For most parents, we are entering what some of us call “The Winter Week of Wackiness,” also known as the week after Hanukkah and Christmas. School is out, the new year hasn’t started, new toys are LITERALLY everywhere, and your personal time is at a total low. It is a dreaded week for many parents.
With the chaos of Christmas morning, the changing of kids’ routines, and more cookies in the kitchen than normal, your kids are likely bouncing off the walls. Or, they are dramatically claiming they are bored. And of course, all of this sets in on December 26. All you need to do is make it until 2017.
So how can parents survive and actually have fun with their kids during the holidays?
Spread out the presents
Instead of having (cough) Santa drop everything off on December 25, put some gifts aside. Kids can discover gifts that Santa may have dropped along the way, or put in a secret hiding place during the week. (Bonus points if you find one on the roof.)
The delayed gifts keep them entertained with the new discoveries, makes Christmas morning less overwhelming, and beats boredom during school vacation week.
Give Get-Out-And-Go Gifts
Give the gift of a family experience this year! Tuck movie tickets into kids’ stockings, or wrap up a gift certificate to a kid-friendly play-space. And don’t let the tickets sit around! Use them to fight the boredom of winter break!
Lend a Helping Hand
Line up a trip to the local pantry or soup-kitchen. Have older children let the neighbors know they are available to shovel snow or help with odd jobs. Getting kids out to help shows them the true meaning of holiday spirit and helps them realize the more important things beyond the toys strewn around the rug in the family room.
Have a craft project lined up for each day. It keeps minds working and fine motor skills developing outside of school. If you can, plan for the craft time to be during the same time each day to keep schedule to help with the vacation transition. Find pre-made craft kits, or DIY with these Pinterest ideas.
All in all, remember it is just one week and it, though it may not seem like it from time to time, it is a fun time a year!