Although many of us might be fresh out of ideas of ways to keep our children entertained during this pandemic, brace yourselves – winter break is nearly here, and more down time is around the corner.
If we rewind the clock, surely we all remember looking forward to blocks of time off from school. So, with our own happy memories of days off from school in mind, it’s time to make our own children’s days off from school just as memorable.
Here are 10 fun things to do with the kids over winter break!
1. Play in the Snow
We all remember the excitement of the snow day phone calls or that heavy snowstorm during Christmas break that blanketed our childhood neighborhood. We just got a bunch of snow here in New Jersey so get out the boots, hats and gloves and go outside, build a snowman, have a snowball fight and try to enjoy this downtime with your kids.
2. Movie Marathon
Need a break from the snow? Try starting a movie marathon with the kids. Think different series like Star Wars, Harry Potter or to stay in Christmas mode, binge on all the popular holiday movies like Elf, Frosty The Snowman and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or the new Christmas Chronicles. When in doubt, check out all that is available on Netflix.
3. Have a Slumber Party
This one goes hand-in-hand with the movie marathon. No school, no alarm clock! Set up your sleeping bags and pillows in your TV room for the night with the kids. Get their favorite snacks and popcorn and enjoy the change of scenery. Here are some fun ideas!
4. Check Out Holiday Lights
Many of us may be bored at home (thanks, pandemic). So, pile in the car and take a neighborhood drive when it’s dark outside to check out the holiday lights in your town. Or, check out holiday light drive-throughs like this one at the PNC Bank Arts Center. Thanks to New Jersey Family magazine for these other suggestions.
5. Make Holiday Cookies
A holiday oldie, but goodie – everyone loves to make (and eat!) holiday cookies. This can be a fun, creative activity with all ages in your household and can be the start a fun, family holiday tradition.
6. Make a Holiday Goodie Bag for Neighbors
Too much baking going on? Box some of those holiday cookies up and make goodie bags with the kids and deliver to your friends and neighbors. Especially during these socially distant times when our kids’ interactions with friends are limited, a special goodie-bag delivery can really brighten up their day.
7. Go for a Hike, Bike Ride or Explore the Outdoors
Fresh air really can change your perspective and also has numerous health benefits to boot. If you find your child cranky, bored, and looking for something to do, bundle up and head outdoors for a change of scenery.
8. Clean Your House/Donate Unwanted Toys/Items
Many of us may have already done a house and room purge during the pandemic, but try to get the kids involved if they’re bored. They surely will have clothes that they’ve outgrown or toys, posters, or “stuff” they don’t want to lie around their rooms anymore. Young children can choose a few toys to donate to a local shelter, also.
9. Spend Time with Each Child One-On-One
If you are a family with multiple children, spending time one-on-one with each of your kids is so important. Spending time with each of your children away from their siblings and giving them your undivided attention has many benefits.
10. Think of Others
Over winter break you might consider using some of your free time by thinking of others. Maybe it’s writing a family letter to soldiers, purchasing a gift online for a child at your local United Way or donating to a worthy cause as a family. There are so many benefits to this and it’s a nice tradition to begin as well.
These are just some of the fun ways that parents can enjoy time with their children over the upcoming winter break. While we may be fatigued by spending more time at home during the pandemic, we can make this time in our children’s lives meaningful with these fun and simple ways.