Right now, many parents are facing down a problem that only a fellow parent can understand—winter break has arrived and that means that kids will be home for at least two weeks. Every break in school, I’m constantly searching for ways to keep my kids occupied without driving me crazy. There is not a lot of money for me to send them to three different camps so I decided years ago to hold a mini ‘fun’ camp at my house. The costs are minimal and in the end I get to spend more time bonding with my kids.
Deciding what to do with your kids during winter break is a difficult decision a parent has to make. On one hand you want to make sure they are productive but you don’t want to stress them out by making them do something academic the entire break. My suggestion is to let your kids have fun but sneak it some activities that will help them exercise their brains.
Here are four ways to keep your kids busy and help you keep your sanity:
- Allow the kids to sleep in and go to bed later than normal. My kids are notorious for trying to go to bed early on vacation so they can get up early the next day. I ended that practice and typically let them stay up as late as they want during vacation. Therefore in the morning, everyone wakes up pretty late and I am able to get some much needed rest!
- Use the Internet to keep the kids engaged in the school work. The Internet is a wonderful tool to keep your kids learning without them realizing it. For an hour a day, I let my kids get on the Internet and play educational games. They love it and I love seeing them having fun while retaining their knowledge from the semester. In addition, you can use websites like Pinterest to find links to great tutorials on arts and crafts for kids!
- Check around town and see if any local museums, zoos or historical places have free admission on any day. During the holidays, you will find many educational places offer free or reduced admission into their facilities. Call around and make it a point to hit some of those places to keep your kids occupied.
- Make sure there are plenty of kid friendly snacks around the house. My kids are notorious for eating everything in my house. To keep them full I stock up on peanuts, handheld sandwiches, pre-cut veggies, fruits, etc. so if they’re hungry they don’t have to ask me to prepare them food all day long!
Hold on, mommies, there is plenty of time left for you to find some great ideas on keeping your kids occupied.
Words: Franchesca Lane-Warren