Boredom Busters: 7 Things to Do with Your Kids Over Holiday Break

Got bored kids? Here are some ideas to help keep your kids happy over winter break.

Here are seven fun ways to keep kids from toddlers to teens entertained and off screens during the upcoming holiday break.

  • Art: You can create an art kit for your kids with just a shoebox filled with colored pencils, crayons, pens, scissors, tape, a glue stick and a small sketchpad available at your local office supply store discount outlet. Tweens and teens will find inspiration to start drawing, doodling and journaling from books such as Carla Sonheim’s Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun, The Art of Silliness: A Creativity Book for Everyone and Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop with Carla Sonheim. Other examples are Dawn DeVries Sokol’s books Doodle Diary: Art Journalizing for Girls, Art Doodle Love: A Journal of Self-Discovery and Doodle Sketchbook: Art Journaling for Boys. Also worth checking out is Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash Your Inner Eccentric by Violette.
  • Indoor fort-building with paper snowball fights: Natalie Kryger, a Snoqualmie, WA, mom of four boys under age 15, encourages parents to not overbook kids with activities over the break. “Boredom is often the mother of invention. Make a fort in the living room with blankets and have an indoor snowball fight with wadded up wrapping paper from Christmas.”
  • Pizza and movie party: Kryger says “have your own pizza party with a personal size pizza dough ball." Pick up ready-made dough at the store. "Have them choose toppings from a selection on the table, bake and let them settle in with a favorite movie."
  • Play with paper: The traditional Japanese art of origami offers hours of fun and enhances your child’s spatial skills. Tom Angleberger’s Star Wars-themed origami books including The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back offer both reading and origami fun. 
  • Puppet show: Attach a clothesline or rope across a doorway. Throw a sheet over it for a curtain and use a box below on the floor for the stage. Give kids paper bags and crayons for easy DIY puppets. Break out the socks and gloves, yarn, foam, puff balls, glue gun and googly eyes from a craft store for fancier versions. Miyako Kanamori's Sock and Glove: Creating Charming Softy Friends from Cast-Off Socks and Gloves is a great resource.
  • Break out the board games: Younger kids will love playing games such as Apples to Apples with you, and older kids will enjoy classic board games like Scrabble and Monopoly. If you don't have any board games, you’ll find them on sale—and often in great condition—after the holidays at thrift stores. 
  • Bake: My mother bakes cookies with my son and daughter every year during the holiday break, teaching them how to make the cookies her Lithuanian mother made for her as a child. You can bake at home with your kids, have grandparents deal with the mess at their house, or look for a cooking class for kids.
Amanda Frye December 22, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Read a great book should be on this list!
Amanda Frye December 22, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Read a great book should be on this list!
Anne Hance December 22, 2012 at 04:21 PM
How about a visit to Explorit Science Center - www.explorit.org for days and times
James Cubbage December 22, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Don't forget about Davis Musical Theater Company's "Junie B. Jones, Jingle Bells, Batman Smells". Great family fun! www.dmtc.org. Showing daily through the 26th (except Christmas Day).
Sam December 22, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Go outside and play. Ride your bike, go to the park.
Lucas December 23, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Don't forget the Adderall and sand filled straight jackets.
Explorit Science Center December 23, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Anne, you beat me to it! Yes, visit Explorit during your winter break. In addition to our exhibit, we are offering special spider crafts! We are open 1-5pm Dec. 26-31 and Jan. 2-6 admission is $5, free for members and children two and under. www.explorit.org
Rebecca Tait December 23, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Now if we only had a bus service that would take us there and back from Watsonville Transit Center. I am certainly not up to the drive in the rain with glaucoma and cataracts, but I would love to see the museum.
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