It’s that time of year again, school is winding down for the calendar year and kids are starting to get wired at the thought of sugary snacks, presents, and a houseful of family members. While kids are hyper and excited about this time of year, many parents are ready to pull their hair out of their heads because they don’t know what to do to keep their kids occupied during the days off school. It can be a daunting task to entertain excited kids, especially during the holidays, but there are ways to do it.
For a lot of parents, the holidays are a time when money gets tight and tension runs high. We have a hard time managing everything we have to accomplish and for this reason, we’re often overwhelmed when it comes to entertaining our kids. We don’t have the extra money to spend to take them to the movie theater or to take them to a local skating rink to ice skate, so we often just plop kids down with an electronic device and set them up to occupy themselves. There are ways, however, to spend some time with our children that don’t cost a dime.
Free Activities With Lasting Effects
Family Movie Nights –Most kids, these days, come from families where both parents have to work, so the option of spending all day working with them isn’t an option. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t spend quality time with them. Arrange a family movie night, even if you have older kids. Pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate with marshmallows, and force everyone into their favorite jammies. Let the kids pick a movie and sit down and watch it together. When the movie is over, ask them what their favorite part was. Ask them why they liked that part. Use the time together to really bond with your kids.
Christmas Light Viewing –There are places all over the world that charge money for carloads of people to come through and look at elaborate Christmas light displays, but they’re unnecessary. Cruise nearby neighborhoods and check out the different Christmas decorations they have. Let your kids pick the direction you turn next and get some good ideas for your own decorating. Kids like to feel like they’re a part of something, so give them the option to pick where you go next. When you get home, ask them if they’d like to do something equally as special with their outdoor decorations.
Cook Together –If your kids have a favorite meal, let them help you cook dinner when you’re preparing it. Let them measure and use the moment to teach them about how to do so. Show them how boiling water can make pasta soft or how to make French toast crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Kids are curious about adult tasks, so you’ll likely find that they take well to helping prepare meals. Ask for their assistance in setting the table, serving the food, and cleaning up and make a big deal about them helping.
Create Kids Trees –They’ve done a lot with fake trees over the years and they even create them in different colors and sizes. If you’re super picky about how your tree looks and what goes on it, then put a small tree in each of your kid’s rooms. Help them make some ornaments or give them a small budget to buy some at the local big box store, let them choose the lights, and allow them each your undivided attention while you’re decorating. Kids don’t need your money, they need your time. They want to know that someone is paying attention to them and providing them with the right amount of guidance; they’ll thrive on it. Some of the best spending you can do during the holiday season is to spend your time.