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Constructive Activities to Keep Kids Busy This Christmas Break


Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina PalmerChristmas TreeThe countdown has begun. My children are about to begin a two-week vacation, and yours may be, too. The second week of Christmas break most kids entertain themselves with all those lovely presents we spent weeks buying and wrapping. Week one is like a disease that causes kids to itch for gifts, which drives us (okay, me) up the wall. Why do schools let kids out before Christmas Eve? What do you mean ‘teachers need to shop, too?’ Let the children soak up their education and let moms finish getting ready instead of three or four days off before the big day. Ha!

My kids attend school Monday, early release on the 19th and 20th, no school on the 21st, and the winter break extends straight on into the New Year. That’s two half days and four days of three mini-me’s asking if it’s Christmas yet.

Lucky for them, their mom is terrible at math and overbought baking supplies for holiday gifts. This year the girls and I made cookie jars for the teachers, friends, and church family. As in, we bought quart-sized jars and filled them with the dry ingredients for butterscotch oatmeal cookies. My aunt had a book with the recipes and cards to attach to the jars for the gift-receiver. We put twenty-four jars together and had enough for neighbors, teachers, my husband’s co-workers, the pastors, and a few friends. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon with my little helpers. Thanks to my lack of math skills, we now own enough extra sugar, flour, baking powder, and baking chips for my mandatory holiday five-pound weight gain.

Along with baking, here are some constructive activities to keep the youngsters from ripping into the tree early:

  • Craft Fun – Hobby Lobby (along with other craft stores) has some wonderful ornament kits with all the stickers and decorations included. Every year I buy one or two of these kits and the kids contribute to the tree decorating. The shop even has little gingerbread decorating kids (not the edible kind) with tiny candy stickers. I admit I enjoy decorating them too.
  • Candy hunt in the backyard – Think Easter egg hunt. I live in Texas and see little snow but name a kid who doesn’t love candy.
  • Clearing out toy clutter – This activity isn’t much fun but is necessary and helpful to us moms. Give each kid a box and they can clear out all the toys and books they stopped playing with and reading, to make way for all the gadgets and gizmo’s under the tree. I would suggest the same for video games. Toys can then be donated and help the youngling’s get their rooms clean before the onslaught of toys move from the tree to their rooms.
  • Baking – Don’t forget the baking! My son Rick is better at baking than me. I’m not joking. If I don’t stand by the oven, I burn the cookies. Heck, if I stand by the oven I burn the cookies. He can walk off, sniff the air a few minutes later and pull the cookies out at the perfect time. His cookies stay soft for days! How did he get so good at baking? Practice. At first, they help measure ingredients and work their way up to cooking on their own.
  • Princess tea party – We have a full-service mismatch tea-set and with all those cookies Rick will bake, Bri, Alex, and I will require a sophisticated tea party worthy of the queen.
  • Games – Board games! And card games! Rick recently learned how to play war and then taught his sisters how to play. Think of all the old-fashioned fun! Clue, Catan (if you haven’t played this game you need to try it!), Scrabble, Skipbo, Checkers, Chess, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Scattergories, Monopoly, Sorry, the list goes on! Make them put their electronics down and try some fun from the past!

These are my favorite go-to activities for holiday breaks. Most of them are fat-free. If you know of any activities worthy of keeping kids from shaking presents please share below.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrina Palmer is a stay-at-home-mom to three wonderful children and a wife to an amazing husband. She has a bachelors degree in Religion from Liberty University and is currently writing her first novel. Adrina is a Christian hoping to help other stay-at-home moms find the joy and simplicity as a mother and wife. In her free time she enjoys many crafts, writing, spending time with family, and reading. She would love to hear from you!

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