It’s that time of year to gear up for many things. One of the main things on my mind is to decide what kinds of fun activities we are going to do during the holiday breaks. I want to do fun and engaging things with my kids, so the wheels start turning, and eventually, the ideas come, and this time we came up with holiday activity stations.
Holiday Activity Stations
I was driving in the car the other day having a conversation with one of my twins. My husband and I try to take one of the three older girls with us when we run errands, so we can have some one-on-one time. Two birds with one stone, right. We get our errands done and also get to spend quality alone time with one child at a time.
While in the car, I of course always try to start up conversations just to find out how they are feeling, what they’re thinking or talk about anything on their mind (sounds like a mini therapy session, and sometimes it is!). It is a good time to reconnect and just talk with no one else interrupting. Interruptions are frequent in a family of 6. Anyway, I was trying to find out a fun, big activity we could do over the holidays that we wouldn’t normally do. I started asking probing questions to get the kind of answers I was looking for without putting ideas into her head.
She came up with stations.
Have You Heard of Stations?
At first, I didn’t know what she was talking about. Is that a place? “Have we been there before,” I thought? Then it dawned on me. She wanted to do stations! You might be wondering, what does that mean? Well, you’ve probably done it several times and in school, we often call them rotations. There’s a variety of activities, and you get to rotate through them to get a chance to do each one. She reminded me of how we do this at church every year when all of the members get together to celebrate advent and decorate the church.
We’ve also done our own form of rotations at home several times. When the girls were younger, their babysitter’s daughter used to set up play stations for fun. The girls have made up their own stations on weekends or summer days for each other or their little sister. I’ve been treated to a rotation of salon stations by the girls. I got my nails done, my hair done, and a massage. It was very cute.
So, while I was thinking of some grand thing to do with the family, she was thinking creatively and imagining the fun we could have together right here in our home. Now, I’ll probably still plan something big, just because it is the holidays and it’s fun to do a variety of things. However, I thought her idea was so thoughtful and sweet. So we will be doing stations.
It’s Thanksgiving week, and everyone is chomping at the bit to get their Christmas on! I won’t allow myself to do it until Thanksgiving has passed. Sometimes I won’t allow myself to start decorating until the calendar officially says December 1st, but because we will be doing our activity stations just a few days before December begins, I think we’ll start the holiday cheer with Christmas stations. Once December hits, there will be no slowing down until after Christmas.
Keep in mind, to run your holiday stations, it may require you to go out and grab a few things depending on the activities you choose to do. Look around in your home, and see what you have on hand first. Remember, it doesn’t necessarily have to be holiday related. You can do whatever you want!
How To Run Stations
Stations can be fun with big groups of people, but since I’m writing this during a global pandemic, I’ll talk about it in terms of small gatherings, or your household. There are a couple of ways I see going about this.
#1 Everyone goes through each station together
One way that you could run your stations is to have each family member set up their own station, and then the whole family goes through each station together. Of course, younger ones might need your help setting up. When the family gets to your station, you explain what to do. Then that person can choose to join in the fun after explaining the activity, or they can help family members as they complete the activity. This is the way I prefer to do stations when it is only our family.
#2 One person goes through the stations at a time
This way might be more difficult to manage if you have little ones. When one person is done with all of the stations, then the next person would go through. You may want to have shorter activities if you do it this way, otherwise, others may get bored waiting their turn.
#3 Split into groups
If your family is large enough, you may decide to split into groups and work together in teams. If you have a family of 4, then you may decide to have two stations managed by two family members. They come up with their activity and you can take turns with each team’s station. If you have little ones, then each adult can pair up with a child to help come up with an activity and facilitate it.
All but one of my family members are capable of coming up with their own activity. Although my toddler isn’t quite ready to come up with her own activity, there are still ways to involve her and let her be in charge (at 3 years old, she is all about being in charge). Maybe she can lead us in a song she loves? She loves to sing. Or, she can do a coloring activity. We may decorate the tree at her station. Get creative! It’s a chance for each person to involve everyone in something they like to do or think would be fun.
Station Activity Ideas
I have no idea what my family will come up with, but here are some of the ideas we’ve done in the past or have talked about.
- Cookie decorating
- Ornament making
- Decorating the house
- Easy games
- Painting with canvas
- Gift wrapping (never too early to start)
- Preparing Christmas cards to be sent
- Making donation bags for homeless shelters or children in need
- Art projects
- Making Christmas gifts for their teachers or others
Hopefully, these ideas can get you started with some fun holiday stations. It’s a different spin on activities and crafting. Do you have any fun holiday traditions or activities that you like to do with your family or children? Share them in the comments.
If you’re still looking for a way to plan and organize your holiday while giving gratitude, you can read this blog post.