‘Twas the Week After Christmas when all through the house, the child was bored — but NOT quiet as a mouse!
You’ve all been there. You assume your kids will be grateful and more than happy to play with all their new toys. But instead they’re trashing the house, fighting with siblings, and complaining they’re bored! Overstimulation is a very real phenomenon. The holidays can be overwhelming for us all.
Kids can use your compassionate guidance over the Winter Break, especially since they’re used to so much structured time. The vastness of break can lead to more TV and Nintendo Switch time than you’d care to admit. Deep down, you may long for a more meaningful experience for your kids.
After all, it’s been a difficult year. You may not like the new roles you’ve had to play – Teacher, Principal, Coach, Disciplinarian, Truancy Officer. The desire to reconnect as a family is particularly strong at this time of year when we’re basking in holiday altruism and preparing for a fresh start in 2021.
Feel free to incorporate some or all of these ideas into your week for a much-needed dose of fun…
Day 1: Board Game Day
- Movie: Watch “Candyland: The Great Lollipop Adventure” “Zathura,” “Clue,” or “Jumanji.”
- Craft: Make your own fun, educational board game using a die, Post-It notes, and toys as pawns.
- Food: Enjoy stuffed a chicken salad checker board with mushroom pawns and sugar cookie dominoes.
- Book: Read a “Would You Rather?” or a “Choose Your Own Adventure” Do a Mad Lib or I Spy.
- Learn: Older kids might like learning how to make their favorite book into a board game. Little ones can enjoy learning to play chess with the Mini Chess by Kasparov app.
- Active Play: Check out the NY Times’ list of Top Board Games for Kids, in addition to classics you’re used to like Monopoly, Pictionary, Guess Who, Life, Candyland, Clue Junior, Connect 4, and Trouble.
Day 2: Winter Wonderland
- Movie: Watch “Chronicles of Narnia,” “Frosty,” or “Moomins and the Winter Wonderland.”
- Craft: Create ice candles to transform the backyard into a magical place. Bring the magic indoors by building your own snow globe out of a baby food jar, glitter, hot glue, and a waterproof toy or ornament.
- Food: Dress in white for a winter wonderland dinner party with white foods – white cheese and crackers; chicken with white cream sauce, mashed potatoes, and cauliflower; and vanilla cupcakes, cheesecake, or eggnog for dessert.
- Book: Ready or watch “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats.
- Learn: Visit Nat Geo Kids to learn about winter celebrations, ice sculpting, and gingerbread houses.
- Active Play: Bundle up and get outside. Take a walk around the neighborhood to see how the scenery has changed. Little ones will be happy with the standard snow angels or snowman. Return indoors for cocoa and a game of Don’t Slip Off The Snowflake. For older kids, up the ante by constructing an igloo (using bread pans) or a snow turtle.
Day 3: Space Day
- Movie: Watch “Toy Story,” “Wall-E,” “Space Jam,” “La Luna,” or “Star Wars.”
- Craft: Create plastic bottle jet packs. Paint galaxy space rocks. Make aliens in their spaceships.
- Food: Wrap a hot dog in puff pastry for a “Rocket Dog” dinner.
- Book: Read or watch “How To Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers.
- Learn: Try a free app like Space Images, NASA, or Night Sky to learn more about space.
- Active Play: Take a Space Walk, looking out for the space rocks you’ve strategically hidden, and potential aliens, too! Then flip bowls upside down to act as “planets,” as your child navigates your “ship” (a decorated cardboard box or laundry basket) through outer-space. You may also try a Space Adventure from Cosmic Kids Yoga for more structured guidance.
Day 4: Music Day
- Movie: Watch “Coco,” “The Sound of Music,” “Mary Poppins,” or Sesame Street “Music Magic.”
- Craft: Make your own microphones out of toilet paper rolls, tinfoil, gems, and construction paper.
- Food: Whip up Tune-a-Piano sandwiches and a Music Note Veggie Tray for lunch.
- Book: Read or watch “Because” by Mo Williams.
- Learn: Learn Solfege, a system used in music theory to teach melody.
- Active Play: Musical Chairs and Freeze Dance are fun, free games. A karaoke machine or Just Dance video game can add to the fun if you have the equipment. If you play an instrument, indulge in a few seasonal songs. Write and perform your own concert.
Day 5: Camp Out Day
- Movie: Watch “The Muppet Movie” with the littles or “The Great Outdoors” with the bigs.
- Craft: Make this glowing campfire or a construction paper camping scene using your child’s photo.
- Food: Microwave s’mores are a staple, as are hotdogs, burgers, shish kebabs, and picnic sandwiches. Or you could build tiny “campfires” out of grapes, pretzel sticks, and cheese for a light snack. Naturally, you’ll have to dine cross-legged on the floor to make it legitimate!
- Book: Read or watch “Pete the Cat Goes Camping.”
- Learn: Sing along to all the classic camp songs from “On Top of Spaghetti” to “The Hokey Pokey.”
- Active Play: Build the best blanket fort ever and camp indoors. Tell ghost stories around a pretend campfire. Make shadow puppets. Create an indoor scavenger hunt, using these clues.
Day 6: Sports Day
- Movie: Watch a sports game – if not live, then an old historic match of your favorite team. You can also watch sports movies like “Sesame Street: Count on Sports,” “Scooby Doo Sports Spooktacular,” and “Arthur: the Good Sport” for younger kids, or “The Sand Lot,” “The Rookie,” “Mighty Ducks,” “Air Bud,” or “A League of Their Own” for older kids.
- Craft: Make #1 Fan Foam Fingers and mini megaphones with your little sports fans.
- Food: Order pizza and wings. Set out potato skins, a Charcuterie board, nachos, or these party foods.
- Book: Read or watch “Bats at the Ballgame.”
- Learn: Young children can learn to play soccer from the comfort of their own living rooms with the Soccer Shots on the Go program – an engaging virtual version of the live sessions.
- Active Play: Play Charades, silently acting out different sports to see if others can guess what they are. Kick around a soccer ball, toss the baseball or football, shoot a few hoops (indoors, using the laundry hamper if you must!) Play Mario Tennis Aces – we won’t judge!
Day 7: Lego Day
- Movie: “The Lego Movie” and “The Lego Movie 2” are hilarious for kids and adults alike.
- Craft: Get out those bricks and let your imaginations run wild! Try these simple projects for beginners.
- Food: Make LEGO Rice Krispy treats or LEGO Jell-O.
- Book: Read or watch LEGO City Save This Christmas.
- Learn: By eight to 10, kids really hit their LEGO stride. Here are educational activities to try at home.
- Active Play: LEGOS can be active, too. Create LEGO obstacle courses and complete clean-up races.
We hope you enjoyed these fun family bonding activities. You can also contact Shine for virtual parties or pre-assembled crafting bags. If you live in New York’s East End, inquire about our safe in-person small group workshops available over the winter break today. Space is limited.