November 12, 2012

Category: Smart Spending

Make Winter Break Magic for Your Family

Making the most of winter break varies quite a bit by region of the country, but regardless of the temperature, you can make the time off of school more about family bonding—and less about bickering and boredom. It may feel like your kids are home for an eternity, but consider these recommendations for family fun: 

Let it Snow. 

In some parts of the country, the snow is a constant. Make it fun. Encourage your kids to build a snowman or make a snow fort. Or go ice skating—either indoor or outdoor. Great exercise, too. Finish off the day with hot chocolate all around.  

Go to the Movies.

For a movie marathon at home, bring out your kids’ favorite snacks and some warm blankets or sleeping bags. Choosing a movie theme (e.g., Harry Potter or action series) or have each child pick a film. Or, take your movie adventure out to the theater. Get out of the house and away from the computer. Choose kid-friendly movies—or even double features.   Share a tub of popcorn—and you have made an afternoon of it. You’ll even save some money attending matinees or the dollar cinema. 

Get Cultured. 

Spend a couple of hours exploring your nearest art or science museum. It’s a great way to explore and learn over the holiday break. When you return home, get out the crayons and markers. Challenge your children to draw their favorite painting or sculptures. Go Give. Round up some friends and a Christmas song book. Head out to a local nursing home and spend the afternoon singing holiday songs and maybe playing a bit of bingo with those who are most isolated and lonely at a time of year when everyone else seems to be celebrating. 

Make gifts.  

Nothing is more precious than a handmade gift. Use your creativity to make ornaments for the Christmas tree to or give to as gifts. Pick up free pine cones outside and spray them with gold or silver paint. Or, dot them with glue and dip in glitter. Add a yarn loop, and you have a dazzling decoration for the tree, table or gift wrap. 

  Get Cooking. It’s amazing how much fun you can have making a batch of cookies. Try gingerbread men that you can decorate inexpensively—with icing, raisins for eyes, candies for buttons, etc. Let your imagination go wild. Next, break out the marshmallows, and roast them in a roaring fire. You might even turn them into s’mores—squeezing them between chocolate bars and graham crackers. Yum. 

 Do you have any other great ways to keep your kids busy during winter break? Share them here.