By Khaula Siddique
Most of us look forward to winter vacation and what it brings, sleeping in and not packing lunchboxes-why is the lunchbox the hardest meal to plan? However, it also brings the inevitable; bored kids who tend to create a bit of chaos when they dont have anything to do but pick fights with their siblings!
We have some recommendations from moms in the community, this is one of the most common questions we get in the Facebook group, and we hope you can find some good options that work for you and your kids!
Stay At Home Activities
- Simple crafts! You can get really fun and cheap craft supplies from the dollar stores and there are lots of ideas for kids crafts on YouTube, you can watch a couple of videos to help you think up your own activities or just use the ones you find there. Some of my favourites include painting glass bottles and making them into little lamps by adding fairy lights, using coloured cellophane or tissue paper to make “stained glass” pieces you can put on the windows and decorating magnets for your fridge!
- Drawing, sketching, colouring. You can find all sorts of colouring books as well, once kids get into them they can be quite addictive!
- Painting. Lots of videos on YouTube for beginner painters, you can find acrylic or watercolour painting tutorials and find the supplies at Walmart.
- Crochet and knitting. Great for hand-eye coordination, a very calming activity, and again the supplies are easy to find (Walmart, Micheals) and easy to follow tutorials on YouTube. The best part is with just a little practice the kids (and yourself!) can make usable items like scarves, hats and throws.
- Movie nights or afternoons. Find a series like Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Narnia, or Harry Potter and set the mood with popcorn, fuzzy socks, and throws to cuddle up in and watch a movie from a favourite series every afternoon or at night. We can them movie marathons.
- Baking! There can never be enough baked goods and winter is the perfect time for homemade treats! You can find easy to follow recipes on YouTube.
- Basic cooking. Make a list of favourite foods, choose ones that are doable considering your childrens ages. It is fun to cook together plus they learn to appreciate the effort that goes into making a meal.
- Game time. Puzzles, board games, cards, Jenga, Twister, checkers, Ludo, Snakes and Ladders!
- Spa Day! You can give each other foot and hand massages, facials/face masks, do each others nails, hot oil treatments for hair. My kids would turn their bedroom into a salon, they would put cushions all over their bed, have a large stainless steel bowl with hot water and scented body wash for a foot or hand soak, even a little registration notebook with treatment choices (they made up names and had charges!) They would find meditation music on YouTube and play that while giving each other spa treatments. You will not regret it-25 cents for a foot massage and nailpolished toes is a great deal! I was their regular client!
- Free apps to edit or make videos. My kids would have an annual video presentation contest, it was so much fun and the videos would be so funny and creative. There are free tools to use like Canva, YouCut, and Shot Cut (there are YouTube tutorials for all!) They would award a certificate for the best video at the end of the presentions.
- Quiet reflective time. I know this sounds weird but put on some meditative/zen music, turn off the main lights, turn on the fairy lights or burn some scented candles. Open the curtains to enjoy the snow, make hot chocolate and sit together. Cozy up with throws and blankets and everyone names things they are grateful for and/or something good that they did/achieved/ happened in the past year.
Out of the House Activities
- Skating! Your local community centre or outdoor ice rink, just bundle up!
- Fun swim!
- Sledding, tobogganing.
- Places to visit like the ROM, the CN Tower, Ripleys Aquarium, Trampoline parks, bowling, roller skating, arcade games, and rock climbing (these are all indoor).
- A shopping trip to redecorate the living room, this is a great way to teach kids the value of a dollar as well. Do a Marie Kondo and pack things into boxes that no longer spark joy, go to a local thrift shop and find new treasures. They always have beautiful glass vases and little retro porcelain decor. Recycle, reuse! Give new homes to previously loved trinkets. Visit IKEA to get things like throws and some cushions to complete the look-they have some very reasonably priced items. Sit down and make a budget for the project. It is a great activity for kids.
- Visit the library. Do a reading marathon.
- Go for evening walks/drives to see the lights.
- Visit friends/family/do a one-dish party. Take along games that all the kids can play together or just get out the old family photographs and share childhood stories, kids love listening to that!
Send us your suggestions and they will be added to these lists, we would love to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Khaula Siddique, artist at Khaula’s Art, has written for Dawn Pakistan and now paints stories on large walls. She loves bringing art to the community and achieves this through interactive art activities and public art projects. When she is not painting, she is over-indulging her large eccentric orange tabby who part-times as her critic and her muse. You can find her art shenanigans on her website, Khaula Siddique.com.