When the kids are out of school, parents are left with the task of coming up with ways to keep them busy. No parent wants to rely on TV and video games to fill up a kid’s day. It can often be stressful and exhausting coming up with new ideas. Here are 11 creative holiday break activities.
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Build a Fort
What kid doesn’t love building a fort? They are fairly easy to build and it encourages using imagination. I still remember all the blanket forts my siblings and I used to make when we were kids. My mom would give us a stack of blankets, some clips and we would grab all of the dining room chairs. We would eat meals in our tents and every now and then even sleep in there. After a few days, my mom would have us clean it up but it was so much fun to build it again another time. My kids love building blanket forts or using large boxes to make themselves houses. If you prefer to buy a play tent instead, below are some really fun options.
Fun Food Challenges
My sister introduced us to Fun Food Challenges for kids and my boys have loved them! For this food challenge, try to find a food item that has a variety of flavors. Everyone gets a blindfold, a piece of paper and a pencil. Each player will be handed one of the items, taste it, and then write down their guess. You can either provide options to pick from if it is tougher or they can just write down guesses. In the end, you announce the correct answers and see who wins!
Some fun food items to do this with are Jelly Bellys, Starbursts, M&M’s, Skittles, Pringles, Soda, Oreos, Hershey Kisses, Ice Cream, Pop-Tarts and more.
Here are some more Fun Challenges for Kids to Do.
This holiday break activity can be big or small. You can do a scavenger hunt just around the house or you can do one around town. For ultimate fun, enlist some other families and do a photo scavenger hunt around town. For this one, you would make a list of different things to find around town and take a picture. Whoever gets all of the items on the list the fastest wins! Some ideas could be the library, a fast-food restaurant, a dog, an American flag, a lake, a firetruck, a church and more.
To do a smaller at-home scavenger hunt, you make clues and hide them in order throughout the house. For those that have bad weather during the holidays, this is something fun to do inside. You can stay simple or get creative with this. For simple clues, you can say “Go to the kitchen”. For tougher clues, you could say “Go to the place where tummies are made full”. Then you would put a clue in the next location to lead them somewhere else. It can be short or long. Figuring out clues and running all over the house will get some antsy wiggles out and stimulate the brain.
Here are some additional Scavenger Hunt Printables.
Painting rocks is a simple but really fun activity. It does use paint so can get messy. I suggest having the kids wear old clothes that can get ruined. I have saved many of my husband’s old shirts just for activities like this. If you put the shirt on the child backward it covers their front well and you can roll up the sleeves if needed. Go outside and pick some rocks that are the size of your fist to maybe the size of a football. The smoothest ones are best. Let the kids pick their rock and think about what the rock looks like to them. They can make it look like something or just paint it fun colors. When I was a kid, my sister and I loved painting rocks and we would turn them into different things like a frog, a mountain road, a flower, etc.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and Crafts are great for holiday break activities with your kids. There are so many options so you can pick and choose which your kids will like best. Or you can choose based on what makes the least amount of mess! LOL.
- Slime- HappyDealHappyDay has a great recipe for Fluffy Slime that your kids will love making!
- Friendship bracelets– Making friendship bracelets is a great winter break activity and there are so many different kinds to make.
- Paper Plate Dream Catcher– This is a fun one that is fairly easy to make.
- Easy Snowflakes– Make snowflakes with craft sticks and pipe cleaners
- Peanut Butter Play Dough– This is such a fun holiday break activity because you can play with it and eat it. It is very easy to make and tastes delicious. It will last for a few days to a week in the fridge. Just make sure to take it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to play with it. When its too cold it crumbles easy and is hard to mold. I loved this activity when I was young, especially eating the Peanut Butter Play Dough.
Holiday Break Party
Get together with some school friends for a holiday break party. You can either host one yourself or agree with some mom friends to throw a mini-party together. If you get 5-10 kids together, you can rent a bounce house, order some pizza and let the kids jump to their heart’s content while the moms get to chat. The bounce house only works if you are in a warmer climate because you wouldn’t want to do this when it is under 40 degrees outside.
We like to throw a Cousin’s Christmas Brunch every year. A few times we have gotten a bounce house since we live in Southern California and its a great way for the kids and adults to work off some energy and calories!
To send out invitations for your little party, check out Paperless Post. They have lots of options to choose from for invitations, cards, flyers and more.
If you are wanting something a little more ready-to-go with less effort, take a look at some of these craft kits. I loved doing a lot of these as kids because they provide everything you need. You get to try a variety of different crafts or projects without buying a lot of materials. Here are some of my favorite ones.
Put on a Play
This is best with multiple kids but you could do it with one as well. Let your kids get creative and put on a show for you. They can sing a song, act out a play, pretend to do a commercial, read a story or more. My siblings and I did a lot of these when we were younger. You can set up a stage and even invite other people to come to watch the performance. If you want to get really into it, they can create a program with what is going to be in the show. This could be a one day project or even a one week project depending on how excited your kids are for this activity. Drama camp at home! Great for holiday break activities!
Marble Run with Legos
This is better for if you don’t have little kids 2 and under because of small choking hazards. Create your own Marble Run with Legos. It can be simple or quite elaborate. There are some easy instructions on this page but definitely a better project for older kids.
For those that need to stay indoors but still want to get some energy out, try these indoor sports. More great holiday break activities!
- Indoor Tennis with Balloons and Fly Swatters or Badminton rackets.
- Trash Can Basketball- Ball up socks and set up baskets in a variety of places. You can set up different challenges that the kids have to do to make baskets.
- Sock Tag- Have one person sit on the floor with a pile of balled-up socks. Have the other players run back-and-forth while the seated person tries to tag them with socks. The tagged person then becomes the thrower.
We often end up going to the same parks over and over because we are familiar with them. As long as you have good weather, go check out different parks. You could even go to multiple parks in one day and let your kids rank them to see which was their favorite. Sometimes those small neighborhood parks are better than the big city or community parks.
You can get creative on this one both in how elaborate and the location. Here are some suggestions for a Snow Obstacle Course. For those with warmer weather, you can create an obstacle course outside. Chalk is a great way to map it out. Maybe add in some hopscotch, a scooter ride, and a basketball dribble.
Share below some ideas you have for keeping kids busy during Holiday breaks beside the TV and video games.