Whether you will be home alone with two kids or you’re hosting a house full of hooligans in the days leading up to Santa’s arrival, consider the following holiday-themed boredom busters to keep your sanity intact:
Activity Pages: Print out free Christmas coloring pages from the Internet. Not only do the jolly images provide for hours of holiday fun, but also, they’ll save you precious cash during a time when most moms and dads are pinching pennies. Older kids, who have outgrown the wonders of coloring, can be kept busy by playing word jumble games. Simply have each child write the words “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” across the top of a white sheet of paper. Then, challenge them to make as many words possible from the letters featured in the phrases. These types of writing activities help strengthen spelling skills and quicken response time if you set a deadline for the word searches.
Roving Reporter: Lend your child your video camera, still camera (with video option), smartphone or other recording device and have them interview members of your family about different facets of their lives. This activity will help your kids develop listening skills (good interviewers need to listen carefully to their subjects so they can devise decent follow-up questions) and they may learn some interesting facts about a loved one that they were not aware of. What’s more, you can give it a holiday spin by having your roving reporter ask questions relating to favorite Christmas traditions or memories. Once the interviews are complete, have your kids edit the clips together so you can broadcast it when the entire family comes together on Christmas.
Kitchen Elves: Let your children flex their creative muscle in the kitchen. Kids of all ages love lending a hand making holiday treats. Combine Christmas cookies and fudge with some healthier recipes, such as your own spin on Chex Mix. Put out a large bowl and have kids mix together cereal, dried cranberries, Christmas tree-shaped pretzels, holiday M and Ms (the red and green ones), peanuts, cashews and chocolate-covered pretzels.