The holiday break is upon us so the “I’m bored” will soon be the phrase all parents and grandparents will be all too familiar. All parents cringe every time we hear those words. How do we engage our children in doing productive activities while out of school? Do we give in when the whines start, “I want to play a video game”, watch tv or whatever device is their favorite? Yeah, a little screen time isn’t too bad but that’s not ideal for all day, every day. As parents and grandparents, we must have an arsenal of activities prepared. I have found a few wonderful ideas that will keep your little ones from vegging out during the break and maybe help you maintain your sanity. I hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy
After the kids have picked up their rooms, suggest they decorated it for the holidays. Have some colorful paper ready for them to use their imagination. They could cut out snowflakes and make daisy chains to count down the days until Christmas (or days until school starts). Let them hang old string lights that you may have left over. You may invest in a small tree for their room
Keeping their minds active will help with the transition when school lets back in. Making slime is a science experiment. Who knew that mixing simple household ingredients to create a sticky gooey mess would sweep the nation with such ferocity? Finding Christmas themed items that could be added to the slime could be fun as well. Be sure to supervise though, this can go sideways pretty quickly.
Watch the Reindeer
Did you know that Santa has a live feed to his reindeer? Kids can watch Santa’s reindeer prepare for their big night at www.reindeercam.com.
Make a Movie
Kids can use their legos and dolls to create home movies. Using an iPad or phone will make it easy to send to friends and family. For older kids, encourage them to write a script to follow while filming.
For little ones who aren’t quite ready to make a home movie (they prefer to star in them at young ages), show them how to put on a puppet show. Either make puppets out of figures on popsicle sticks, a paper bag over their hand, or they could bring stuffed animals to life with their imagination.
Kids love to watch wildlife. Making a simple bird feeder to hang near a window could offer quite the entertainment. Spread a little nut butter all over an apple and then roll it in bird seed. Hang the bird feeder outside the window and watch the
It is a little chilly to camp outside but building a pretend tent inside might be more comfortable. The kids can play games or maybe have hot chocolate while hanging out in their cozy tent.
Gingerbread houses can be made from graham crackers or there are kits available to purchase. These are fun for all ages. This can spark creativity in the kids and keep them busy for quite a while. Make sure there is plenty of candy available.
Teach your children this is the season for giving. Encourage your kids to help a neighbor wrap gifts or even offer their time to a soup kitchen. It is always nice for them to donate to Toys for Tots or shop for gifts for an angel from an angel tree.
Making ornaments to be used as gift tags allows the kids to show off their creativity. Children can also use salt dough to make handprint ornaments to be given as gifts
Hot Chocolate and Stories
Start a nightly ritual of reading while sipping hot chocolate. Reading passages from the Christmas Story or your family’s favorite holiday books is a great way to be in the holiday spirit.
Do not walk into this time of the year unprepared. Take the time to gather a few things to keep the kids engaged but also let them have fun. By the time the holiday break is over and kids are back in school, you won’t look back and think “thank goodness that is over.” You will cherish these times when they are gone.
I hope you enjoyed Cathy’s Tuesday Tip this week. To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips, visit our blog.