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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Holiday Break Fun

How do you stay busy after the holiday parties are over? When the Christmas Break begins it can be a mixed blessing for some of us. I love having my kids around, and not waking up at first light, but then there's me (aka Cruise Director) that feels like she should be "doing" something with them, not only because they won't be around here forever, but because mostly I genuinely like my children and want them to remember how awesome their childhood was.

Seriously...they have an awesome childhood despite the look on one or two faces this picture. So what to do....with 14 days of fun.....yeah. Is it holiday or helliday? I'm Kidding! This year it's holiday--that's my goal. I'm going to keep the screaming, yelling, fighting and eye rolling to a minimum, and remind myself that someday they will be off living their own lives under another roof. I will take time to love them and teach them, even it if feels like a huge amount of responsibility that I am nowhere near old enough to be ready for.

So here's some ideas that will help all of us survive the break!

1. Go to the Dollar Movie
2. Have Movie night at home ( often has discount codes)
3. Bake cookies (yes, you can cheat and use a box mix, or pre-made dough. No judgement!)
4. Go to a library and read! I know it sounds lame, but they need to keep their skills sharp!
5. Play cards or a board game.

6. Play "Would You Rather." There is an actual board game, but it's just as easy to do your own. Take turns asking crazy questions like: "Would you rather walk across hot coals or jump out of a burning building?" Or "Would you rather eat Brussels Sprouts or creamed spinach?" The questions are limitless, and it allows for kids (and adults) to use creative thinking skills. If you want to make it interesting you can keep "score" or give points for the most creative questions--it's limitless! This is a great car game to play on the way to Grandma's.

7. The Story Telling Game- taking turns one person starts a story and when ready says "pass" and then next person takes the story from there. Rotations continue until the story ends. This is another great car game to play on the way to Grandma's too.

8. Build a fort (you remember-- card tables, end tables and blankets) and have a paper or marshmallow snowball fight. The older kids will protest and think it's lame until they realize they can have a legit reason to throw things at their siblings. Remove all breakable items before snowballs start to fly. Take it from me, marshmallows can be destructive in the right hands.

9. Have a Scavenger Hunt-around the house or in the neighborhood this is a great way to kill some time. Here's a great link to get you started!

10. Make an Obstacle or Relay course--again inside or outside, you're creating a great memory!
11. Build a snowman. Marshmallows or snow (if you're lucky enough to have some), inside or outside, this is a fun way to hang out--TAKE PICS!
12. Fingerprint stamp art. Use a stamp pad and the kid's sweet little fingertips to create treasured works of art. Here's a link to get started!

13. Make "I Spy" bottles from old, clear water bottles and white rice. Find "treasures" from your junk drawer (yes, we all have them, even I) and put them in the bottle. Fill the bottle 3/4 of the way with uncooked rice, glue the lid on, and shake. Kids will spend hours searching for the treasures, and it's great in the car. We used simple things like buttons, pennies, beads, pins and foam shapes for ours.

14. Make New Year's Poppers. Directions Here!
15. Play driving or walking bingo.  You can print cards for FREE HERE and select from a plethora of word and/or picture cards with varying themes. Once printed, take a walk or a drive crossing off what you find.

Bonus Idea: Teach them something you are good at--how to take a good picture, how to draw stick figures, how to change a tire--it really doesn't matter what it is, they will remember that YOU taught them something awesome!

Enjoy the holidays! And in case I don't make it back to blogging before Dec. 31- HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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