7 Quick and Effective Tips for a Happy Holiday Family Experience

I surveyed a few of our experts for quick and easy tips for families going into this holiday weekend and here's the list:

1) While no one is watching, pick out some preferred toys from around the house and build a "two-hours of fun" kit.  Reserve these items for when they're most needed (i.e. cooking dinner, chatting with family or even a taking quick nap after eating too much).  Use a piece of luggage and pretend it's an emergency fun kit with your child!

2) Plan out a few preferred activities for family members to enjoy with your child(ren).  These structured moments can be very rewarding and fun for both the adult and the child.  Some people, especially extended family, may be nervous about playing with your child for fear of upsetting them.  This could be the small piece of encouragement needed to spark or rekindle a great relationship.

3) Refresh and cycle your toys around the house.  This idea may not be for all children but experiencing a preferred toy in a new environment can create renewed interest in an old toy.

4) Review in advance  what will happen during the day, including who will be there, what will happen, and what your child should do if they start to feel uncomfortable (ask for a break, use a sensory tool etc.).  Try to anticipate when your child may need your help and proactively offer strategies/assistance.

5) Have your child engage in their “sensory diet activities” before asking them to sit for long periods of time (dinner, car ride etc.).  Plan breaks proactively approximately every 20 minutes.  Your child might benefit from breaks in a less active part of the house.

6) If you know your child does not like the types of food that will be at the meals, make sure you bring along something that is nutritious that you know they like and will eat proactively.  Some children are overwhelmed by the aromas of a Thanksgiving meal.  If this seems to be the case, make sure you ventilate the area as much as possible.  

7) If need be, explain to others that you are working on expanding their sensory tolerances.  These are very positive ways to promote this growth.

When in doubt, be silly, have fun and enjoy the day!

Happy Thanksgiving!
~The Constellations Team

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