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Different salutations to explore with children for Christmas and New Year’s - Extra activities - Educatall

Different salutations to explore with children for Christmas and New Year’s

The pandemic, as you know, will have impacted many aspects of our daily life. In order for everyone to finish the year healthy, our celebrations may require minor adaptations to ensure we avoid the spread of disease among our loved ones.


Young children are now used to seeing family members wear masks. They are hand-washing experts and are well aware of the importance of coughing into their elbow.


However, grandparents and other extended family members may have difficulty refraining from kissing, hugging, and touching children during Holiday parties. After all, physical contact is an amazing way to express love.


I suggest exploring various salutations that make social distancing (or at the very least limiting physical contact) possible with the children in your group and encouraging them to use them, and even teach them to their family members. After all, who better than grandchildren, nieces, and nephews to teach grandparents, aunts, and uncles new tricks?


Different salutations:

  • Namaste: Show children how they can press their palms together at their heart, with their elbows out to the side and fingers up towards the sky and simply bend forward at the waist as they say “Namaste”.
  • Foot to foot: This salutation will put children’s balance to the test! Encourage children to stand on one leg, bend their knee, and bend backwards ever so slightly to touch one of their peers’ toes with the toes on their other foot.
  • Wink, wink: There is so much fun to be had trying to master the art of this salutation in front of a mirror. Briefly closing one eye to say “hello” is no easy task! However, those who succeed will melt their grandparents’ hearts.
  • Hug from a distance: Here, the farther children are from another person, the more they will tend to exaggerate their “air hug”. You may even see them squint and clench their teeth in an effort to squeeze the other person from afar.
  • Raise your imaginary hat: Invite children to imagine they are wearing a fancy hat, a bowler hat for example. Show them how they can pretend to raise their hat and bow to say “hello”.
  • Magic fingers: Here is my favorite salutation to warm up cold fingers in winter months. Like magicians, children wiggle their fingers towards one of their peers, as if they wanted to cast a spell on him. Of course, the only spell here is children’s irresistible charm.
  • Take a bow: Your little princes and princesses will surely adopt this salutation that is fit for a king. Show them how they can bend forward at the waist, bending one knee. Of course, they can set either of their feet behind them. Girls will enjoy pretending they are holding on to their fancy princess gown whereas boys can bend one arm on their chest and one in their back in true Prince Charming fashion.
  • Blow a kiss without blowing: This salutation requires an explanation. Children all know how to blow kisses, but during the pandemic, we have learned to not touch our face and even more, to not blow our germs around! Nonetheless, you can still teach children to blow kisses by, for example, tossing them dramatically towards others.
  • A heart in my hands: Show children how they can position their hands together to form a heart. They can press it against their chest, tapping it gently to represent a heartbeat. Now there’s a love-filled salutation!
  • Unique salutation: I encourage you to create a unique salutation with your group. You can simply combine a few of the above-mentioned gestures to say “hello”. They will especially love using this one!

Who knows, the integration of various salutations may start new trends and traditions! Instead of thinking that we must avoid physical contact, let’s focus on the many ways we can spread love and joy…not the virus!


Patricia-Ann Morrison


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