Merry Christmas, everyone! We hope your day was joyous, and that you’re now unwinding for a calm and peaceful night.
Now that you’ve made it through Christmas, you may be wondering what on earth you’re going to do with your kids for the next week. They don’t go back to school until after New Year’s, and the cold weather can put a damper on all the outdoor activities you usually do in the summer.
Here are some ideas that will keep everyone occupied, so the next week doesn’t devolve into, “But he hit me first!” fights.
Build a Fort
Bust out the blankets, and drag the chairs into the living room. Building a fort has the same allure it did to us when we were kids. You can build tunnels, turrets, and even incorporate couch cushions as a drawbridge. Your collective imagination is the only limit to what you can create.
Build a Road
Have matchbox cars? Build a road they can drive on. You can either outline it with colored tape on the carpet, or set it up using strips of paper. Our favorite version of this game is drawing a road on the back of an old, white t-shirt. Then put it on, lie down, and let your kids drive their way to a great back massage for mommy.
Science can enthrall kids, and can often be done using things you already have in your kitchen cabinet. Vinegar and baking soda experiments can be performed repeatedly. You can make your own play-doh over the stove, and then have them build with it. If you put dyed ice cubes into a sealed plastic bag of cooking oil, you’ll have a beautiful, mess-free distraction. If these ideas aren’t enough, use a search engine to find some more. The internet is rich with them, and they can be both educational and your saving grace.
Set Up a Scavenger Hunt
This can be a fun way to take down your decorations towards the end of the break. Make a list of a bunch of items you need to put away. Print out one for each child. Have them find them, and depending on their age, either box them up for next year, or bring them to you. When you treat it like a game, they’re less likely to resist helping you clean up.
Create a Gallery
If you have tons of artwork from the first semester of school, have the kids hang up their pieces for display. Allow them to walk you through their work, explaining what methods they used and what the piece means to them. If you’re trying to cut down on how much art you have at home, as you work together to deconstruct the gallery, ask them to pick pieces to gift to family members. Have them label and address their masterpieces, and take them to the post office to mail. Grandmas and aunts likely don’t have as many pieces as you do, and are more likely to be able to display and love the work as it deserves.
If you’re somewhere warm, just have them play outside. If you’re somewhere cold, still have them play outside, though their adventures may have to be more abbreviated. It’s still good for everyone’s sanity to get out of the house, though, so look at other indoor venues and events for kids. Check and see what your current local Groupon deals are to save some dough on your outing.