Thursday, December 28, 2017

Kid's activities for the holidays - an infowrap

Christmas is but one day but the holidays last for weeks.  So here are some ideas to keep your kids busy and engaged over the holiday season.  

Activities are compliments of:

Put on a Talent Show 

        A show can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. This might mean sets, costumes, an original script and live music. Or absolutely none of that! Figure out what works best for your family. And if all your kids aren’t born performers, they can still enjoy writing, directing, set building or designing costumes.


        From toddlers to teenagers, kids love the mixing and the measuring, but most of all, they love the treats at the end. As you teach kids to bake, scale holiday baking projects to your kids’ abilities and ages. Add activities to keep little kids engaged while you are doing more complicated baking tasks or simplify baking projects so that more experienced kid bakers can take the lead.

Don't Miss Local Holiday Events

        Drive through the lighting displays around town; go to firehouse train gardens; see a Christmas show at your local theater; take advantage of holiday deals, discounts, and free events. There are countless special events this time of year, and many of them only come around once a year, so don’t let the holiday break slip by without stepping out. 

Go Shopping

        Shopping! Haven’t I done enough shopping already?” you say. This time, though, instead of shopping for the kids, shop with the kids. If you can pull it together to shop with the kids before Christmas to let them pick out of gifts, I applaud you.
But for many, taking kids shopping at the after-Christmas sales is a better bet. Funny how kids who think shopping is torture, change their tune when they have gift cards or cash they received as presents to spend.

Watch Television Together

        Keeping your kids from watching too much TV over Christmas break is always a challenge. But TV isn't all bad if you watch together--especially today when all family members could be watching on separate devices! Choose something you want to watch--a sport like football (there’s plenty this time of year!), a cooking show, favorite holiday film or documentary and you use this as an opportunity to share your interests and knowledge with your kids. And they may develop an interest too. Or pick a favorite movie that you want to introduce them to. Happy family memories are forged during the holidays, so the time is ripe for them to look fondly upon the things you love.

Try a Winter Sport

        Ice skating, skiing, sledding and snow tubing are great ways to enjoy sports in the winter. Of course, these depend on the weather and how close you live to winter recreation areas. Probably the easiest and cheapest to try out is ice skating, since many cities have indoor rinks or seasonal outdoor skating areas especially around the holidays. Just bundle up and get moving!

Try an Indoor Sport

        Roller skating, swimming, basketball, ping pong and pool are a few indoor activities to try over your holiday break. If there’s a roller rink nearby, then it’s easy enough to find a place to skate. And some kid-friendly restaurants and arcades have ping pong and pool tables. However, it could be tricky—but not impossible-- to find places for indoor swimming and basketball unless you belong to a sports club. Some health clubs and YMCAs will sell day passes or trial memberships.

Create Art

        Art is one of those wonderful activities that can be scaled to almost every age and ability level. And depending on the project, it can be done with or without adult supervision. So you can work at home while the kids create art or you can roll up your sleeves and get messy too. Art projects can become gifts for relatives or decorations for the house. Setting up a dedicated art space makes set up and clean up easier.

Take a Hike

        If you live in a warm weather climate, this is probably a more obvious thing to do during Christmas break. But even those of us in cold weather climates can hike in the winter. The leafless trees reveal very different vistas than in summer. Bundle up and be careful never to get too far from the car or another place to warm up. This is an especially good activity to keep kids busy (and tire them out) when they're excited about the upcoming holiday.

Play Games

       Before Christmas pull out some of the old games; after Christmas the new ones. Kids games run the gamut from old-fashioned Candyland to video games. But one thing that is universal is kids like it when the parents play.

Read a Book Together

        Even if you regularly read together, change things up a little during Christmas break. Choose something a little different from your ordinary reading material so it stands out as a holiday tradition. Maybe try a book of Christmas poems or a classic novel read in daily installments. And if reading together is not part of your routine the holiday season is a great opportunity to start.


The New York Times Book Review has revealed the 10 titles on its 65th annual list of Best Illustrated Children’s Books. 

The 2017 Best Illustrated selections are:

Feather by RΓ©mi Courgeon (Enchanted Lion)

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown, illus. by John Parra (NorthSouth)
King of the Sky by Nicola Davies, illus. by Laura Carlin (Candlewick)

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters by Michael Mahin, illus. by Evan Turk (S&S/Atheneum)

On a Magical, Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna (Harper)

Plume by Isabelle Simler (Eerdmans)

A River by Marc Martin (Chronicle)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter, illus. by Stacy Innerst (Abrams)

Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illus. by Sydney Smith (Groundwood)

The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi (Kids Can)

Maria Russo, children’s books editor for the New York Times Book Review, convened this year’s panel of judges: Steven Guarnaccia, Marjorie Priceman, and Louise Lareau.

Enjoy everyone!  Hope this review was helpful.

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