Ahh, the holidays: sweet treats, extended family, special traditions… fighting over new toys, glazed eyes staring at screens, and general cabin fever. The holidays bring lots of fun and excitement, but with no school during winter break, you may end up with some long days to fill.
To help you make winter break as fun, memorable, and peaceful as possible, we've compiled six super boredom-busting tips & activities. Get ready to make this break one to remember!
1. The Reading Nest. One fun way to lead the focus away from those beloved screens is to invite your children to gather their favorite pillows and blankets and bring them to a corner of the living room or bedroom. Form the pillows and blankets into a jumbo nest (think Big Bird), big enough so you and the kids can snuggle inside. Bring in a stack of books or have the kids choose their favorites and read together while the snow and the cold blows outside. After a few favorite reads, you'll be able to tip-toe out of the nest while your kids keep reading. Bonus accessory: hang a small string of twinkle lights and dim the house lights for a magical feel!
2. Big Art. Stretch a big roll of paper (check out Home Depot or Michael's for 3' rolls) across the kitchen table or the floor, pull out all the art supplies, and let your little and big ones create on a large scale! You can trace little bodies and color in faces and clothes, make “bouquets” of hand prints with finger paints, or write short stories, jokes, or poems to read during dinner. The possibilities are as unlimited as your kid’s imaginations!
3. Spray Bottle Snow. Collect any empty spray bottles (or purchase small ones at Wal-Mart or Target) and fill them with warm water, one bottle for each kid (don't forget one for yourself!). Get out food coloring and let each child choose what color he or she wants. Experiment! Mix colors! THEN: let them loose outside in the snow with the spray bottles. Make cakes to “spray paint” or snowmen with blue hair. Just don't forget to bring the bottles back inside once the fun is done.
4. Local Memberships. As winter drags on, remember the riches of your local science or children's museums. Even if you have to pile the kids in the car and drive for an hour, an all-day, out-of-the-house adventure is so worth the rejuvenation you and your kids will feel afterwards. Memberships also make great stocking stuffers or grandparent gifts to your kids, so put it on the list this holiday season and be proactive about staving off the winter blahs.
5. Playplaces. Maybe this is your style already, but don't shortchange the value of McPlaydates with lunch included. Call up your best mommy friend, meet up for coffee or lunch while the littles play, or for dinner after you pick up the big kids from sports practice, and connect with another mom friend who is walking along your same road. Just like that three of your daily do's are checked off: dinner, fun, and friendship!
6. Mugs for Kids. The bliss of a hot (or warm) beverage on a cold day isn’t reserved for adults only. Take your kids on a coffee/hot chocolate/tea date! Let them add milk and sugar and choose a snack to go with. Bring a deck of cards and sip away!
Whatever you find to do this winter, remember that the smallest activities can be fun and boredom-busting with a little effort and enthusiasm from us mamas. Here's to an extraordinary winter!