Winter break is an exciting time. Days off from work or school are great, and it’s also an opportunity to celebrate. Every family puts their own spin on the holidays, and traditions are what make this season of the year so special. But you may be so focused on the upcoming holiday that you forget how long winter break truly is. It’s a busy time, but there may also be days that seem to, well, drag a bit.
If you have children, keeping them occupied during winter break can be tough. But if you manage it, everyone wins. Your kids will enjoy their break, and so can you! Here are five activities that will keep your kids busy during their upcoming winter vacation.
1. Allow Kid-Friendly Electronics
It can be hard to limit a kid’s technology use, much less forbid it outright. Technology is all around us, and the right amount of it can actually be the perfect distraction for kids. The concern many parents have with technology isn’t just the amount of time kids spend on it. There are also safety issues. The last thing a parent wants is for their kid to consume inappropriate content on a device.
That makes inherently kid-friendly devices a good choice. Phones designed for kids might preclude internet access but allow kids to take photos, listen to music, and text and call friends. A two-in-one device like a kids watch phone goes one better by offering a step-counting feature. Your child can sport a stylish, weather-resistant watch that encourages them to be active at the same time.
2. Go on Day Trips and Outings
One of the best ways to bond as a family over winter break is to plan various outings. Whether you’re planning a day-long excursion or a simple lunch, your kids are sure to be entertained. Being cooped up indoors during the cold, long winter break can be boring. Planning enjoyable activities that get your children out of the house will mean a lot to them.
During the holidays, many museums offer holiday-themed exhibits and special performances. You can plan a day out that will also give your kids a shot of culture. Or if that prospect doesn’t appeal, try something more active. Ice skating, sledding, or walking through holiday light displays are all engaging ideas. It might even be fun to plan a few lunches or dinners at their favorite restaurants. Anything they’ll enjoy that also gets you out and about is perfect.
3. Hold an Arts and Crafts Day
One day during winter break, plan an entire day for arts and crafts. Buy or scavenge all of the supplies and make it a big deal — your kids will have a blast. Once you’ve acquired your supplies, you can either give your kids free rein or have a set plan. Maybe choose a theme or give them a prompt like “Make a picture of your favorite thing about winter break.”
Another idea is to hold a snowflake craft day. It’s on brand for the season, and kids will love it. There are so many different approaches you can take. You can fold and cut paper to create paper snowflakes. Or you can use various craft objects — felt, buttons, pipe cleaners, Popsicle sticks — and assemble them to create a snowflake shape. Add some glitter or paint, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful craft and a fun-filled day.
4. Do Some Family Baking
Who doesn’t love baked goods during the winter months, especially around the holidays? Many families will bake cookies or family favorite desserts for Hanukkah or Christmas. Why not include the kids in the process? Baking can be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy. Whether you’re cooking classic recipes or trying new ones from the internet, it’s always good to have extra helping hands.
Set up stations in the kitchen, such as one for measuring and pouring ingredients into the bowl. Another station can be for mixing the ingredients together. One station can be for rolling the cookie dough into balls and preparing them for baking. Depending on the amount of baking you have to do, it could be an all-day activity. But whether it takes an hour or an afternoon, it’s a fantastic way to keep kids busy.
5. Host a Movie Marathon
Sometimes, even kids who are full of energy just need to kick back and relax. Fortunately, winter break is the perfect time to do this. Temperatures are dropping, so start a fire and pour a cup of hot cocoa. Then break out all the holiday classics that every kid should watch at least once — if not once a year.
There are so many charming holiday movies for kids that you could honestly have several movie days throughout winter break. Pick a new movie to end each evening — the entire family will look forward to this chance to unwind together. Select some newer movies and some holiday standards and boom — you’ve got something planned for almost every day of break. And if the weather turns foul, you can have a movie marathon and fill the entire day with favorite films.
Instead of stressing this holiday season, plan a winter break that both you and your kids can enjoy. As a parent, you know your kid best, so choose activities that will keep them occupied and excited during the break. You don’t want boredom to mar one of the happiest times of the year!