Thursday, December 27, 2012

Five Holiday-Break Boredom Busters

Sometimes the holiday break can take its toll on both parent and child, whether it's the constant need to be entertained or the rushing from one event to the other, we forget to sit down and just enjoy one-on-one time with our little ones.  We have compiled a list of five easy and inexpensive ideas to keep your kids entertained over this holiday break and provide fun ways to spend quality time together as a family. Be creative!

1. Make a treasure map! Go on a hunt!

This idea works for kids ages two years and up.  Everybody loves a good adventurous hunt! If your kids are older, try a map that also has riddles at each location to earn something extra. Use old brown paper bags for a map (this is also a little more durable for little ones) or have siblings make one for each other so they can get creative together.

2. Take a hike!

Get outside! Here in Pennsylvania we haven't really had the coldest of days yet and the weather has still been great for a fun little hike/walk outside! Give your kid a list of items to hunt for (if they are younger try shapes as well). Take binoculars and ask them to spy specific things. If they are older give them a nature guide book to various trees, plants and wildlife to identify through out their hike. Give them a mason jar and have them place their nature treasures in there to create a memory jar, maybe take a family picture and have it printed so they can keep it with their jar, this could be their next show and tell.

3. Create some fun new wall art.

It's about time to change up some of that decor anyway, right? Let your kids have a say, and give your home a few trophies to brag about. Give them a found object that you could mount or place in a shadow box and and ask them to paint or transform it any way they would like. An old glass conductor could turn into a robot or a colorful light reflector hung in a window frame. Give them a canvas and a theme or color pallet and see how they can still tie into your home's decor theme.

4. Create new crafts and games!

Ask your child if they would like to invent a new recipe with you using their favorite healthy treats. Ask them to make a game up for you or to write a play that they can organize and perform with their siblings or friends.  Maybe they can come up with their own silly secret code and you can send them on special missions. When they wake up in the morning hand them a list of items that they have to locate throughout the day (picture of a sunset, bread crumbs from lunch for the birds etc.). Invent a new type of bird feeder, give them a book on birds and ask them to observe and take notes on what types of birds frequents their feeder, then change the food and ask the child to report what they observe.

5. Build a fort!
There are no real rules with forts, they are simply fun and imaginative! Use a table, your couches, kitchen chairs etc. Add some twinkle lights to your fort or hang fun things like hand made snowflakes or clouds or silly monsters. Incorporate large appliance boxes to the mix for more stability or a tunnel entrance. Go to your local appliance retailer and ask if you can have their cardboard boxes at the end of the day, then take them home and turn your living room into a maze. Throw in some sleeping bags and tell stories till they fall asleep. Watch a movie and eat some popcorn in there. Use only flashlights.  Set up a guard outside with stuffed animals.

Remember to reward with things that help encourage imagination, creativity and memories. Instead of candy try a new sketch book or coloring book, new markers, crayons, colored pencils, a trip to the art museum or a local play.

Above image from Hearing Voices by Brian Andreas

We hope you are all having a wonderful holiday break and hope that these tips and links have helped a little bit. If you have more creative ideas that you do with your kids please share in the comments below, we
would love to hear them!


1 comment:

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