Every child looks forward to having time off school, but that leaves parents with the task of continually looking for ways to keep them busy. These activities are sure to be a hit around the holidays when looking for something to pass the time.
Salt Dough Ornaments
These nostalgic homemade ornaments are easy and fun for everyone. The recipe is simple, and Mommypotamus lays it all out. Pick favorite shapes, characters, or free-hand the look of each ornament. Let kids decorate with paint, glitter, and confetti.
Hang these handmade gifts on your own tree or wrap them up for family, friends, teachers, or the grinch down the street. Bonus, baking is an awesome STEAM activity, so kids don’t forget all that science they’ve been learning back at school.
Toddlers and preschoolers love to build. They can create statues and buildings from almost anything found around the house. They’ll use Legos, blocks, cardboard boxes, and even stack random toys and chairs. Combine their love of building with the use of a tablet for hours of play.
Check out Lego Everything for some pretty excellent options. Have kids flip through the ideas and re-create the image they choose. Let technology inspire hands-on activity and provide a bit of quiet time for mom and dad. Win-win.
Map My Run
Perfect for a family of runners. Using Map My Run, build out a route that resembles a snowman, Santa, or a dreidel. Bundle up and follow the route, syncing with a smartwatch or phone to track progress.
Those cross country and track athletes will love sharing their latest run with their friends through social media. It might even be worth baking some cookies together in the same shape as the run route to enjoy once it’s complete.
Framed Canvas Paintings
This is a great activity for everyone in the family. Grab a bundle of canvases at your local craft store and use a paper plate to disperse paint for everyone. Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Let kids use their fingers, hands, or stick to paintbrushes.
As each masterpiece dries, make some room on the walls to display them for the season or create space on the mantle. Younger kids can learn new colors by mixing paint, and the older ones can show off their artistic talents.
Sensory bins are a huge hit with toddlers and preschoolers. They’re especially great for parents because they are usually inexpensive! Sensory bins can vary as children get older. Re-use or re-create different bins for different stages of life.
Hide the Animals is a fan favorite. This will keep them busy for hours and teach exceptional motor skills, animal sounds, and recognition. Letters and Numbers is an excellent option for preschoolers and elementary-aged kids. It’s a hands-on option to learn letter/number recognition, colors, early reading, spelling, and counting. This offers hands-on flashcard to help teach young kids the alphabet learn how to count.
Kimberly Lewis is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s Degree in education. She taught science at the Warren County Alternative School before choosing to continue her love of writing as a freelancer while at home raising her two children.