Search Pinterest and you’ll find a plethora of ideas for keeping the kids entertained over winter break. Those are all well and good, but we know that sometimes all those crafty, snuggly, educational ideas are just too much. Too much effort, too much planning, too much forced family fun. Instead, we came up with a few ideas to enjoy winter break The Risky Kid way. WARNING: some of our ideas our messy, some are unconventional, but ALL of them are fun!
Sure, you can jam-pack your winter break with outings and activities. You can try to keep to as normal a schedule as possible. We suggest the polar opposite (yes, I went there). Stay in bed as long as possible. And then stay in your pj’s as long as possible. “I wish I hadn’t spent so much of my life in pants with elastic waistbands.” said no one ever. Lisa tells her kids to leave them alone in the morning if the door is closed. We offer a cash incentive to let us sleep in. Even if you have little ones, you can still catch a few minutes of extra zzz’s, just use my friend Kelly M.’s brilliant idea: charge up your phone, Kindle, iPad, etc. and leave it near your bed. When the kids toddle in let them play with them while you snooze a little longer. Best use of screen time ever!
Play With Your Food
The kids have probably spent more meals than they’d like over the holidays sitting nicely at the table in scratchy clothes. Reward them by letting them play with their food for once. Maybe a whip cream fight? I hear it’s on sale this time of year!
Turkeys are on sale too. Lisa says they make great bowling balls.
If, like us, the weather is a little less conducive to turkey bowling, play with your food inside. Blowing up marshmallows in the microwave is always a big hit.
Make a Mess
As much as it kills the neat freak in me, I’m giving my kids a holiday from being super tidy. We’ve had our house on the market since mid-November, so we’ve been freakishly on top of them about putting every last thing away. Fingers crossed, we think it’s sold, so we’re being way more lax than normal. Allow a few days for all the toys and gifts to be spread around in all their glory. Don’t make your beds. Tear up the couch cushions. Build a fort.
Okay, so this one takes some advanced planning. But imagine the looks on the kids’ faces when you tell them you’re going swimming … outside … in winter. Well, unless you live in Florida. I guess it wouldn’t be quite as dramatic.
Rule the Playground
Do they other parents at the playground get you down with all their rules and micromanaging? Now is the perfect time to visit a playground and have your run of the entire place. The kids can run, scream like banshees, and go up the slide to their hearts’ content. Even the most boring of playgrounds turns into something magical when it’s covered in snow or ice.
We’ve been reading the coolest book: The Art of Roughhousing (review coming soon!), and it’s helped remind me how much kids need rough and tumble play. It’s especially important in the winter, when they aren’t able to burn off steam outside. Pillow fights are easy, and we’ve been having tons of fun launching little bodies onto the couch.
How do you plan to keep the kids busy over break?