Parents decorate their homes in an effort to promote the holiday spirit. But, some of those decorations can be expensive and sometimes even irreplaceable. To a preschool child, there’s nothing more exciting than tons of lights and pretty colors for them to play with. So, how do parents keep small children from playing with holiday decorations? Tell them a story.
When my son was very young, I could not keep him away from the Christmas lights. Of course, part of our Christmas tradition is to lay under the tree and look at the lights. While I enjoyed doing this with him, I also realized that is just made him want to play with the lights and decorations even more. That’s when I came up with the Tinsel Fairies.
I carefully explained to my small son that Tinsel Fairies lived in Christmas lights and that they were very shy. When the lights were on, they were busy making tinsel for the tree. When the lights were off, the Tinsel Fairies were sleeping and not to be disturbed. I explained that is the decorations or lights were messed with while the fairies were working, they would get scared and fly away, leaving our tree fairieless and without tinsel.
Telling stories like this to a preschool child is something to warm the heart. His eyes got huge and he virtually tiptoed around the Christmas lights and decorations right up until Christmas morning. If you choose to use this particular story, just don’t forget to buy the tinsel to put on the tree on Christmas Eve. Otherwise, your preschooler will end up thinking they somehow scared the fairies off.
The holidays are a great time to get creative with stories like this. It only takes a small spark of imagination to get a preschool child interested. With just a few words, you can not only protect your decorations, but you can spark an entire world of details for their imaginations to explore. Use some of the ideas below to personalize a story for your preschool child and protect your decorations over the holiday season.
Protect your candles. Of course you can tell your preschool child the truth about how candles can burn them, but where’s the fun in that? Why not create a “fire fairy” or “elf” or “brownie” that watches over children and fires. The (insert character here) won’t let the candles stay lit if they think that children are in danger.
Teach preschoolers about the Christmas tree bit by bit. Though the Christmas tree is representative of everlasting life, preschool children may be a bit young for this concept. However, you can explain to them how special evergreens are in that they stay green all year round. The Christmas season is their one chance to “dress up” and we don’t want to mess that up for them now do we?
Keep an eye on those figurines. Many people place small figurines around the house where they might be in reach of young fingers that like to go exploring. The problem is, those figurines might get broke or lost. Preschoolers are less likely to play with those figurines if they think of them as small magical people who need to be left where they are so that when they “wake up” they aren’t lost and afraid.
Use your imagination to put a bit of magic in the holiday season for your child. Not only do you protect your decorations, but you might also be starting a new holiday tradition that your child might use with his or her own children when they grow up. I can’t wait to see my son tell my grandchildren about the Tinsel Fairies!