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The holiday season is in full swing, but with school out, you might just go crazy if you hear one more ‘I’m so bored!’ from your kids. Here’s your cure!
19 Kid boredom-busters for the holiday vacation
1. Make fake snow. What could be more perfect for winter fun? (And, this is especially fun if you have a Frozen-lover in the house!) All you do is mix 3 cups of baking soda with 1/2 cup of hair conditioner (white works best) in a big bin. Get your hands dirty and mix it together until it forms a cold, soft snow-like consistency. It’s cold to the touch and great for sensory play.
2. Make exploding paint bags. Head outside to your driveway, or put butcher paper on the floor inside for a fun, loud art project. In a small resealable bag, add a few tablespoons of corn starch, vinegar and the food coloring of your choice. Mix it until it’s a thick liquid consistency, and the bag is at least 1/3 full. Then, take a square piece of paper towel and fill it with baking soda, then wrap the paper towel all around it to make a baking soda bomb. When you’re ready, put the bomb in the bag, seal it and wait for it to pop!
3. Make a bubble bath volcano. All it takes is vinegar, baking soda, food coloring and bubble bath and you have a fun, explosive science experiment! You can do this in the tub at bath time, or in a large plastic bin on the kitchen table. The reaction between baking soda and vinegar is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the reaction between an acid and a base.
4. Make your own holiday gifts. Kids love helping you do things you already need to do! Channel that helpfulness to get some holiday gifts done! If you have any paint laying around, get it out and make handprint gifts. They’re a perfect grandparent gift, and they go on anything: table runners, Mason jars, white canvases, even wine glasses. Let your creativity be your guide and make a fun memory making gifts with your kids.
5. Use painter’s tape to make a race track in your living room. I have listed a lot of fun, visual ideas above, but I kid you not: my toddler’s very favorite is a simple race car track made of painter’s tape! You can run the tape under tables and through doorways, and of course, clean up is easy when you’re done!
6. Make 3-ingredient clean-eating energy bites and bring them to your local firefighters. In our city, if the fire house’s garage doors are open, visitors are welcome to come inside and say hi. What a great idea for your young ones to meet and thank your firefighters for all they do. When we went to the local fire house with our free Friday playgroup, I threw some flour, salt and water in the bread maker and brought a fresh loaf of home-baked bread. (‘Cause who can argue with that?) Firefighters (at least in our city) pay for their own food, so any donations are welcome.
7. Make soap clouds. This is a bit messy, but so fun! Take a bar of Ivory soap (I got 3 bars for $1.29 at Target), put it in the microwave for 45 seconds and watch it expand into a huge, fluffy, clean-smelling cloud! The kids called it “snow” and started an impromptu snowball fight in the living room. It was a great idea, until all the white fluffiness dispersed onto my living room floor. But no biggie, I just swept it up. This blog has instructions on how to make the soap clouds back into bars of soap once the kids are done playing with them.
8. Have a hot chocolate stand and donate the proceeds to a food bank. One of my favorite summer boredom-busters is making a lemonade stand to keep your little ones occupied. But now that it’s chilly outside, pour hot chocolate in a carafe and host a hot chocolate stand on your porch! (Of course, you will have to supervise since the beverage is hot!) Once you’re done, let your kids take their earnings to a charity. Or, bring them to the grocery store to use it to buy canned foods to bring to a food bank.
9. Make a race car chute by taping an empty paper towel roll to the wall. This occupied our toddler for at least 7 minutes. Not bad.
10. Make edible play-doh. There are tons of recipes out there, but I used what I had on-hand, and it made a wonderfully pliable (and delicious) play-doh. All it took was 1 cup of peanut butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar and a 1/2 cup of honey.
11. Go on a nature walk around the neighborhood. Collect twigs, leaves, pebbles and flowers, and glue them onto a white paper at home. I invited a friend over, and the toddlers loved being able to pick up their “treasures” and then make art with them.
12. Have a fancy tea party and invite your friends.
13. Make a fort in the living room. Use blankets and chairs, and anything else you can find.
14. Make your own indoor sandbox. Mix 4 cups of rice with 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring and let dry overnight. Another recipe uses just 1 cup of baby oil and 8 cups of flour. Have fun with it!
15. Blow bubbles outside. You can even make a game out of it and have your kids count as high as they can before each bubble pops.
16. Have a “movie picnic” in the living room. Set out a blanket to watch a movie and eat a themed dinner at the same time.
17. Become a penpal with a soldier. Send them a letter or care package.
18. Teach your kid yoga poses. It will help you relax too.
19. Turn up the music and have a dance party together. Extra points if you dance to holiday tunes!
For more ideas, check out my 33 free (or nearly-free) summer boredom-busters for kids!