Winter is just around the corner and the holiday season will be here before you know it. While many kids are excited about the break from school, many parents struggle with how to spend the time — particularly when their children are still young. Three-fourths of young children in the United States participate in a preschool program, but these programs usually take time off during part of the winter. This leaves many parents with the nagging issue: how do I keep the kids busy without the school day? Use this list as a starting point for tasks to keep kids busy while also helping them healthy and learning.
Take A Library Trip
Your local library is a great source to keep kids busy without a hefty price tag. There are over 119,000 libraries in the United States and almost all of them will have at least one program available for young children. Let your kids pick out their favorite books to encourage them to read while on break from school.
Create an At-Home Science Fair
If you’ve got a young scientist at home, set up a few kitchen science experiments on a day when the weather’s too nasty to play outside. Create some cool chemistry with some Coca Cola and Mentos, let them see how evaporation works with dry ice, or introduce them to non-Newtonian fluids with an easy mix of corn starch and water. The possibilities are endless, and your kids are sure to have fun while learning something.
Take Care of Doctor Visits
While nobody wants to necessarily see the doctor, it’s important to take care of your kids’ health. Instead of booking doctor’s appointments during the year and having to pull your kids out of school to make it to an appointment, see if you can schedule them during winter break. Don’t forget about dental care too, including orthodontic care. The best time to begin orthodontic treatment is at age seven, so if you suspect your child may need braces, there’s no time like the present to check.
Turn Chores Into Games
Does having the kids at home make keeping the house clean difficult? Turn cleaning up after themselves into a game. Instead of telling them to put their toys away, put a basketball hoop over their toy bin so they can shoot hoops while cleaning up. Challenge them to a cleaning race to see who can get their bed made the fastest, and reward them with a small prize. The house will be clean again before you know it.
Plan Winter Break Field Trips
If the weather is nice enough to drive, take some time to visit a museum with your kids. Most science museums have children’s exhibits that allow kids to play and interact with the exhibits. It’s a fun way to spend a day, and your kids are likely to learn something about a new science subject while playing and keeping themselves entertained.
Winter break can pose a problem for parents, since there’s a lot more time to keep the kids busy. Use these tips to get started and entertain your children until school is back in session.