One week down, one week to go. That’s what I’m thinking during this holiday break. We’ve pretty much exhausted all of our options as far as activities, trips, and out-of-towners at this point. We’re officially on our own. If you’re like us, you most likely need some help to keep your kids busy during the school break.
During the summer months, we’re fine. It’s during these shorter breaks that I start to unravel. Mainly because we just opened gifts and now the “boredom” has set in. To help solve this, we plan some activities in advance so we can be prepared with a list of things to keep our kids occupied and my voice at a reasonable level. Here are several tips on how to keep your kids busy during the school breaks.
It’s also a really good idea to plan the activities with your kids. If they’re involved in the planning and decision-making, then they’ll be more excited to participate.
Create a seasonal garden
It’s been said that gardeners are among the happiest people alive. That’s because there are bacteria in the soil that helps make people happy. No, really… the bacterium found in soil may stimulate serotonin, which makes you more relaxed and happy. It actually acts as an antidepressant, so get in the dirt with your kids and you’ll be one happy camper.
Why not create a small patch in the garden just for the kids?
You can teach them to plant seasonal herbs, spices, and vegetables, and different flowering plants. It’s best to choose plants that are fast and easy to grow so that they can see their progress in a short period of time. They’ll also be more satisfied that way. As of right now, we have a ton of broccoli and cauliflower. Two veggies I know they’ll eat.
Design and create their own games
I have two very active Girl Scouts so anything STEM related right now has them all ears. All you need to do is get a supply of colored cardboard and paper, children’s scissors, sticky glue, and any other art materials you can use to create some fun games.
Here are some examples of games that you can easily make at home and can also keep your kids busy:
- Pin The Tail on the Donkey
- Snakes and Ladders
- Paper Dolls
- Solo cup stacking (can go on for hours)
- Knock the can
Make sure that you help them out if your kids aren’t big enough yet. If you’re stumped, think of anything that entertains them from a restaurant kids menu.
Make An Arts And Crafts Station
Use the same supplies as you have for the games and make a place where they can create. They can do all sorts of creating, you can choose a different project each week and map it out so they can look forward to the projects they’ll be doing.
- Rock painting – make labels for the plants you planted in the garden
- Make a bird feeder out of toilet paper rolls and peanut butter
- Make a bug catcher with a mason jar
- Make holiday pinwheels (see video below)
Cooking and baking sessions
This is another great activity to help keep your kids busy. But if you’re anything like me, you have to be in the mood to make a mess. I like to buy the ready made cookie dough and let them get cookies in the oven as quickly as possible. This way they have time to enjoy them as well. There are also several places you can take cooking classes as a family if you have the time. Sur la Table has a really fun list of classes for kids.
If you have another baking suggestion, just make sure that you have all the ingredients ready and you’ll be there to assist them along the way. I’ve made the mistake of suggesting something and I’m not prepared.
I know, I know. Some of these things are so basic. But sometimes that’s just what our kids need. I know my girls are the happiest when they are making something fun on their own. They just need a little push in the right direction… For all of our sanity.