Toddlers and the Holidays: Mommy, Why are you so grouchy?

by Blythe Lipman
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xmasbooksIf you’re a mom or dad, you know how hectic it can get around the holidays. You wish there were more hours in a day, your mood is less than jovial and your toddler can feel it. But you don’t want him to get lost in the shuffle; he just wants to be a part of the planning, baking and all the wonderful festivities. Make time for the two of you. Not only is it fun, but a great way to calm down and enjoy the moment.

Here are some fun and easy holiday activities and recipes for you and your toddler to do together:

  • Before the holiday begins, go to the library and pick up a few age appropriate holiday books and spend time reading with your child.
  • Play holiday music in your home or car. The tunes are catchy and toddlers love to sing along.
  • Buy him a holiday activity book. Put on holiday music and ask him to make some special pictures. Then decorate your home with his beautiful pictures!

Purchase some holiday cookie cutters. Buy a package or two of refrigerated sugar cookie dough, sprinkles, sugar decorations, M&Ms, etc. Preheat your oven according to the directions. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spread some wax paper on the table. Press the cookie dough into a ½ inch thick circle. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and let your toddler mix the dough with his hands. Show him how to cut out the cookies and decorate with the sprinkles, M&Ms, raisins or whatever you desire.  Bake as directed.

Make some hot chocolate and enjoy!

-If you double the recipe, you can buy some pretty tins and let your toddler arrange the cookies in the tins. What a great gift and a special treat to share with all!


1 box of instant pudding (any flavor desired)
2 cups milk
Animal crackers, circus animal cookies, bear shaped cookies
Clear plastic disposable cups

Prepare the pudding as directed on the package letting your toddler pour the milk and mix.  You can also add a ¼ teaspoon of food coloring for a holiday theme. When thick, let her ladle it into the plastic cups. Decorate the top with the animal cookies, standing them up to look like a carousel. Read a book about the circus as you munch away!

graham-cracker-gingerbread-houseMINI HOLIDAY HOUSE

2 graham cracker squares
 1 can of icing (any flavor desired) Edible decorations: raisins, pretzel sticks, M&M’s, gummy bears, etc.

Take one graham square and frost with a medium layer of icing (this will be the glue as well as the paint). 
Take the other graham square and break it in half vertically. Put a small amount of icing on the tops and bottoms of each half and lay on top of the house diagonally, with the tops touching, to form the roof (like a half triangle).
 Decorate the house by gently sticking the edible decorations to the icing.

Spending quality time with your little ones, telling stories, sharing special foods, creating memories and new traditions are the greatest gifts of all!


Blythe Lipman is the president of Baby Instructions. She is passionate about babies, toddlers and their parents. After working in the field for over thirty years, she wrote her third award-winning book, HELP! MY BABY CAME WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS. You can hear Blythe's weekly radio show on Wednesdays, 11am EST @ You can contact Blythe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Become her Fan on Facebook and Twitter

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