Avoid the Winter Break Doldrums

Published December 1, 2018

How to Keep Kids Busy Over the Holiday Season

Yikes! Just when everyone was getting into the swing of the school year, all of a sudden it’s winter break. How can you make the most of your kids’ time at home and avoid hearing the “I’m bored” chorus? We are going to share a few old fashioned favorites that will keep little ones happily occupied (without breaking the bank).

Break Out the Salt

Do you remember the gritty feeling and the salty tang on your fingers from salt dough? It’s been a favorite for decades, and the best thing is that it requires just three easy ingredients. Simply mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and enough water to make the dough pliable (add slowly, up to 1 cup) then mold and create to your heart’s content. When you’ve got your masterpieces just right, pop them into a oven set to 250 degrees for about 2 hours or until dry and hard. Once cooled you can add fun designs with paint or markers.

Pick a Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to engage young minds and develop skills such as problem solving, teamwork, and fine motor coordination. You can find them at discount stores or borrow a few from friends and family. Setting up the puzzle on a sheet of cardboard will make it easy to sit around the table while working and move it elsewhere when the table is needed for meals.

Paper Airplane Races

If you’re ready for silliness and mid air crashes, grab some scrap paper and get to work on folding up some fancy fliers. Check out a paper airplane book, or search online for some advanced techniques. Or fold up a classic airplane, and see how it soars. The kids will love getting creative and decorating their planes before the big inaugural flight. Once the flying machines are complete, step outside or into a long hallway, and let the games begin. Bring along a tape measure to jot down the distances for each round (a sneaky way to tie in some math skills).

Book Party

When the cold weather begins, there’s nothing nicer than snuggling down with a good book. To make it even more fun, allow your kids to build their own book-reading nest with spare blankets and pillows. They’ll love the snuggled in feeling, and you’ll love the peace and quiet. To make the time even more special, make sure everyone has a mug of hot cocoa to hand (don’t forget the mini marshmallows)!

What activities did you enjoy most as a youngster? Take some time over the holidays to reminisce with your family, and bring back some of the favorites. It’s a good way to limit screen time, reconnect, and build memories. Before you know it, the alarm will be going off, the bus will be pulling up, and school will be back in session.


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