With Thanksgiving coming up I wanted to share an easy hack that can help your kiddos be more comfortable around extended family that they haven’t met, or don’t see as often.
I came up with this when my little one was around a year old, because she would baaaawl when senior citizens would smile and talk to her in the grocery store. So with a big family gathering coming up I really didn’t want that to happen with her great-grandmother who at that point she hadn’t seen since she was 3 months old.
So I made this little album for her to look through and we talk about each person. “Look it’s Uncle Bob, we’re going to see him for Thanksgiving! When we see him we can give him a hug…or a high-five!”
Extended family gatherings can be:
– so much fun for us, but….
– also an unsteady place for our kiddos (so many new faces, in their space bubble, asking them lots of questions and giving lots of hugs- some kids love this others are not as comfortable with it)
While I want to honor my little one’s need to acclimate to a new situation, I also want to help her see these great people as family and not strangers. Looking through this simple album multiple times will help the faces in it be more familiar.
**Let them explore it, hand it to them while you’re driving somewhere, let it be a travel activity that they look through while waiting at a restaurant, and especially the day of the event where you’ll see all these people.
It looks pretty fancy huh?! Pahaha….
– 4×6 photo album (got mine at Walgreens few years back- but you’ll want one that you can throw in a bag easily)
– pictures of the family members you want to include
– glue stick
– pen or marker
I printed the pictures off from either my computer or Facebook (I cropped to make them into head-shots), cut them to size, glued them onto another piece of 4×6 paper that fit into the sleeve, wrote their names under their picture, and then put it in the album.
Y’all, this doesn’t have to be fancy or a big production, so keep it basic and simple if you want. I just use regular plain ‘ole printer paper. But you could totally send these to Shutterfly and have them printed as 4×6 photos.
My little one’s picture was first, then my husband and I, and then I worked through one side of the family and then the other side.
My Mom (Nana) is a teacher and sends me her school pictures, how cute is that? And my Dad’s (Pops) photo was one of my favorites where my little one was fascinated with his mustache.
For more extended family (think your uncles/aunts/cousins) who will be at the event you could always use group photos instead of making a ton of head-shots, just make sure the faces are big enough for your child to focus on the people rather than get distracted by something else in the photo.
This reminds me, I should update ours before our next trip….