How to Survive the Winter Holidays: 12 Creative Things to do at Home

By Rebecca Lemar
Feed your child’s imagination and get them moving and creating with these easy and fun ideas!

1. Conversation: Fill up a page with hearts. Then have a conversation with your child about who (or what) you LOVE. Write a word in each heart. Variety: Cut out hearts and hang them everywhere, make a garland of hearts with names on them.

2.Tic-Tac-Toe: Play with rubber stamps instead of x & o.
IMG_93633. Fly to the Moon: Make a cardboard cockpit and “fly to the moon.” You need cardboard, paper, marker pen, yarn and tape for a basic build.

4.Fire Engine!: Silly as this sounds, play a little game I named, “Fire Engine.” Find a place outside with several trees, preferably your yard. Even 5 trees will be enough. One person yells “FIRE ENGINE!!” and everyone runs to any tree and they touch it until you hear/yell “FIRE ENGINE” again. Very simple, but this running game can be very fun if you put enthusiasm into it. Add variety by skipping, galloping, hopping, crab crawling to a tree.
5. Map Skills: Make a simple map of your house with your child, perhaps one floor of your home. Make sure they understand how to read and navigate the map. Mark an X and place some treasure there!! If you spend time with them the first time you do it and build confidence, they will be more apt to do it on their own next time.
6. Would You Rather…? : Play this little game called, Would you Rather? Would you rather be a shark or a lion? A bee or a turtle? A fat cat or a skinny dog? A zoo or a garden? Red or White? A swimming pool or a lake? How insightful their answers can be!!
7. Sinkers and Floaters: Collect a few simple objects that can be found in or around your home that you wouldn’t mind getting wet. Spoon, cotton ball, wine cork, pine cone, blade of grass, acorn, penny, etc. Fill up any kind of container with water (pitcher, basin, bath tub, sink) and see which objects sink, which objects float.
8. Beans: IMG_9416Do you have dried beans in your cupboard? Give your child mixing bowls, tablespoons, a small pitcher, an empty spice jar, measuring cups, whatever. Advanced Beans: salad spinner, food processor without blade. Let them pour, divide, sort with beans. This is a great pouring exercise for hand-eye coordination and practical life skills.

9. Toddlers: Peel paper off canned goods. Again, sounds silly, but my children love it. When they ask to help in the kitchen and I only have chopping and frying to do, I get out the canned goods and express a great need that the paper comes off. Label beforehand if you want to or play a nice game of what are we un-canning tonight!?
10. Balloons: This age old toy ignites excitement and the children can have fun for days hitting, popping balloons for fun, in races, under chins, make a pregnant belly or play a game where the balloon cannot touch the ground. So much to explore with balloons!
11. IMG_1874Sensory box. Fill individual medium to large containers with any of the following: cotton balls, equal parts cornstarch and water “goop”, sugar/salt and food coloring, wooden beads, water beads (online or at almost any craft store in the floral section), snow, water and use syringes, spoons or ladles.
12. Star Pizza Party: Use a cookie cutter to cut stars (or trees, or hearts, etc) from cooked pizza.IMG_1705

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