Trust me. I am excited to have some down time after a lot of hustle and bustle during this Christmas season. But I also want to be careful that my kids don’t spend way too much time in front of screens while they are out of school during winter break. Sometimes I can err on the side of feeling sorry for them. “Poor babies, they work so hard in school. They can have just one more episode.” So I’ve decided to make a list of Winter break to-dos, so we don’t fall into the too-much screen time trap this winter break.
1. A coloring table cloth.
I have a couple of artists in my house, who value some coloring down time. It really is therapeutic. I’ve ordered this particular table cloth that can be washed and used again if you use washable markers.
2. Gingerbread house contest
How about a little healthy competition? We have gingerbread house kits ready to go to create a delicious gingerbread village. Whose shall be tallest, prettiest, most original? Oh, the anticipation.
3. Making cookies for our neighbors
This one is going to be tough because I’m not eating carbs right now. But the kids and I are pumped to bake some cookies and deliver them to our neighbors now that all our school duties are behind us. I just need to remind myself not to be a psycho about perfection and just enjoy cooking with kids. PSA: Martha Stewart’s sugar cookie recipe is the best one. There is none better. I have tried them all. (And do NOT skip the refrigeration step.)
4. Board games
My family is so late to the Settlers of Cattan party, but my big boys and I cannot get enough of this game. I’m convinced that the life skills being taught in this game are priceless. Your kids too can learn the art of the deal and not to trust anyone. Ah, family time! My littlest is in a Guess Who? phase, so guess who is tired of that game?
5. Books by the Fire
I mean come on. Is there anything more relaxing? I don’t think so. For a sweet classic, read The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever aloud to your littles. I dare you to get through it without crying. Good luck!
Here’s what we’re reading at our house these days. My 13-year-old devours anything by Rick Riodan. He’s a mythology buff. But I ordered him The Prince Warriors by Priscilla Shirer for Christmas. He doesn’t love non-fiction, but is slowly working through This Changes Everything. He’s really growing from it.
My 9-year-old is loving Choose Your Own Adventure books. And I’m all like re-living my childhood and trying to pick his adventure. This is why parenting is great.
My 5-year old loves My Child, My Princess: A Parable About the King and of course, Pinkalicious.
6. Letter to Santa
Santa is not a big thing in our house. But maybe it is in yours. This letter to Santa printable could be a great activity for your kiddos.
7. Take Advantage of Christmas Events Around Town
Albuquerque is a festive place! We’re going to get out of the house and try to do some of these fun activities.
8. Celebrate Advent
Now that our one million Christmas parties and events are over, we can catch up on all our Advent calendars. Don’t judge me. You don’t know my life. Sometimes you cannot open a tiny door every day, so you must open seven doors at the end of the week. It is OK. My husband has had to prohibit any more advent activities/guides/calendars into our home because I have an obsession. I will not sugar coat things. It is kind of a problem. But the whole idea of Advent is my favorite. Seriously, we should have a cup of tea and chat over it. Here are a few we love in our home. . .
- This nativity calendar for little kids is a household favorite. I got it when my oldest was two, and I can’t imagine Christmas without it.
- The Jesse tree. A long time ago, I got together with 24 other moms, and we each made 25 of one ornament and then traded. That was hard for a non-crafty girl like me. I did find you can order these gems on Etsy. Praise hands.
- Our church put together an Advent reading guide. Every week we read a part of it and light a candle. It’s not too late. As I previously mentioned, it’s OK to catch up. No one shall smite you for doing all your Advent readings on the same day.
- This year my whole family is thanking me because we are not doing an advent pillow, an advent chain, or daily advent activities. You’re welcome, family! Crazy lady out.
Don’t let winter break slip by without spending the quality time with your kids that you intend to. We have to be intentional! Enjoy your holiday, and enjoy your children!