- 5 mins
Holiday Coloring and Activities
The festive season is here, along with all the holiday hustle and bustle. It can feel like such a magical time, but there is also so much pressure on both parents and children. Parents’ mental and emotional load increases, and we face an array of tough challenges during the run-up to Christmas.
Some of these challenges may include:
- The pressure to give more and do more
- More things to remember for children’s school routine
- Reduced daylight, which can negatively impact everyone’s mood
- Gift buying that might cause extra financial stress
- Keeping up with the usual household demands with the kids off from school
- Spending time with family members who are difficult to be around
These stressors can affect the whole family. Kids absorb the increased tension at home and school. Combine that with the added pressure of overscheduling, school plays and concerts, and Christmas sugar highs … and we’re very quickly looking at a bubbling melting pot of adrenalized children.
So how can I reduce stress at Christmas?
- Be realistic about what is achievable
- Keep good boundaries and say “no” when you need to
- Maintain a calm atmosphere at home with relaxing music
- Make a present-buying budget and stick to it
- Reduce time on social media to avoid Christmas comparisons
In addition to these ideas, your children will surely appreciate some slower-paced activities that help lower stress levels. One wonderful calming activity for this time of year is coloring pages for kids (and you can join in too!).
What are the benefits of coloring?
Mindfulness is simply bringing your attention to the present moment, and the enjoyment of coloring pages with some crayons or colored pencils can encourage your child to focus on the here and now. If they are having difficulty staying focused, you can ask them questions like “How does the pencil feel in your hand?” or “How does that color make you feel?” If your child is happy enough then let them just spend time with their creation without interrupting. When they want to show you their work, it’s also a great idea to show your curiosity rather than simply to say “That’s good!” For example, you might say something like “Tell me about this color you chose” or “I noticed how much you were concentrating.”
Mindfulness exercises are wonderful for adults too. A 2019 study found that coloring reduces stress and improves sleep in adults. So feel free to pick up a pencil and color alongside your child. The focus you give to creating something means you naturally let go of pressing thoughts or concerns. Unhelpful thoughts are usually about the past or the future. Being mindful of the moment can help the whole family feel more centered and calm.
Creative crafting helps your child develop their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills involve the coordination of movement of the small muscles of the hands and wrists. The muscles have to work hard during the resistive activity of coloring. Dexterity and good hand strength will help your child get dressed, write, and manipulate objects. Some other ideas to develop fine motor skills are:
- Jewelry making
- Cutting and pasting
Your child can also deepen their sense of creativity with mindful coloring. Bringing a scene to life can be such a therapeutic process. It is also a cathartic way for kids to express their feelings, bringing about a sense of self-awareness. You can help your child label their emotions when they describe their creative work. According to psychologist Antoni Martínez, we can use coloring to feel freer. He says, “We can also use it to connect with how we feel since depending on our mood we choose different colors or intensity.” Independent creative time can also be fertile ground for problem-solving. A calm mind can help new ideas come to the fore.
If your child would like to talk while they are coloring, it can also help their language development. Perhaps they would like to verbally create a story out of the characters they are drawing or coloring. You could prompt them by saying, “How might that character feel?” and “What happens next in the story?” Storytelling is such a powerful tool of communication. It can help children with their language skills, imagination, and confidence.
How to celebrate the holidays with Moshi:
Our Moshlings would love to be a part of your child’s festive coloring and storytelling journey. Here are a few of our Christmas favorites for your whole family to enjoy.
The Twelve Days of Twistmas
Are you ready for a 12-day countdown to Christmas? Buster Bumble Chops invites you to meet even the not-so-easy-to-find Moshlings. What’s so magical about this meditation is that Nodkins can drop into the dreams of other Moshlings. Kids will love this calming series—as will their parents! Start your countdown by listening in the app or on YouTube. Click here for a printable Twistmas Letter to Santa.
Leo & Tomba’s Twistmas Mountain Message
This charming story of two Moshlings coming across a Christmas celebrity is the ideal atmosphere for tired kids. Leo is getting tired from all the snow raking, which will help your little one recognize the need for sleep after an active day. Watch out for Santa’s Twistmas snow mountain message!
Sparkle and the Christmas Snowglobe
A little Moshling called Sparkle learns to appreciate the wonder of every season in this mesmerizing meditation. She starts to close her eyes but just as she’s about to drift off she hears a bell. It is Snowflake and his sleigh popping by for a ride up and away with some friendly reindeer. What a treat!
Below are links to some printable Christmas coloring pages that your kids will enjoy, featuring a number of their Moshling friends!
- Leo and Tomba’s Twistmas Mountain Message and Sparkle and the Christmas Snowglobe coloring packet
- Twistmas Character Coloring Sheets
My last bit of advice… Enjoy each other! The little pockets of joy and calm that we experience with our family are really the most precious part of this holiday season.