The Twelve Days of Christmas? More like Twelve Days of Winter Break… If you’re a parent, you know those two weeks around the Winter Holidays when the kids are home from school can be both a joy and a curse. Between seasonal travel, large family gatherings, and all the planning that goes into making this season as magical as possible for little ones, keeping the children occupied and not bored can be exhausting. Luckily, you don’t need to rack your brain with ideas for activities because we’ve got you covered. Peruse our festive list below and keep both your sanity and your kids busy this upcoming break.
Take some time to flip through a cookbook, Pinterest, or your favorite recipe website to find something fun and festive to make with your mini chefs. A great task if you have a small group over for a playdate, we recommend checking out these recipes for all ages and skill levels.
DESIGN AND DECORATE
Giving your kids the freedom to decorate their own rooms is a great way to flex their creativity and get them excited for the days ahead. Let them pick out lights, decorate their own mini tree, or go crazy with decals. This is also a great opportunity to craft some of their own homemade decorations.
MAKE A MESS
Homemade slime is nothing new, but there’s no denying its power to keep small hands occupied for hours on end. Use this base recipe, along with a few add-ins to let each participant lend their artistic own flourish. We love these holiday-inspired ideas.
CREATE CREATURE COMFORTS
With colder weather fast upon us, it’s the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about migratory birds while setting up some feeders for those that’ll be sticking around for the winter. We love this list with kid-friendly recipes and feeders for a variety species.
MAKE A MOVIE MARATHON
Screen time be damned, it’s the season to curl up and watch endless hours of holiday specials together. Check out this roundup of Christmas favorites for some inspiration and pair with some of these amazing holiday movie inspired treats.
CHANNEL CAMP CHRISTMAS
Camping is not just for the summer or outdoors anymore. Plan snowy/cold day inside or a cozy slumber party in the living room complete with blanket forts, twinkling lights, and festive stories to tell. Really kick it up a notch with an indoor s’mores bar—under parental supervision, of course.
CREATE SOME COMPETITION
A friendly competition that is. Get some gingerbread house kits and see who can come up with the most original theme or design element, like these ice cream cone trees. Or, break out the board games and cards for an epic family night with prizes like chocolate coins, cookies, and other festive treats.
SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER
This winter break is a great time to teach your kids about the importance of volunteering. Have them sort through old toys to donate, let them pick a gift for someone less fortunate, or encourage them to commit one selfless act of kindness a day. Check out this article for ideas on how to volunteer with your kids year-round.
START A BOOK CLUB
Create a holiday reading list with your kids to encourage their love of books and keep their minds active over the holiday break. Buying a few new books, reading together, and scheduling some time to talk about what they’re reading are all great ways to make the activity fun and interactive. See the New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2017 for some ideas.
FIND A MOM (OR DAD) GANG
You’re not alone in wanting to keep your kids occupied this holiday break. Partner up with your friends or parents of your children’s friends to see if anyone would like to take turns hosting a playdate. This will give each of you the opportunity to take a break from entertaining the little ones so you can wrap gifts, plan dinner, or just relax.
BRAVE THE ELEMENTS
Regardless of whether your winter includes palm trees or snow, make sure to get the kids outside for some fresh air and physical activity. Ice skating, visiting a local hobby farm, even snow painting are all great ways to experience the great outdoors sans boredom.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
Turn an already fun activity into a game by planning a Christmas light scavenger hunt. Print off a free festive scavenger hunt list like this one, walk or drive the brilliantly lit neighborhoods in your area, and drum up participation by offering a prize to the person who can locate the most items.
Here at InTown Suites, we’re all about making life easier for you, no matter what the season. Whether you’re home for the holidays, visiting family, or staying at one of our extended stay accommodations, we wish you a relaxing and stress-free holiday season.