Because of where Christmas and New Years Day fall during the week, many kids have over two weeks off from school this year. While summer vacation is a great time to throw open the back door and let the kids play outside all day, winter’s cold temperatures tend to keep kids cooped up inside. Children overexcited from the holidays and extra sugar forced to stay indoors creates a chaos level that can drive any mom nuts! You’re going to need to think through how you plan to spend the next couple of weeks to save everyone’s sanity. Here are some ideas:
- Don’t plan anything for a day or two after Christmas, if possible. The kids will be eager to play with their toys. My family doesn’t place any time limits on electronics for the first few days after the holidays; we let the kids play new video games to their hearts’ content… usually after a day or two, their excitement has waned a bit, and in the meantime, it keeps them occupied and entertained. Aside from video games, get on the floor to play new board games with them and help them put together new puzzles or organize their new craft materials.
- By Thursday or Friday, they’ll start to get antsy and bored, most likely. Choose one of these days for a daytrip! While the museums will likely be packed to the gills with kids, your zoos might not be, particularly if it’s cold in your area. Bundle up and go visit the lions, tigers and bears while the crowds are relatively low. This is a great way for kids to expend some energy, too, so they’re likely to return home ready to sleep well.
- Let them get a little bit messy. Think of some type of art or craft project that you wouldn’t normally allow, put down some dropcloths, and plan on being involved. My kids used to love painting the sliding glass doors. Let them use tempera paints to make a beautiful masterpiece; just be sure to watch carefully that they don’t step in any paint and track it across the carpet. (I know that from experience!) When the time comes to wash it off, a sponge with soapy water will get the bulk of the paint off, then you can use glass cleaner to take the rest off.
- Go sledding. Or ice skating or skiing or snowman-building. If there’s snow on the ground, take full advantage! If you live in a warmer climate, like I do, hit the beach or playground for some running-around fun!
- Catch a game. College sports teams will still be playing, and they’re usually inexpensive. If you have a college in the vicinity, make a day out of visiting the campus for a swim meet, hockey game or basketball match!
Think of things to do over winter break now, before boredom sets in. It might be a good idea to write down your ideas on the calendar so the kids know what to expect and won’t be asking for the week’s plans every day.
What fun things do you have planned for the next couple of weeks?