Winter break is one of the best times to relax and enjoy your loved ones. Although, those two weeks that your kids out of school may give everyone a little too much time to enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes, kids can get restless or dare I say, bored, over Christmas break. There are plenty of ways out there to help keep kids entertained over Christmas break.
If you spent quite a bit on the holidays already, you may not have much of a budget for outings and activities. That’s perfectly okay. There is still plenty of fun and frugal ways to keep kids entertained over Christmas break.
Check out these ideas to help your kids make lasting memories during this time of year without causing you any financial strain.
1. Go Sledding or Ice Skating
Depending on the weather in your area, it may be a good idea to get your kids out of the house – in a literal sense. You don’t have to go anywhere. Just get outside and play in the yard or slide down a nearby sledding hill if there’s snow on the ground. You may also want to try fun winter activities such as ice skating.
Our city offers free ice skating and even free skate rentals to enjoy the manmade ice rink at the local park. Search for opportunities in your area to enjoy free or affordable winter activities. Also, utilize your existing space whether that’s letting the kids play games in the yard for a few hours or riding their bike or new hoverboard down the street that they received for Christmas.
2. Invite a Friend Over
When in doubt, invite one of your children’s friends over for a ‘playdate’. Arrange a date and time with the other parents and perhaps they may even want to host the next time. Give your child a few ideas for activities around the house, then let them choose what they want to do with their friend whether it’s watching a movie, playing a video game, or playing with toys in their room.
Grab a few cheap snacks and order a pizza. Then, let the kids entertain each other and keep busy.
3. Do a Craft
There are so many fun crafts to have your kids try no matter what their age is. Start by taking an inventory of the items you may already have at your home for crafts. This could include markers or crayons, construction paper, scrap wood, paint, and so on. Make ornaments, paint picture frames, or do something that’s simple but will allow your kids to get creative.
4. Play Board Games
Has it been a while since you’ve had a family game night? Board games are always fun – especially if you’re competitive – and they’re a great way to pass the time. Some of our favorite family games include Sorry, Connect Four, Guess Who, and Trouble. We also love playing card games like Uno.
If you don’t have any board games, see if you can borrow some from a friend.
5. Make Your Own Games
Another easy and frugal way to keep kids entertained over Christmas break is to create your own fun games and competitions to play. Again, this doesn’t have to cost much so long as you get creative. One cheap and easy game idea I want to try is the DIY Memory Game. I love the original Memory Game that you can buy in stores where you lay out a series of cards on the flood then light them up to try to find a match.
Use some Christmas stickers that may be laying around the house along with some leftover Christmas candy like Hershey’s kisses. Place stickers on the bottom of each kiss but be sure to make sure there’s a matching set. Then scramble up the kisses and have each player try to remember where they can find a match.
6. Dessert and Movie Night
There are so many great classic holiday movies along with new ones being released each year. There’s no rule that says you can’t watch these movies after December 25th. Encourage the whole family to contribute to a holiday movie watchlist. Then, catch up on your movie bucket list over Christmas break.
Bake some dessert, pop popcorn, and gather all your cozy blankets for a relaxing family movie night.
Volunteering is another way to keep kids busy and active over Christmas break. During the school year, they may not have much time to volunteer at various events. Take the opportunity to help them give back to the community by booking a volunteer activity. You can see if your family can help a local food pantry one Saturday.
Or perhaps you can sign up to pack food for children overseas through an organization called Feed My Starving Children.
8. Bedroom Makeover Challenge
Has your child been asking for a bedroom makeover? Even if they haven’t this could be one of the best frugal ways to keep kids entertained over Christmas break. Just follow their lead and see if there’s anything they’d like to fix up or change. This could be a perfect time to have your child declutter and find items and toys they wish to donate.
Or, you can get affordable wall decals or start a painting project. Check out local resale stores for gently-used bedroom furniture as well as YouTube videos that teach how to make frugal DIY decor.
9. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Plan an afternoon or evening of adventure with a scavenger hunt in your area. Instead of setting everything up yourself and coming up with all the ideas, download a local scavenger hunt app to see if any activities are available in your area. Scavify is an app that shares scavenger hunt ideas to promote team building but it can still be fun for families.
TurfHunt is another app that will take everyone on a fun treasure hunt as you search for clues and signs.
10. Discount Days at Nearby Attractions
Attractions and activity centers in your area may be offering discounted admission over the holidays. They know that kids are home and bored so they offer deals such as free museum days or discounted entry for a few hours at the trampoline park. Check your budget and see if you can plan an affordable outing for your kids.
Summary: Keeping Your Kids Busy Over Christmas Break Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
It’s only normal for kids to get bored and look for things to do over Christmas break. However, you don’t have to let it strain your finances. Use these fun and frugal ways to keep kids entertained over Christmas break to your advantage. Narrow down which ideas will work best for your family.
Then, take things slow prioritizing rest over these two weeks while also building lasting memories together.