top of page

8 Tips to Help Adjust to Holiday Schedules

Updated: Feb 13

With the hubbub of the holiday season upon us it’s a good time to think about how to avoid some common pitfalls that can make your holidays stressful. Here at Woodland Montessori School, we encourage parents to keep in mind that children under the age 6, and especially infants and toddlers, thrive on routine!

They are in a sensitive period for order, as Dr. Montessori noted, and when this order is disrupted, which is almost always necessary at holiday time, children can become emotional.

  • Give your children fair warning about the upcoming events-frequently. Start the week before your holiday plans giving them snippets of the plan, and each day add details. “We will be seeing your cousins also, you will probably not go to bed at your usual time.”

  • If meal time will be at a different time than your children are used to, be sure to give them some healthy snacks at their usual meal and snack time. Hunger can cause irritability, even if a child doesn’t realize they are hungry. Do not expect your child to eat the full meal if they have had snacks before.

  • Aim for a bedtime as close to the usual time as possible. Take your child’s pajamas with you when you are out late, so they can change before leaving a gathering and will be ready to go right to bed when getting home.

  • Be sure your children get fresh air and exercise. A brisk walk around the block can help you and your child feel refreshed before being expected to sit or be indoors for an extended period of time.

  • If you are preparing a big family meal, involve your child. Children can help set placemats and utensils on the table, help peel and chop vegetables, empty utensils from the dishwasher, etc.

  • If you are traveling, pack a variety of simple games, toys, books, and healthy snacks. Avoid sugary snacks and carbohydrates and go for proteins that will take longer to digest and help calm your child. Ask your child to select a few of their favorite books and compact toys.

  • Find some time each day in the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations to slow down and breathe! Even if this is only 5 minutes a day, make it a ritual, such as before bed or dinner.

  • Enjoy these special moments with your children. Don’t worry if it all does not get done. Family time and enjoying each other is what holidays are all about.

-Based on an article by Marie Conti, M.Ed., former AMS Montessori Teacher Education Director


bottom of page