The Christmas and New Year’s holiday means children are out of school. I remember looking forward to this long break. Staying in my P.J.’s all day playing with my new toys, sledding with my friends and staying up later to watch movies! I also remember saying I was bored –which makes no sense what-so-ever. There was plenty to do but kids will be kids I suppose.

Kids often say they are bored, even with the games, electronics, toys and television. Sometimes they just need to learn how to be bored. To relax and not be busy all of the time! Other times they need some direction or suggestions on what to do and often they just want to be doing something with the adult in charge.

Here are 6 effective ways to keep kids busy this holiday break:

1.  Get Crafty. Plenty of online sites such as Kaboose, Sprout Online and Family Fun offer ideas, instructions, printables and more!  If you plan ahead and have craft supplies on hand (glue, scissors, construction paper, glitter, etc.) it makes having a craft day easy. When you’re done take the children to a nursing home or children’s wing of a hospital and let them give what they have made to others to cheer them up this holiday season.

2.  Indoor Obstacle Course.  The kids might have cabin fever and need to burn off some energy. Create an indoor obstacle course using pillows, hoola-hoops, cones, laundry baskets and jump ropes. Get creative and take turns making different obstacle courses. Yes the house will look like someone robbed it but trust me the children will have a great time and be tired when they’re done!

3.  Opposite Day. Get a little crazy one day with the kids. Let them have pizza for breakfast, eat lunch in the living room on a blanket and breakfast for dinner. Instead of getting dressed have the kids put on new pajamas, not brush their hair or do chores. The opposite of everything they’re supposed to do! They’ll love it! Eat dessert first not last. Walk backwards all day and yes means no. The kids will be entertained all day trying to do everything opposite of how they ordinarily do things and you’ll have some great memories!

4.  Restaurant. Pick one meal and let the children plan the meal. Allow them to create menus, decorate the table, play hostess and turn your kitchen and dining room into a real restaurant for one meal. They’ll be busy making placemats, menus, going to the grocery store and cooking with you that the day will fly by! Pizza is probably the easiest way to go based on my experience but it really depends on how old your children are.

5.  Purge.  This doesn’t sound like a ton of fun but you can make it fun! With all the new toys you probably need to make room for them. Which usually means it is time to do some cleaning and organizing. Involve the kids in this activity by giving them one large box. They can pick whatever in their room that they no longer play with and put it in the box. When the box is full you can go through the box together and decide what should be kept, sold or donated. Take the children to personally donate the items and if they have items to sell use eBay and encourage them to donate their money to a good cause.

6.  A Field Trip. Take a field trip to your local humane society.  Call ahead of time so they know you are coming and offer to walk dogs, play with puppies, and play with kitties or help clean.  Remember to talk with your children before going to the humane society that you are going to help not adopt an animal, unless of course you’re ready for a new member of the family.

Why not? Great tips for free!

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