Help for the Holidays: Family, Food, & Fun

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Halloween is already here, and signals the start to the holiday season. From trick-or-treating to a large turkey dinner, food plays a big role in how we celebrate. Even though this year will be different due to COVID-19, families of children who struggle to eat may feel overwhelmed trying to find ways for their little ones to be a part of the family holiday when meals are a challenge. Here are some ideas to help move the focus back to family time and being together.

Halloween

  • Pumpkin Carving: Make a night out of carving cool creations at home! Lay down some newspaper, crank up the music, and take your time making the perfect jack-o-lanterns! Then set them up in a place of honor out front and sit together to take in your hard work. Go for a walk and look out for other pumpkin masterpieces!
  • Mummy Contest: Toilet paper may still be closely monitored at the stores, but pick up a few packs of white streamers from the dollar store and get to work wrapping yourselves up like mummies. Take turns strutting the catwalk through your living room to show off your best mummy impressions!
  • Trick or Treasure: Forgo the candy and sweets for other goodies this year. Stock up on Halloween themed stickers, mini bottles of bubbles, bouncy balls, and glow sticks. Your little ones will be excited to pick out some of these treasures for themselves before sharing with their friends and neighbors!

Thanksgiving

  • Pin the Feather: Switch up the classic party game by letting the donkey take a rest and have Tom the Turkey stand in! Get some feathers from the dollar store or print out paper versions to tape up. Whoever can get the feather closest to the turkey’s tail wins!
  • Be Grateful: It is called THANKSgiving for a reason! Help your family pause and reflect on all the wonderful things you are grateful for in your life with this game. Take turns talking about a person; a place; a thing; a memory; a skill; and anything else you are grateful for right now. Some families like to color-code the questions and use a cup of crayons to pick colors at random to add another layer of fun.
  • Would You Rather: Play this game as you sit at the table together to keep the conversation flowing. Let everyone make up their own, or have a bowl of pre-written questions to help those feeling stuck. Would you rather be turned into a pumpkin or a scarecrow? Would you rather help cook Thanksgiving dinner or help clean up Thanksgiving dinner?

Christmas

  • Come a-Caroling: Take turns picking your favorite Christmas songs to sing together. Stay at home or share your talents with your neighbors! Either way, have fun belting out the words as loud as you can, as soft as you can, as silly as you can!
  • In Search of Santa: Make a list of all the different kinds of Christmas decorations you want to see, then go out looking around the neighborhood! Check off each item on your list, and make note of any unique decorations that caught your attention!
  • 24 Days and Counting: Advent calendars are a classic way to count down to the big day, but are often filled with some type of candy. Make your own with small Christmas themed trinkets, such as stickers, coins, or hand-written Christmas jokes.

Would your child benefit from work with one of our feeding specialists? Contact us today to schedule an evaluation or complimentary screening!

By Lindsay Hoffer, M.S., CCC-SLP

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