With winter break quickly approaching, I know many parents are wondering what to do with the kiddos this holiday. There are holiday menus to plan, Christmas gifts to finish buying, and plenty of work to be done before family arrives or trips are taken. Even though we live in Florida and enjoy the outdoors, I admit we tend to hibernate in the winter. To keep myself and the children entertained and active when the weather is chilly, I try to find a variety of indoor activities to keep the children entertained and busy without getting cabin fever. Here are a few suggestions of three fun things to do during winter break.
Indoor/Outdoor Ice Skating
Last year we experimented with ice skating and the children had a blast. It was their first time so I was afraid we would spend more time on our bums than on our skates. Boy was I wrong. For their first time, the kids did pretty well and had so much fun. There was a DJ playing holiday music, which made for such a fun and festive time. The cost was not too bad and our skating rink had deals if you arrived early. Definitely something we plan to do again. Two hours later, we were all exhausted. Even with all the running I do, my legs were sore from using muscles I hadn’t used in years. The kids did pretty well for their first try and we definitely plan to get more practice in! Ice skating is another great way we can stay active during the winter this year!
There are so many resources available for inspiration on fun, holiday crafts to do with children. Pinterest is loaded with ideas, so, of course, I created a Pinterest board on holiday crafts for kids. Also, walking the halls of my son’s school gave me tons of neat ideas to do at home. Holiday crafts can be as easy as making candy canes out of Froot Loops cereal or using green paint on feet to make a Christmas tree footprint for a fun memorabilia for parents or grandparents. There are so many possibilities, most of which do not cost much money. My children love crafting, and, although there is a little bit of clean-up involved, it’s worth all the free time. You can clean up or wrap those gifts from Santa while the children are preoccupied. Finally, the crafts also make great gift ideas. Here is one of my favorite ideas: Use flowerpots to make everything from Santa to toy soldiers.
Christmas cookies are a classic, fun activity to do each holiday. We normally make a semi-homemade recipe out of the box but then we make our own icing. The icing spreads easier and can be colored so many different ways with food coloring. Tips for making holiday cookies with kids:
- Safety first, always. Remind your kids of the safety rules before you start cooking.
- Keep the safety rules simple: wash hands before cooking or after touching meat or eggs, and never go near the hot stove.
- Find a safe spot to have your kids help you. My kids have a spot in the kitchen where they can easily help me without getting in my way or near the stove.
- Assign age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen. Kids between 3-5 are great at putting in the ingredients that you have pre-measured. They also love to mix. Older kids are good at measuring and gathering the ingredients, and reading or following simple recipe directions.
- Every chef needs the right tools in the kitchen. My kids have their own aprons and a stool to help them reach the counter.
Have fun with the process. Let kids be “creative” in the process. Their cookies may not come out perfect but at least they had a blast doing the activity.
How do you keep your kids entertained and happy during the winter break?