Winter break is great for spending time with your family, but it’s not long before kids start getting restless with the lack of a routine. Once you’ve exhausted board games and trips to local museums and zoos, try some of these creative ideas to spend time with your kids and keep them entertained.
Put on a play or make a movie
First, let your kids create a plot to let their imaginations run wild. Letting them choose costumes turns it into a great game of dress-up as well. They can either put on a play at a holiday gathering, or film scenes on your phone to create a short movie. After, they can help you edit the movie and add music and titles.
Hot cocoa bar and movie night
The holiday season can be exhausting, making it the perfect time to end your days with a movie night. Get your kids a little more excited about the occasion with a hot cocoa bar. Pair hot cocoa mix with a variety of toppings and sweet sauces for a delicious and cozy treat.
Fort Day and/or build competition
Dig up every available blanket, grab the empty boxes leftover from the holidays and let the kids (and adults, if they care to join in) build to their heart’s content. If your kids already make them pretty often, change things up and turn it into a competition. Give awards for creativity, number of rooms, the tallest—you get the idea. To keep the fun going, you could even make each one of these categories its own event! Pro tip: kids love new spaces to build, so if they’re usually not allowed to take over a room, giving them permission could add to the fun.
Pamper yourself and your kids with an at-home spa day. Start with a bubble bath with colorful bath bombs for the kids, then make one of these DIY face masks. Make some tea or lemonade to sip on while you do manicures and pedicures.
Most of us associate s’mores with summer, but who says you can’t make them in winter? Go old school and use a fire pit if the weather allows, or do them indoors with some careful use of some Sterno. Hint: if you’re tired of traditional s’mores, buy some different candy to try. Caramellos and Peanut Butter Cups, for example, work well – but your kids might enjoy giving some other things a try.
Paint Nite or Plant Nite
Evenings where adults gather to paint a picture or plant a terrarium while sipping some wine are super popular—why wouldn’t kids enjoy something similar? Change the wine to some sparkling juice or fruit smoothies, make an example or set up a still life, give the kids supplies, and let them go to town.
Get a head start on your New Year’s resolution
Even if it’s not quite the New Year, it’s never a bad idea to get started on your New Year’s resolution. Change up cookie recipes to have healthier ingredients (check out these 67 healthy substitutions) when you bake together. Be active with your kids by playing outside or having a dance party, or volunteer your time as a family.
Go geocaching or letterboxing
Get your family out of the house and do some treasure hunting. For geocaching, you use a phone app to find GPS coordinates for a hidden object near you (usually a box with a trinket inside). With millions of objects worldwide, chances are there’s a few in your community. Letterboxing isn’t quite as widespread, but there are still plenty to find (or maybe make one for others to enjoy?). Here, the goal is to find boxes and stamp a journal using the rubber stamps found in each one. (Image courtesy of Flickr user Kevin McGee)
Try a new recipe, and let your kids help
Inspire your children to try to cook an entire meal with you and allow them to do as much as possible. Start with helping them to create the menu and finish up with them learning to set a table. Turn it into a learning experience by letting them measure ingredients and explaining some cooking processes. They’ll finish up with a sense of accomplishment and enjoy every bite.
Winter break can feel like it can drag on forever (for parents, anyway 🙂 ), but planning activities that integrate relaxation and family time will make the time off enjoyable for both you and your kids!
Written by Mary Mulcahy and Missy Kellor