The winter break and holiday season is around the corner! With the transition from school to home, some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may find this change in routine difficult. It’s important to explain the changes as early as possible to help prepare your child for a new routine.
How to support a smooth transition into the winter break
A social script is a great tool that you can use to help your child understand upcoming changes. These are short, individualized stories designed to describe specific situations. Positively Autism shared a great example of a Christmas social script that you can download for free and individualize for your child. Check it out here. If you want to learn more about social scripts and how to create one for your child, check out our new Kinark Kreates video on social scripts.
Free activities and events during the winter break
There are many ways to keep your child and family busy during the break. If you’re in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), here are some free events that can offer your family a fun experience.
- Toronto: The Distillery Winter Village (until December 31, 2022) – Stroll the cobblestone streets of the Distillery Winter Village under starlit canopies, take photos by the 50-foot tall Christmas tree in Trinity Square and indulge in some of the city’s most delicious food.
- Simcoe County: Friday Harbor Christmas Market (until December 23, 2022) – Experience a European-style market featuring a 40-foot tree, twinkling lights, and chalet cabins offering festive treats and holiday gifts. Sing along with carolers, cozy up in the warming lounges, and take pictures with Santa and his elves!
- Durham Region: Holiday Horse Drawn Carriage Rides (until December 24, 2022) – Enjoy a cozy horse-drawn carriage ride around historic Downtown Port Perry this holiday season. While in Port Perry take in lunch at one of our many cafes or farm-to-table restaurants or visit the shops and check off everyone on your list!
- York Region: Niemi Family Farm Christmas Market (until December 22, 2022) – Meet Santa in his workshop, shop from the vendors at the market, and take the Polar Express around the farm to meet the different animals!
Paid activities and events during the winter break
In addition to free events around the GTA, there are several paid events that you can bring your family to during the holiday season. Click on the hyperlinks below to read more about each event on their website.
- Holiday Night of Lights in Vaughan (until January 7, 2023)
- Winter Carnival in Markham (until January 8, 2023)
- Journey Into Enchantments’ Drive-thru Christmas Lights in Richmond Hill (until January 7, 2023)
- Holiday Magic at the Black Creek Pioneer Village (until December 18, 2022)
- Winterfest at Canada’s Wonderland (until December 31, 2022)
- Wild Winter Festival of Lights in Bowmanville (until December 23, 2022)
- York-Durham Heritage Railway Christmas Train Rides in Uxbridge (until December 23, 2022)
- Mystical Lights Drive Thru in Oro-Medonte (until December 31, 2022)
At-home activities to do during the winter break
Do you prefer to stay home with your family during the winter break? Here are some fun activity ideas you can try at home:
- Build a snowman with the freshly fallen snow
- Get an elf on the shelf and take turns hiding it around your house
- Create your own holiday or winter scavenger hunt
- Have a sleepover by the Christmas tree
- Create a movie bucket list that your family can watch together
- Make a hot chocolate buffet and create a delicious treat
Those are just a few of the many activities you can do at home with your family over the winter break!
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