Winter break has begun! For us, it even started a couple days early thanks to some unexpected snow. This means things are slowing down for many of us and we spend more time with family.2.
If your kids are home during most of the break, they will undoubtedly hit a wall where they are B-O-R-E-D. Some hit that wall sooner than others.
Fun Things for Kids to Do Over Winter Break
To counter the whining, here are some ideas to keep the kids busy during winter break.
1. Play games
When was the last time you played a game as a family? The holidays are a great time to spend together playing games.
If you have a local game store, see if they offer rentals or even a play space where you can hang out and try new games. You just might find a new family favorite.
The kids can even invite friends over for an afternoon game session, which is especially great for party type games.
2. Make a stuffed toy
If you know how to do some basic sewing, you can make your own stuffed toy.
One year, we had the kids spend time designing their own stuffed friend. It was basically their own Uglydoll. I then took some felt and fabric and sewed up their creation. They loved them as well as the idea of coming up with their own design.
3. Rube Goldberg machine
For ambitious kids (or adults), set forth the challenge of creating a Rube Goldberg machine. Not sure what that is? It’s one of those contraptions where you might drop a marble into a cup that then lowers to knock over dominoes which then releases a balloon which then…well, you get the idea.
Let them use their K’nex, Legos, paper tubes, string, toy cars, spoons, or whatever else they can imagine (and won’t get them into trouble). You can start with the challenge of having their machine close a door and work up from there.
4. Cook and Bake
Help teach your children to cook and enjoy the rewards! We have baked and decorated cookies, made different holiday treats, and tried new hot chocolate recipes.
Smaller children love using the cookie cutters, dumping ingredients, putting on icing and sprinkling powdered sugar. Older kids might like the challenge of more complicated recipes or work them on their own. You could even bake bread, teach them to make chili, or have your kids make their own pizzas for pizza night.
Chances are, if you have children, you have Legos.
Lots and lots of Legos.
Winter break is the perfect time to break out the different sets and see what they can create. Working on these creations can easily occupy the kids for hours, if not days. You may even end up with a miniature city of rescue workers, knights in shining armor, and wizards all working side by side.
Or, one year we had elves and fairies paired with soldiers in an epic battle against some Star Wars figures.
6. Art projects
Are the kids driving you absolutely bonkers? Between random questions about why the sky is blue and games of “What If…?” sometimes parents just need a break.
At that point, it is time to dig out whatever art supplies you can find. Paints, paper, glue, crayons, stamps, popsicle sticks, or anything else you can think of and let them at it. They can make pictures, cards, sculptures, or even cute paper ornaments.
7. Make snowflakes
When my kids get bored, at some point they like to sit down and make paper snowflakes.
If you have forgotten, there are instructions on the internet and even patterns available. And if you haven’t seen it yet, Anthony Herrera Designs has some awesome patterns for snowflake patterns based on Star Wars, Harry Potter, Frozen, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
8. Movie Festival
Kids usually like movie festivals, especially if they don’t get to watch movies very often. Make some popcorn, get out the blankets and get ready for a movie marathon.
Younger kids might like something like all three Toy Story or Kung Fu Panda movies spaced out over a weekend. Older kids or teens might like a Star Wars or Lord of the Rings marathon. You can even invite a few friends over.
9. Make stop-motion videos
Your kids can create a bunch of stop-motion videos using their imagination, a digital camera, and a movie program such as iMovie. Options here are really limitless.
Our kids spent several days making up stories to turn into videos. All they needed was an idea, their toys, my compact digital camera, a small tripod (or way to prop up camera) and something like iMovie to put it all together. There are great basic tutorials available.
10. Snow play
If you have snow where you live or nearby, let the kids have fun with it. Go sledding, make a snow fort for a snowball fight the next day, or make a snowman.
By the way, the little kids love throwing snowballs at mom or dad!
One of my favorite evening activities during the break is sitting by the fire with a jigsaw puzzle. Some of the time is quiet, and other times we tell silly jokes, but it is time together.
Ok, this may not be fun, but if the kids know it has a purpose, they tend to be on board.
Each year just before Christmas, we have the kids clear out books and toys they have outgrown, don’t like, or just don’t play with anymore. They do this knowing it is to make room for new toys, rather than just adding to an ever-growing collection.
Once it is done, the books and toys are either donated or we bag them up for a rummage sale.
13. Holiday lights
On a clear night, it is nice to go for a walk or drive and see various Christmas lights. Your city might even have special displays or neighborhoods known for their lights.
You can see who can find the prettiest or the craziest display!
No matter what activities you choose, take the time to appreciate your family, build some traditions and make some lasting memories. Happy Holidays!
What do you like to do over winter break? Also check out 25 Fun Activities for Families This Summer.