowered to use them to intentionally create special moments with your kids. Happy celebrating, friends!
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