Don’t get me wrong, I cherish time with my three kids and the Christmas break has so far given us the chance to sleep in, chase each other around the living room and bake some pretty sweet cookies. There’s more of course: stories and colouring (my creative journal has never filled up so quickly) but there are the moments of boredom too – for them, when they crave iPad time, and for me when I long for my work. If you are like us and are looking toward some down time as partners return to work, and are hungry for ways to keep the kids busy in spite of an absent routine, then this one is for you. For all the moms and dads who LOVE spending time with their little ones, but don’t LOVE playing Barbie for the umpteenth time … read on as we gather some creative ways to keep kids from whining, “I’m bored!”
Check out our 10 creative ways to keep kids busy over the holidays.
Renee’s shortbread cookie recipe will be a hit with the kids, and it will get them creating in the kitchen. It’s fun to roll out the dough and this particular recipe leaves lots of room for flavour experimentation!
There’s no need to buy expensive stamps at the store, make your own with a potato and some cookie cutters. Here Crystal shows you how. These stamps make beautiful wrapping paper or let your kid’s creativity shine by getting them to create art you can hang on the wall or fridge.
Sometimes you just need a little bit of quiet! And what’s better for getting the kids to calm down and rest a bit then putting a favourite show on Netflix. We like to make television an event in our house. We pick a favourite movie or show and get out our favourite snacks. We even cuddle under blankets! It’s a favourite activity in our house. Here are a few things we’ve been streaming lately: Paw Patrol, Air Bud, and my personal favourite for Christmas, Arthur Christmas.*
Salma of The Write Balance has a great idea for indoor fun: have a scavenger hunt. You can check out her ideas for making this happen, along with a few other indoor fun ideas in her post.
I will never go back to buying play-doh after discovering how easy it is to make it at home, and how much longer the homemade stuff lasts (ours doesn’t dry out). A ball of play-doh can keep my kids busy for hours. My floors may not like it, but their smiles are worth it. This is my favourite recipe because it doesn’t need to be cooked. Thanks Bitsy Ideas!
This is something you might want to try outdoors, but you can assemble it all inside if the winter air has a nip to it. This is great for the kids who love to build and destroy! And for those, like my oldest, who just love to learn how things work. Take a look!
This serves a dual purpose: it keeps kids busy and it encourages them to get into the tub! My kids love those cute bath bombs they find at the farmers market. The price tag makes them a bit of a luxury though. But here’s a more affordable way to have fun in the bath. This post and image is from Bright Nest.
Who said sand play is just for summer time?! You can bring this activity indoors and still have a ton of fun. Fill a tub with sand (plus Plaster of Paris – see full recipe here) and get kids to dig for dinos!
Coloring books for adults have become very popular. We’ve been coloring with our kids for years but are glad to have the option to color something more challenging than Elsa’s hair. Get them a coloring book, or print their favourite images from Crayola, then grab our 2016 calendar and color yourself a beautiful month.
You know how much fun it is for kids to go out and eat! Want to recreate that excitement, without actually having to take them alone into a restaurant?!! Try making a restaurant in your kitchen. Kids will love this game of pretend. First, get them to decorate their restaurant, write the menu and set the table. Grab free restaurant printables from My Joy Filled Life. Have them help you prepare a tasty meal – try this focaccia recipe and make it your own with unique topping combinations – and then you can take turns being the customer and the serving staff!
Do you have other ideas for keeping kids busy over the holidays?! Share your ideas in the comments section below! And of course, there is always a trip to library, store or a walk around the block when they start to go stir crazy!
*Netflix provides me with a free subscription. Opinions are my own.