Holiday break time has a polarizing effect on many families. The children are gleeful to be off of school for two full weeks while the parents are counting down the days until normal life can return.
The funny thing is that the children quickly grow bored once the excitement of the holiday is over, so coming up with engaging activities is a good idea for both parties.
1. Form a family book club
This sounds like an idea for older kids, but it can be adjusted to accommodate preschool and kindergarten kids as well. All you need to do is take a family trip to the library and pick out books to read over the break. They may be books you read to your children or – if your child is of reading age – books they read you. Either way, it’s a double bonus: a fun trip to the library and then plenty of family book time.
2. Find a new hobby
This is a broad suggestion that can span beyond the holiday break, but it’s a good short-term activity as well. Maybe the new hobby can center around a Christmas gift your child received such as a telescope or a dinosaur book or maybe you and your child embark on a new craft hobby such as sewing or painting.
3. Go outside
What if you’re in cold weather? Even better. Being outdoors is not only good for activity and fun, it has fewer germs than indoors during the winter. That’s right, the old wives’ tale proves false: you actually have less of a chance of getting sick outside in the cold vs. inside in the warmth.
You’ll want your board games to be age appropriate, but they are a great way to get the entire family engaged. Young kids who have a tough time sitting still may do better with a game like Spot It Jr. or Toss Across.
5. Chronicle the break
This is a fun idea that doubles as a time capsule. Allow your kids to make a little scrapbook about the break with photos, drawings, and written stories. If your child can’t write yet, you can ask questions and write down the often-funny answers.
6. Take a trip to the local museum
You may not even know you have multiple museums in your area until you look it up. There are diamonds in the rough everywhere from natural history museums to science centers.
7. Make your own science experiments
One of my favorite websites is the Kids Activities Blog, where you will find all kinds of science experiments that will grow your child’s interest in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math. Pick a project and get working – you more than likely have everything you need already in your home!
8. Foster discussions
Talk to each other. It’s a novel idea! When it comes to younger children, you may have to get more creative with your questions so you aren’t met with the dreaded “nothing” or “fine.” One great source is 150 Conversation Starters for Family Discussions by Aha! Parenting.