Our guide to Christmas traditions and holiday fun
The Christmas season brings traditions – letters to Santa, Christmas lists, Christmas cards and seasonal books.
These may seem simple tasks, but to a dyslexic child, they could prove a challenge, adding pressure. As shared in our blog, ‘What is dyslexia?’, dyslexia is a learning disability that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling, and it’s seen in 10% of the population, in both children and adults.
At Dyslexia First, we enjoy sharing alternate ways that you can help your child communicate, easing the reliance on reading and writing.
After all, everyone is unique and learns differently.
Making Christmas Tasks Enjoyable for Dyslexic Children
Finding an alternative to writing can help at Christmas. Children with dyslexia may struggle with the automatic flow of writing, making it difficult for them to express themselves clearly and easily in writing.
Use a phone or laptop to get a voice note or video message to Santa. This gives a fun way for your child to express their Christmas wishes and share their excitement for the big day.
If your child is creative, try creating a collage. Or if they’d prefer to draw or paint we have created this template for you to print and use with your child. These methods help your child to practice their motor skills such as holding a paintbrush, cutting and pasting.
Most smartphones, tablets and laptops now have speech to text software that can help to dictate information to the screen. As a bonus, this will help with spelling and grammar! For further creativity, add the list or letter to free design software (for example, Canva.com) and add images from your library or the platform to add a splash of personality.
Dyslexic Friendly Christmas Games
Simple games can also contribute to your child’s development. We’ve listed a few suggestions below, with the areas in which the game will help.
- Create a list of Christmas A-Z – consider writing the words down or drawing the items. Perhaps choose a letter or two a day, breaking it into short and simple tasks.
- Dot-to-dot and colouring books are great for motor skills. Check out these free Christmas themed dot to dot and colouring pages, all printable.
- Making homemade decorations can help to develop fine motor skills – cutting, gluing and shaping materials and also their visual skills – creating three-dimensional objects.
- Christmas word searches can be a fun way that children can learn to improve their spelling and reading skills, helping with word recognition.
- Where’s Wally can help to develop eye tracking skills, important for reading and comprehension, developing pattern recognition skills, problem solving and working memory. Many libraries stock Where’s Wally books, why not take a look?
- Christmas baking is a firm favourite, whether it’s making a Christmas cake or cookies. This simple task helps children with maths (by weighing ingredients), reading (the recipe) and creativity skills (decorating). It has the added benefit of helping to build self-esteem and providing a sense of accomplishment when they’ve baked (and enjoyed) something delicious.
Children with dyslexia can learn through a different approach that fulfils their developmental needs. This Christmas, try out some of these different styles and enjoy the smiles of your child, as they get into the holiday swing.
There are lots of free printables online that will make the holidays more fun, and keep your child learning. We’ve listed a few in the blog and hope you enjoy these. In our previous blog ‘How to use technology to give dyslexia learners a boost, we highlighted how to learn differently. By using computers, tablets and smartphones your superhero can create a letter, list or collage without the pressure of writing.
About Dyslexia First
At Dyslexia First we want to help those who are living with dyslexia to enjoy life and the opportunities it brings. We are relentlessly positive about dyslexia.
We offer first class dyslexia assessments for children and adults across the North West including Liverpool, Manchester and Merseyside, this includes assessments for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and Exam Access Arrangements.
If you would like to talk further about dyslexia and discuss assessment for children or adults, please get in touch.
Getting assessed by a qualified practitioner is crucial to getting the correct diagnosis and accessing the help and support you need for your child. Always check an assessor’s qualifications at the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee website.