While your kids may be jumping for joy to have two weeks off at the end of the year, you may not be looking forward to repeatedly hearing "I’m bored." When the weather is so frightful you can't send the little ones outside, but you don't want them wasting energy watching TV and playing video games, what can you suggest to help them entertain themselves? We have a few ideas:

  • Create a scavenger hunt. There are different ways to proceed that can make this a fun game over and over. One idea: Make a list of common and not-so-common household goods, assign a point value to each and set an amount of time to gain as many points as possible by collecting items. Another approach: Develop clues that will lead the child to the next item, and finally to a prize at the end.
  • Develop a board game. Don't just play a board game – make your own by setting your own rules to an existing game or by mixing pawns, dice, cards and boards. Just make sure you remember where the pieces came from so you can put them back!
  • Try a new recipe. Find no-bake recipes your kids can make on their own. Following recipes involves math and reading comprehension – and a successful creation leads to greater confidence in young chefs. Plus, the end result will probably be something delicious!
  • Write and perform a play or song. Topics could cover the holidays and your family's traditions. Variations on this idea include writing your family's version of The Twelve Days of Christmas or acting out some reindeer games from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  • Turn greeting cards into origami-style boxes. Take those holiday cards stacking up and fold them into little boxes. They can be used to hold small gifts or put them in a basket or vase for a creative centerpiece.
  • Build a cardboard city. Instead of immediately recycling gift boxes, your kids can cut, color and arrange the boxes to make buildings. Use other recyclables to make additional parts of the city. For example, turn a milk carton and bottle caps into a truck.
  • Create an obstacle course. Building the course out of everyday items will be half the fun; actually racing through the course is the other half. The course can include crawling under furniture, walking through a Lego maze, jumping between paper plate targets, trying on clothes, throwing playing cards into a hat, walking a "tightrope" of tape or string, and carrying small objects in a spoon across the room.

All of these activities are electricity-free and keep your kids' minds and bodies active so you should never hear "I'm bored."

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