It’s Winter Break-the kids are out of school…what can we do?

crayons2015 has flown by way too fast and Christmas is now a memory! We all know that the kiddos may actually stay busy for about an hour on Christmas morning with the toys you spent months paying off or buying, and there are plenty of marathons of “Christmas” movies on TV, but there has to be more we can do with them!  THERE IS and the good news is you don’t have to break the bank and you can make some fun lasting memories.

First, Lucky for us we are having a mild winter in the Poconos SO let’s go outside! Sure there are playgrounds and you can toss around the old football BUT let’s get original. When was the last time you did a scavenger hunt? Did you know there’s an app for that?? Actually there are a few free/.99 cent apps such as Klikklakklu, Seek and Spot and Scavenger Hunt for Kids. (Note: I’m not affiliated with any of these, I just found them searching and thought they were worth sharing!)

Have you tried to arrange a play date?

Why not coordinate some relay races like the kids enjoy for field day?

Many area libraries offer a free story time as do bookstores like FYE for the lap sitters and under 5 crowd!

Then, on your way home, hit up the dollar store for prizes and art supplies/beauty finds for the indoor activities. What makes these projects awesome is our ability to be “kids” again and take their usual ordinary playtime and “splurge”a little to make things interesting. The dollar section at Target is great for inspiration, so is Big Lots and my fave the Dollar Tree. (The older kids can also be enticed by Five Below!)

Once indoors let’s kick things up a notch by playing “art gallery”, the little ones can paint and color and then put their masterpieces in frames from the dollar store. The older kids love Madlibs, so Google some free ones or more grown up art pages/coloring pages and have fun!

How about you have a cupcake war and have some fun supplies on hand to decorate your edible masterpieces? (That’s where those coupons for AC Moore and Michaels come in handy!) or you can bake your own doggy treats with some banana, eggs, honey and peanut butter and then use your cookie cutters. (There are recipes online and you can change up ingredients based on your dog’s diet.)

Kids love a spa day just like we do! Grab some lotion, nail care and make up from the dollar store or clearance bins at Target and CVS.  (I also keep old costume jewelry in an old jewelry box for my little one!)

For the little builders, why not make forts with furniture etc. around the house? Grab some old sheets and make a huge tent/fort in the family room.

An at home photobooth with DIY props are fun too! You can drape an old sheet over the back of a chair or from a doorway as the backdrop or buy a colorful tablecloth for a dollar anywhere and make some original props like glittery glasses or a moustache. (Pinterest and buzzfeed have great ideas too! The sky’s the limit!)

The older kids may enjoy a game day playing old fashioned board games, putting together an amazing puzzle, playing a video game or dancing/singing to the those video games (hello redbox!) but the key is, you have to get into it, too! Your kids will love you for being fun with them and you will have some great memories! Or you can try games from that show “Minute to Win It” such as face the cookie, where you have to move a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without your hands, just using your facial muscles and wriggling, smiling, grimacing etc.! For a low cal option, the kids can use only one hand to pull every tissue out of a box in under a minute.

What are your favorite ideas to keep the kids busy when they’re out of school?