Holiday Activities for Child Haven Families

thCARNS6EYChild Haven staff have a bit different approach to working with our families during the holidays.  Rather than hosting a “party” for our child clients on a single day, we create a holiday themed therapeutic session during the holiday season.  During this special session, our clients’ families (bio and/or foster parents and siblings) are asked to attend as well.  The session is designed to help the families focus on the importance and benefits of family time during the often stressful holiday season and to strengthen the family unit.

Together the therapist, child, and family, in a modestly decorated, holiday themed room make items that can be taken home to help decorate for the holidays (Christmas or Hanukah as appropriate). They play games, eat health holiday style snacks and share heart-warming stories. The therapist discusses the benefits of creating special memories and focusing on activities that help form strong attachments and bonds within the family.  They also discuss stressors often triggered by the holidays and help develop coping models for the adults and children to use.


Each family leaves with a basket (or box) filled with activities that they are encouraged to partake in at home. The therapist pre-packages the family gift so they it can be tailored to meet the developmental ages of the children in the household.  Baskets and activities are brought to families with limited transportation or who require services in their home or other alternative locations.


To nurture and strengthen family relationships by helping families in crisis focus on the importance of spending time together.


Approximately 150 children from 130 families will be treated during the month of December 2013. It is estimated that 53% will be boys, 47% girls, 110 ages Birth – 5; 30 age 6 – 10 and 10 age 11 – 17.

Desired Outcomes

  •             Create lifelong positive memories
  •             Strengthen child/parent attachment
  •             Reduce the stress of the holidays
  •             Relieve some economic concerns


We Need Your Help

The following donations are need so that Child Haven can ensure that each child and their family have a special Holiday  Memory.

Items Requested for Donation

Toys/Activities for Families with Children ages 3-17

  • Family Board Games
  • Books
  • Puzzles (25 pieces or less)
  • Checkers/Chess Games/ Cards Games
  • Building Blocks
  • Arts and Craft Materials
  • Crayons/Markers/Stencils
  • Playdough & Molds
  • Children’s Scissors
  • Construction Paper
  • Cars/Dolls
  • Logos/Duplos
  • Mr & Mrs Potato Head
  • Flashlights
  • Beading Kits


Toys/Activities for Families with Infants or Young Toddlers

  • Sensory or Textured Balls
  • Board Books
  • Photo Albums (child friendly)
  • Mirrors (child friendly)


Materials for Family Projects

  • Soup in a Jar
  • Pie in a Jar
  • Cookie Mix
  • Books or Calendars that provide “thoughts or inspirations for the day”



  • Cash Donations or Gift Cards to WalMart or grocery or novelty item stores will allow staff to purchase items to complete the boxes.


Items for Therapy Session

  • Craft supplies for making Christmas and Hanukah decorations (construction paper, glue sticks. Pipe cleaners, pony beads, etc)
  • Apple Cider
  • Health Holiday Snacks (Apples with caramel, wraps, cheese, crackers, grapes, etc.)

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