Skip to main content

No matter how much you love them, if you’ve gotten used to having the kids away at school all day, having them back home again 24/7 during winter break may hit you hard!

Protect yourself! A key to maintaining the composure of the calm adult that you are, is to have some plans in place before that first, “Moooommm, we’re bored,” hits your ear drums like the clatter of somebody knocking over the Christmas tree.

Take a Field Trip All Ages Can Enjoy

Big cities and small towns all have a lot going on throughout December, so it should be easy to find something to do—out there in civilization, away from the house­—that your kids, your kids’ friends, and you (and maybe your friends) can enjoy together. You can potentially fill more than one day with field trips by working out a schedule with other families. Different adults can be in charge of planning and transportation for different events. That gives everyone time to enjoy without doing all of the work!

Going out can include simple shopping on the town square where everyone can enjoy lights, meet Santa, look at toys, play in the snow, and shop for gifts. Or it can be something just for the holidays. Look online for things geared to your children’s’ ages like:

  • museum events (especially interactive ones for kids)

  • bookstore readings with special guests

  • holiday craft-making events at churches or youth centers

  • special meet Santa hours at nearby shops or destination malls farther away

  • and check local parks for holiday entertainment and activities

Put Them to “Work” on Holiday Gifts

Did you ever make Christmas tree ornaments from floury dough when you were a kid? If your sculpture work was very carefully stored, you may still have some of those pieces as tree decorations now!

That dough is called Salt Dough, and the recipe in that link requires only salt, flour, and water. Creative kids will love using cookie cutters and food coloring to make the dough into ornaments for the tree, to add to packages, or as a gift. Let them experience painting the dough before and after baking as they perfect their skills. You can use spray or brush-on clear sealant to protect their creations after they’ve dried.

Fill a Jar with Boredom Busters

Prep some scraps of paper with things to do so when somebody says the dreadful phrase, “I’m bored,” you can have them pull a boredom buster out of the jar! The ideas can be anything that will pass the time without needing an adult’s help. Try these:

  • the names of board games the kids already own

  • the names of games the kids can play using their imaginations

  • household chores they already know how to do (They’ll LOVE this one!)

  • have them call a family member who misses them

  • give them something to research on the computer and share about at mealtime

  • request a detailed drawing of their dream house/car/pet, etc.

Finally, remember the holidays always end and winter break is just that. Everyone will go back to their regular schedules, and you might even miss the chaos of having the kids at home all day once they’re back at school or daycare.