Every child looks forward to that magical time in December when they say goodbye to school and hello to winter break. But school break can leave parents feeling overwhelmed keeping the kids happy amid work calls and holiday prep.
Here are some tried and true ways to keep your sanity — and your kids entertained — over winter break.
Stick to a Theme
Every kid loves a themed day or week! From arctic animals to deep sea worlds, coming up with topics for your kids to explore each day or week can provide your kids (and you!) with a healthy dose of structure to guide long days at home together.
Make a list of fun ideas and shop your own house for thematic items to use. That handful of plastic polar bears and foam snowflakes you find at the bottom of a toy box? Throw them in a sensory bin with ice cubes and some snow and watch your kids play independently for an hour, giving you just the right amount of time to respond to work emails or return an important call.
Create a Winter Break Plan Together
The moment you hear your child exclaim “I’m bored!” is the perfect time to encourage them to dream up a project or set a winter break goal. Maybe your son has always wanted to make a city out of cereal boxes. Perhaps your daughter has been eyeing a 1,000-piece puzzle or an elaborate Lego set. Maybe there’s a book series your child has been dying to read from beginning to end.
Winter break gives kids time to dive deep into a special interest or get lost in a big project to keep their brains on and their imaginations flowing.
Lean on the Library
Whether they’re creating the project of their dreams or getting lost in a fun weekly theme, your kids might want more inspiration or information than you’ve got on hand at home. When school is out, your local library is ready to save the day with tons of resources to keep everyone’s creative juices flowing. A stack of books about arctic animals can make their sensory bin come to life and even encourage them to extend their play in new and exciting ways. Don’t forget to explore the non-fiction section for exciting titles like how to perform awesome at-home science experiments or ways to build a cardboard metropolis.
Use Screens Wisely
There may be times when you need your kids to be as quiet as the snow angels in your front yard while you bake a finicky holiday dish or pitch next year’s training plan to your supervisor. There is no shame in turning on a high-interest, entertaining or educational show to carve out 30 quiet minutes.
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