Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Make it through Winter Break

Here it comes---two solid weeks of no school. I love, love, love having my daughter home from school. However, I need to prepare a little bit ahead of time in order to have enough activities to keep her busy while keeping her mind stimulated. Since I am a list maker, I have generated a list of ideas to keep us busy. Below, you will find my ideas for keeping the kids busy:

  • Check with the library: Libraries are great resources and may have special activities during the break like storytimes, game events, and winter reading programs. Don't restrict yourself to your town's libraries. Others in the area may have events that you can participate in.
  • Park district: Make sure that you are up on your park district's offerings for the break. Once again, remember to check the park district's in neighboring towns as well.
  • Museums: Museums are a good way to entertain while learning. Be sure to check with your library because they sometimes will also have free passes. Also, some of the smaller, local museums may have interesting activities specifically for the break period.
  • Skating rinks: Check your local ice skating and roller skating rinks. Skating can be a great physical activity and a way to get out of the house!
  • Indoor pools: Don't forget that you may be able to hit an indoor pool! It is another great way to expend all of that energy!
  • Crafts: I stockpile crafts for breaks. I try to have a mix of new crafts as well as tried and trues. There are a bunch of awesome websites that can inspire you. I particularly love Kaboose!
 




  • Science experiments: There are many do-at-home science experiments out there for all levels. We found a great book called Giant Book of Science Experiments by HJ Press that we love. It has a ton of easy experiments that you can do using items you most likely already have!
  • Reading assignments: Maybe you can make your own reading assignments for your children. Perhaps, you can share what you have read with each other like a book club.
  • Playdates: Making sure that your kids can have some time playing with friends can make thinking up activities easier for you. If you can, set up the playdates before break so that you already have them worked into your schedule. It may be difficult to catch up with people during break due to traveling, work, etc.
  • Family movie or game night: My daughter loves when we get together to watch a couple of movies or play games. We usually have some type of treat like sundaes worked in.
  • Capitalize on holiday gift cards: I quickly sneak away all of my daughter's gift cards and keep them for something special to do on days off. (In fact, I still have some from her birthday in April.) That way, if we end up at the mall or Barnes & Noble, I have some no-guilt-attached money to spend.
  • Scavenger hunts: My daughter is obsessed with scavenger hunts. Inevitably, you will need to take your kids on errands during break. Why not make some scavenger hunts for them to do while going out?
  • Snow: If it snows, get out! You may be able to go to local nature preserves to snowshoe or maybe a sledding hill for some sledding action. My recommendation is to check for this now so that you have an idea of what to do when it snows.



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