In a few short weeks, the kids are going to be home for the holiday break from school. That is both exciting (mostly for them) and daunting (for parents)... how can I keep them busy for two entire weeks? Fear not, fellow parents and caregivers. We are all in the same boat, and I'll share with you a few of our favorite ways to spend winter days home for the holidays.
With any luck, we will have plenty of fluffy white snow to play in this winter. Dig out the storage bins filled with snow gear-boots, hats, gloves, snowsuits, and scarves - and get everyone out of the house for some fresh air. My kids like to either strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis (when there're at least several inches of snow) to trek around the quiet streets and through the park. We also like to break out the ice skates and either check out Lakeside Park (with a new skating rink being built on top of the basketball court) or the Headwaters Park Ice Skating Rink downtown. It's a great way to get some outdoor exercise together as a family, and it's fun, too - don't forget the hot cocoa to warm up with!
Build snowmen, make snow angels, have a snowball fight, or just run around and play. Trust me, when the kids expend their energy outside in the cold, they're usually pretty agreeable and less stir crazy from being cooped up. Our family also loves to hike on the weekends, but during the break I like to take them on weekdays to Metea County Park, Buckner Park, Fox Island or Vandolah Nature Preserve. It's usually less crowded than weekends, and fun to explore nature together.
If the air outside is just too cold, get creative indoors. Make a blanket fort in the living room, set up old home movies and popcorn, make homemade hot cocoa with candy canes to stir, bust out the old board games, or teach them a new card game. For the younger ones, try paper crafts or making their own books. My kids always like to invent their own games too, just give them free reign and you may be surprised at their creativity. They are also famous for their play productions and puppet shows; and again, all they need is a nudge in the right direction to get the creative juices going.
You could also explore the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, exercise their brains at Science Central, or check out new books from the Allen County Public Library. Check websites for special events going on during break. If you like to bake, decorate holiday cookies or make a gingerbread house, and leave extra candy for snacking.
And if all else fails, take them to see a movie. There are plenty of holiday-themed and family friendly flicks at the theaters just made for bored kids on holiday break. So don't fear the next two weeks! If you just put your mind to it and be creative, you can offer your kids plenty of fun options while they're out of school. For more ideas for what to do during winter break, check out Visit Fort Wayne!