The holidays can be difficult for many foster children, but they can also be a great opportunity for foster parents to bond with their foster child and create joyful, life-long memories. If your foster child celebrates Christmas, help them get into the holiday spirit with these six festive Christmas activities for foster families.
Making handmade ornaments together is a fun and creative activity that helps foster children feel at home. Consider following an easy salt dough recipe that includes flour, salt and warm water, so that your foster child can create their own handprint ornaments to hang on the tree. Children can also use cookie cutters to cut out holiday shapes, such as stars and snowmen. Once baked and cooled, decorate your salt dough ornaments with kid-friendly acrylic paint.
Deck The Halls
Once you and your foster children have created handmade ornaments together, show them how to hang them on the Christmas tree. Inviting them to hang their own creations will help them to feel included in the family tradition. Invite them to enjoy the process of trimming the tree and decorating around the house.
Keep your foster child warm this holiday season with new pajamas. Consider a fun flannel print with characters your foster child enjoys. They will love wearing their new PJs on Christmas Eve. You can also consider getting matching PJ sets with your foster child, for an adorable family photo on Christmas morning.
Consider inviting neighbors to join in on a caroling journey throughout your neighborhood. Gathering some friends to visit a nursing home is another nice idea. Choosing to spread the joy of the holidays at Christmastime is contagious — through warming the hearts of others, you will find your own hearts warmed, as well.
Whether you purchase a kit or decide to create a gingerbread house from scratch, the experience can be a fun bonding experience this holiday season. Foster parents can help set up the house by using frosting as “glue” to keep pieces together. Invite your foster child to pick out candy of their choice to decorate the gingerbread house with. While they may need help with the initial structure, allow children the freedom to show their own creativity when decorating.
Holiday Movie Marathon
One of the best ways to celebrate the season is by watching family holiday movies. Depending on your streaming service, you may have access to more Christmas movies than you could imagine! Don’t have any streaming services? Check your local television guide for when holiday movies will air, or stop by your library or local Redbox to see what is available.
Other fun activities to enjoy with your foster child include baking cookies to leave out for Santa or reading classic holiday stories together, such as “The Night Before Christmas.” While there are many ways to spend the holidays together, your foster child will walk away with more than you realize. Foster parenting at Christmas does not have to be difficult; by taking the time to celebrate together, you will create memories that will last for a lifetime.
Originally posted on the Camelot Care Centers blog, 2019.