The festive season is an indulgent time of year but that doesn’t mean you have to overdose on presents for your little ones. There are some fabulous ways to enjoy Christmas without the plastic toys and games, and they’ll help teach your child about the value of Christmas too.

I would love…for Christmas

‘For my children to appreciate Christmas more’

Buy a present for your children that can change the lives of some of the world’s poorest children and families. This is a great way to introduce your child to the idea that others elsewhere in the world won’t be able to have such a prosperous Christmas as they are.

I would love…for Christmas

‘To give my children an experience rather than more toys’

Children are often bombarded with presents from many relatives. So why not consider giving them something that you can enjoy together and look back on and share great memories? See their faces light up when they unwrap tickets (create giant tickets for fun) for, say, a West End show, the circus or a concert to see their favourite TV character.

I would love…for Christmas

‘To teach my child about caring for the environment’

Teach your child about growth, wildlife and the environment and buy them their very own tree! They can plant it themselves in your back garden, care for it by watering it and watch it develop and grow. It’s a wonderful way to teach them about nature and the importance of caring for the environment and they’ll love having their own special little project that they can show off to family and friends.

I would love…for Christmas

‘To teach my child about the importance of giving’

It’s important that your children understand that you can get great satisfaction and happiness from giving as well as receiving. Encourage them to make cards and gifts for their friends and family and help them pick out a used toy or two that they can take to the local charity shop. This will teach them about positive, responsible gift-giving and help them to explore their creativity at the same time.

I would love…for Christmas

‘To help others this Christmas’

Most local communities have regular collections for the soup kitchens that run for the homeless throughout the year. Many ask for Christmas food parcels. Why not ring your local council and find out? Or better still help to serve Christmas lunch to the homeless?

I would love…for Christmas

‘To get the kids involved with the cooking’

Getting your children involved with the cooking can be lots of fun and it’s a great way to teach them basic culinary skills from a young age. Get some soft utensils and old fashioned cake recipes and get them mixing, kneading and shaping the ingredients with their fingers. They’ll love seeing their family and friends devour the finished result and you’ll be increasing their appetite for more cooking once the festive season is over!

Kids cooking at Christmas

I would love…for Christmas

To educate the children on the importance of saving’

Create a money-saving chart for your child and for each pound they put in their piggy bank, put a mark on it to show them exactly how much they’ve saved. It can be gifts from family or little donations from you for being a good little helper! Whatever the rewards, it will help to demonstrate the importance of saving and that the true value of Christmas doesn’t depend on expensive presents.

I would love…for Christmas

‘To teach my children the true meaning of Christmas’

The festive season is a special time for family and friends but the spirit of Christmas often gets lost in the rush to buy presents, attend parties and do the cooking. To ensure your children have a good appreciation of where Christmas originates from, read them stories, create nativity scenes and show them books that explain the Christmas story.