Although you cherish every second you have with your precious children, you may need to have some fun kids’ winter-break activities in your box of tricks to keep them out of your hair while you relax or get some work done. These ideas will add a little wonder to your kids’ wintery days.
Pack a Winter Picnic
Although picnics often are reserved for summertime, it may be even more fun to make a hot lunch and get bundled up for an adventure in the winter wonderland. An insulated thermos makes sure your food stays warm.
Find a good reason to make cookies: for a neighbor, a sidewalk sale or an upcoming dinner party. Let the kids research a recipe and bake with independence (but safety supervision), and chalk up any less-than-tasty mistakes to the scientific process. You could even ask them to present their findings and make a plan to fix their blunder with the next batch. The gift of a chef’s kit will give them the authority in the kitchen that they love.
Some winter-break ideas for kids just sound like work on your part, but sending your kids on a scavenger hunt will keep them occupied and won’t require you to clean up any messes. Make a list of activities for them to complete: take a picture in a still-scene reenactment of a favorite movie, shoot some video of their best dance moves or retrieve the “three blind mice” that are hiding around the house.
When sledding and snowmen have lost their thrill, give your kids another reason to go outside for some fun activities. Spray bottles with a little watercolor paint or food-safe dye mixed with water could inspire their next great art project on the world’s most naturally white canvas. As long as there are a few rules, you shouldn’t have to clean up after them.
Mariko is a high school English teacher who has three children, illegible handwriting and an obsession with mail-order artisan ice cream. She lives in Hawaii, but she makes a point to eat her way through big cities as often as she can.