“Mommy, I’m bored.” “But dad, there’s nothing to do.” Holiday break with nothing interesting to do and a less-than-bulging wallet? Curb that boredom in kids with some budget-friendly activities. Don’t know what to do? Kids tired of the same old dull activities? As a mom of four who has spent a great deal of time entertaining kids on school breaks, I have a few ideas up my sleeve at all times.
Make custom homemade holiday e-cards. If you have a digital camera, a computer, and simple photo editing software, this free activity will keep the kids busy for hours. Have a day of fun snapping photos of your family laughing and playing together. Be sure to wear clothing color or theme appropriate for the upcoming holiday. Edit and use the best shots, along with free background templates, to create custom e-cards. When you finish and save the cards, you can create online albums to share with everyone or email them out individually. You can even be extra creative and create a different design for each recipient.
Sip homemade hot cocoa with roasted marshmallows. Kids love kitchen concoctions. They also love chocolate and marshmallows. Roast marshmallows and prepare homemade hot cocoa together during holiday breaks from school. To prepare homemade hot cocoa, follow my recipe: Simmer 6 cups of milk in a saucepan. Slowly stir in 2 cups of powdered cocoa and ½ cup of sugar. Stir over heat until blended. Pour in coca cups and serve with the roasted marshmallows. This activity teaches the kids some cooking skills, as well as provides an excellent gateway for family fun and discussions.
Track animals on a nature trail or around your neighborhood. Do your kids know which types of animals hang out in the neighborhood during each season? Holiday breaks are a great opportunity to use natural hints to track them. Take the kids to a local nature trail – or even just around town. Look for animal footprints, feathers, skins, droppings, and other hints. This helps the kids determine which animals are relevant to the season. Education, fun, and boredom busting all in one! Just my kind of family activity! How about you?
Invent a game together. Want to try something you haven’t already played a million times and shoved to the back of a closet? Involve the kids in coming up with a new game. Decide whether you will play an indoor or outdoor game, whether it’s a board game or physical game, and so on. Then, take turns writing down the rules. You might be surprised at what your family comes up with. This is two activities in one because once you finish designing the game, everyone gets to play. Since it’s something they made themselves, this activity will probably keep giving throughout the holiday break. Plus, it’s budget-friendly. You can’t beat free. For a holiday-themed add-on, try creating a game geared toward a recent holiday.
Do volunteer work together. Not only does this help someone in need, but it can also bring your family closer together. Call around to local shelters, hospitals, churches, and other organizations to find out who needs help during the school holiday break. Volunteer activities for kids might include things like serving food at a local soup kitchen. Kids can also count and package canned and boxed food at donation centers. They also may do things like play with terminal patients in children’s hospitals or keep the elderly and disabled entertained in assisted living communities. This fun family activity helps keep the kids busy and committed and also instills the importance of a giving heart.
Read more from Lyn Lomasi:
Christmas Cookie and Baked Goods Recipes and Traditions
Printable Thanksgiving Family Games: Fun for Kids and Adults
Free Events to Keep Kids Busy During Summer Vacation