Everyone is getting ready for family and festivities this upcoming weekend. It's busy, it's exciting, and filled with fun things to do. Then Christmas ends, and even though your kids have unwrapped all sorts of new things to engage them, the words "I'm bored" inevitably come out of their mouth. Those words. Like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Like a rock in your shoe. But, I have found if I prepare myself for those words. I respond in a more patient way. So today, I thought I would share a list of fun things for your kids to do, and for you to do with your kids between Christmas and New Years, once the holiday crazy calms down.
1. Create Thrift Store Art
Grab some craft paint, paper, or canvas and set up a little painting station. Give your kids $1-$2 at the thrift store to purchase "things" to paint their masterpiece. Eating/cooking utensils, Barbie dolls, Hot Wheel cars, trinkets...anything really. Then, they can come back and paint with those items. You can also use things around the house like Kate did with her kids over on Picklebums.
2. Sock War
All you need is folded up socks and a stuffed animal. Have someone sit in the middle of a "common area" in your home. Set up the stuffed animal somewhere in this room. The goal is for your kids to get the stuffed animal and get it out of the room without getting hit by a sock. The only person who has socks is the person in the middle. I usually sit in the living room, read a magazine, and chuckle as my son tries to sneak past me... then I chuck a sock at him while I sip my coffee. If you have a kid friendly space to have a sock war, like a basement, this is such a fun activity for them to do with their friends.
3. Simple Sewing Projects
Take a scrap piece of fabric, and have your kid draw something on the fabric. Teach them a basic stitch and they can outline their drawing. This is not just a girl project. You can see the little monster my son made in this post. He loves it! Ashley from Make It and Love It has a great tutorial.
4. Have Your Kids Write A Book.
Give them 5-6 pieces of paper and have them write a children's book. For older kids, they can write a sentence on each page and draw a picture. For younger kids it can be a picture book. Simply scan their book pages to your computer and use Snapfish or your local photo shop or print shop to create the book.
5. Make a Music Video
Use your phone camera to make a music video. Have your kids pick a song. They will entertain themselves for hours coming up with ideas, getting dressed, making props and practicing. When they are ready, play the music and film it. You can even debut it on New Years Eve. Family Focus Blog even has some great tutorials for making fake instruments.
6. Create a String Maze
Tie string around all your door knobs in a hallway and give your kids a list of challenges to do in the maze. For example: get through the maze.... without touching, in less than 5 minutes, holding hands with your siblings, with a toy in your hand ect... Now go read a book, because they will love this for hours.
7. Box up Old Toys
We do this before Christmas, but it can be fun after Christmas too. Give your kid some options of where these items can go and let them choose.
Giving is always a good thing to do, but I have seen that this sometimes inspires my kiddo to play with his new toys. Win-win...right?
8. Plan a Cooking Scavenger Hunt
Hide ingredients or cooking utensils around the house for their favorite cookie or baking treat. Write clues for each one. Have the kids, using the clues, collect all the ingredients and then you can bake the treat with them. If you want to make it extra long, give them tasks for each clue. For example: "Go to your room where you store your puzzles, finish a puzzle to get your next clue." Or...."find your library book and the next chapter to get your next clue."
9. Have a Pillow Jumping Party
Let your kids grab every pillow, comforter, cushion, or bean bag in the house and make a huge pile. I am seriously a mom who has to have everything in it's place so when I suggest this to my kid...I become a rock star. This is my son and my good friend's son having a blast jumping into pillows. In the meantime, my friend and I drank coffee and chatted while we supervised the crazy. Of course, be safe by creating boundaries before you start and supervise this activity.
10. Have A Family Reading Night
Make a fire, pop some popcorn, and everyone snuggle in and read a book. This is a good one when all your kids are reading age. Sometimes creating a fun environment like a fort can make this super fun. A Subtle Revelry has some creative fort making ideas. A simple sheet across the couch is usually a winner in my home.
What do you do with your kids after Christmas? Please do share your ideas!