How Do I Keep My Children Amused During Winter Break?

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Dear “And You Will Have Kids”,

My children are starting their winter break.  They’ll be off of school for 2 weeks! I’ve no idea how to keep them busy and out of trouble.  HELP!

Frazzled Mom

Dear Frazzled Mom,

Fear not!  There are many ways that you can keep your children amused.  Here are some things you may want to check out.

Winter Camps

Many organizations offer winter camps for kids.  You can find out about these programs in your local newspaper or by doing a search on the internet.  In our area, there are many camps for kids.  Camps include craft camp, space camp, and cooking camp. 

Library Programs

Many libraries offer programs during winter break.  Your child may be able to take a class on origami, or join a book club.  In order to find out about these opportunities, you can check with the children’s librarian at your local library.  Even if your library doesn’t offer any special programs, it’s still a great idea to take your children to the library to practice their reading skills!

Enrichment Programs

Many communities have enrichment programs which take place during winter break.  Your child can take a class on crafts, dancing, or many other subjects.  This is a great way to keep your child busy and also to encourage them to try something new.  You can find classes at your local YMCA or at your local community center.

Day Trips

If the weather is agreeable, and you have the time, you may be able to take your children on some day trips.  Your local automobile association would have great ideas for inexpensive day trips. 

Create Your Own Camp

With a little bit of imagination and effort, you can create your own “winter camp” for your children.  The bonus is that creating your own camp is much cheaper than paying for winter camp.  The drawback is that it requires some preparation on your part.

Your local craft store should have inexpensive craft kits which you can purchase.  Some stores even sell bulk kits which are great if you have a large family, or if you’d like to invite the neighborhood children to join you.

One winter, I created a cultural craft camp for my children.  I read a story about different countries and crafts that were common in those countries.  We’d try to re-create the crafts.  We made pinatas when we read about Mexico for example.  The children loved this, and it really wasn’t too much extra work for me.

Start a Winter Reading Program

Perhaps you’ll start a winter reading program! Your children can either take books out of the library or read books that they have at home.  After reading, ask them to write a paragraph about what they just read.  As a reward, perhaps they can earn a trip to the pizza store, or a trip to purchase a book at the book store! 

I wish you the best!

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