04 Dec 2017

10 Things to Do With Your Kids Over Winter Break

If you are harboring a house full of children over the holiday break, most of your energy may be directed at keeping them busy yet out of your hair.

If you need an arsenal of ideas to keep your kids engaged and otherwise occupied this holiday season, here’s a good list to start with:

1. Employ their enthusiasm in the kitchen.

If you have kids who like to hang out in the kitchen while you’re preparing meals, put ‘em to work. They can chop vegetables, set timers for the oven, and make beverages like tea or coffee. If they are having friends or cousins come over, buy a slew of sugar cookies and decorative frosting and embellishments. Then have them sit at the table and decorate the cookies together.

2. Create a family scrapbook.

Have your kids create a scrapbook of family memories from the past year. It’s easy! Just buy cheap photo albums, tape, and construction paper. Print out photos from 2017, then break out the markers and the scissors.

3. Embark on an outdoor adventure

Spouses can swap duties here, but have one parent take the kiddos out to the slopes for a day for skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, or tubing. The kids will get a chance to run off their energy and they can come home to hot cocoa afterwards.

4. Binge away on a cold day.

If it’s too cold to go outside, have a movie marathon inside. Consider movies that run in a series, like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, and rent them all (assuming you don’t already own them). Pop some popcorn, break out the hot chocolate, place a few extra pillows around the couch, and let the kids chill out all day in front of the TV.

5. Hold a toy purge.

Tell your kids that Santa can’t bring them new toys unless they get rid of some old ones. That way the new toys have room! Have them go through and pull out at least 5 toys that they no longer play with (or toys that are broken or have missing parts). Functional toys can be donated to Goodwill or other local charitable organizations.

6. Have a kid swap.

Do you just need a day to wrap presents in peace or get some work done? Ask a trusted neighbor or friend with kids of compatible ages if they can watch your kids for a day, and that you’ll return the favor. Sure, you’ll end up with a houseful of children at some point, but you’ll also get that one day to yourself!

7. Get crafty.

If it’s your day to host a bevy of kids under your roof, keep them occupied with DIY holiday crafts. You can also get them outside to create a snow mosaic.

8. Make snow ice cream.

If you get a fresh snowfall one night, have the kids gather up fresh snow to make delicious snow ice cream.

9. Write thank you notes.

After the excitement of the big holiday has wound down, put out a stack of notecards and envelopes on a table with colorful pens and stickers. Have your kids write thank you notes for every gift received and help them address and stamp each envelope. Let them know as soon as they’re done they’ll get rewarded with a treat!

10. Get to know grandma/grandpa.

Have your kids interview their older relatives to record their life story. Ask them about their childhood, school, how they met, and any lessons in life they’ve learned. Also ask them to retell funny family stories and record them on smartphone video if possible.

Additional tip: On the days you’re not feeling so creative, you can always keep your kids occupied at the Rec Center here at Reunion. And remember to check our events calendar for fun family activities!

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