Winter Break Activities For Kids

Fun winter activities to do with your children.

I can remember back when I was in elementary school and early December would roll around. Thanksgiving had just finished and the air was electric in the classroom as all the kids talked about Christmas and what presents they were asking for from Santa and what fun places they would travel to over the Christmas break. Those two and a half weeks we called winter break were heaven to us kids. Some kids simply stayed at home preparing for the Christmas holidays, while other kids traveled to visit relatives. When kids get off for winter break, instead of sitting around watching television, brainstorm some winter activities to get the whole family together. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

As the holidays approach, much is to be done, from shopping for presents to baking batches of cookies and sweets for neighbors and friends. Instead of looking towards this baking as a chore, make a whole day of it and have the kids help out. Pick out a few simple recipes (this would not be the day to try out that new recipe you saw in Martha Stewart's cookbook) that the kids can help out with, like sugar cookies or gingerbread men. Give each child a specific chore, like mixing the dough or spooning out the cookie dough onto the baking sheet. Once the cookies are baked and cooled, let the kids decorate the cookies with different frostings and sprinkles.

If the air is too nippy, make it a night in. Put a log in the fire and make some homemade hot chocolate for the whole family. Have each family member pick out their favorite winter holiday movie to watch during this movie night (if you have a large family, this may have to span a few nights or weekends until everybody has had a chance). Let the kids roast S'mores in the fire for some sweet treats. Make it a rule that nobody can complain or whine when another family member's chosen movie is playing.

When my husband and I first moved into our house a month and a half before Christmas, we decided to decorate. Once we got to the store and saw the prices of some simple decorations, we quickly decided that we would wait to decorate until next year. Instead of spending a fortune on expensive decorations, have a crafts day with your kids to make decorations to put up around the house. Go online and find some fun winter crafts like glitter snowflakes to hang around the house and in the windows. Your children will have a blast making decorations to put up around your home.

On a day that is not too cold, bundle up the kids and take a nature hike. Give each child (and parent) a disposable camera and have them take shots of those things they see that remind them of winter, whether it be a leaf-less tree or an icicle hanging from a rooftop. Once the pictures have been developed, have your children go through the pictures and write a small paragraph explaining why that particular picture reminds them of winter. Invest in a scrapbook and have the kids help post all of the pictures in it, along with their journal entries, for a beautiful winter-inspired scrapbook.

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