10 Holiday Break Activities that Don't Involve Screen Time

The holidays are upon us and you know what that means? Holiday break! If you’re living here in the US, it’s likely that you’re getting ready to look forward to 10 plus days of having your school-age children home and free from school and after-school activities. On one hand, it’s nice to have them home, on the other… what do we do with them all day? Luckily we’ve compiled a list of 10 fun-filled holiday break activities (that don’t involve watching TV) and can be fun for the whole family!

1. Make Play Snow. - can add a link to directions?  

We told you these things would be fun for everyone! There are so many different ways to make “play” snow, and (hooray!) some of them are edible, so they are safe for even your youngest children. Often, recipes for play snow are also called “sensory snow” because of it’s calming effect through sense of touch and sound. An activity that’s both fun and calming, just what you need during a week at home with excited kids!

2. Start a Family Book Club

With TVs, phones, and tablets, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to get kids (and adults) to read real books. Entice them with a family book club. Collectively pick a book that the whole family can enjoy (at the appropriate reading level of course), and set time aside to read everyday. When everyone’s finished, have a book club talk over a meal or some snacks.

3. Make a Recipe Book

This project could potentially occupy the whole week if you wanted it to. Spice up regular meals by involving the kids. Assign them the task of helping create the recipe, writing down the list of ingredients, recording the cooking method, or taking a photo. Dedicate a journal, or bind a few loose pages together to create a “Holiday Break Cookbook.” At the end of the week you’ll have the completed project!

4. Scavenger Hunt

Set up a scavenger hunt around the house or neighborhood (if you can). Pick about 5-15 spots around the house or neighborhood where you can hide clues. At each spot, hide a clue with how to make it to the next spot. This could be a map, a riddle, or anything else you choose. The end of the hunt could lead to a prize like a toy, or a trip to the ice cream shop or movie theater. You can also sneak in some learning by having your kids complete a math equation or spell a difficult question before moving onto the next clue.

5. Color

While this might be a shorter term activity, it’s becoming more popular for adults to indulge in coloring as well. Coloring has a calming effect, so it’s a great activity to wind down after dinner. You can buy some fresh coloring books, or find free printable pages online (simply google “free coloring pages”).

6. Make Candles out of Broken Crayons

After you’re done coloring, use those old broken crayons to make some candles. This is a super simple project, but it does require adult supervision! Kids get a kick out of watching the wax melt and the colors meld together. Plus, at the end, you’ll have a nice keepsake from Holiday Break 2016. Try using this tutorial to make your candles.

7. Go for a Bike Ride!

Depending on where you live, it might be too cold for a bike ride. But luckily, riding a bike elevates your heart rate and your body temperature so you’ll stay warm once you get riding. As long as there is no ice on the ground, and you’re wearing your helmet, you should be good to go!

8. Write On The Walls

There is nothing more fun to a child than being able to do something forbidden, like write on the walls! Find a blank wall in your house and line it with paper. You can also use the back of wrapping paper to make this process easier (likely to be on sale after Christmas). Allow the kids to write with crayon or colored pencil, both of which are easily removable if a hand happens to slip! Make sure to remind them that this is only for this specific wall.

9. Obstacle Course

This can be done both inside and outside. Again, kids love doing forbidden activities, so covering the floors in pillows, couch cushions, blankets, and other things that normally don’t “go” will be fun no matter how you set it up! To prevent collisions, make sure only one kid goes at a time. Check out both simple and complex obstacle courses on Pinterest.

10. Karaoke Dance Party

Nothing says fun like a little music and dancing. If you don’t have access to a karaoke machine, you can check out the Sing King Karaoke YouTube channel. They have tons of songs to choose from, with a video of the lyrics, just like a karaoke machine. You can also skip the video, and just sing songs you know and love. If you have a lot of kids participating, you can even set it up like a mini “competition.” We love this activity because it doesn’t require set up, props, or purchasing anything - just turn on a song and go!

How do you entertain your kids during the holiday break? Please share your ideas in the comments below!