The holiday season is supposed to a time of celebration and togetherness—but for many of today’s multi-tasking, mile-a-minute families, it can be frenzied with stress, anxiety, and bickering. On top of the regular everyday routines and obligations, we also have to deal with gift shopping, hosting out-of-town guests, and attending a slew of social functions. All too often, busy moms find themselves struggling to get through the holidays and breathing a sigh of relief when they’re over, instead of relaxing and enjoying precious time with loved ones.
Here are five fun things you can do with children that won’t break the piggy bank.
FINISH A JIGSAW PUZZLE TOGETHER: Set up a card table with good lighting and room for chairs. Choose a jigsaw puzzle that won’t be too difficult. Thrift stores are great places to find used jigsaw puzzles. To keep the entire family involved, it may be necessary to assign every member of the family a different task. For example, choose an older child to select the puzzle. Let younger children have the job of turning all the puzzle pieces right side up. Make sure someone is in charge of finding the corner pieces and grouping puzzle pieces by color. By encouraging teamwork the project will be much more fun.
MAKE AND SET UP A HOT CHOCOLATE STAND: Instead of selling lemonade at the end of your driveway, rally round your children selling (or giving away) hot chocolate. You’ll need plenty of hot chocolate mix, whipped cream in a can, and several hot thermoses. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon or mini marshmallows. Don’t forget to take pictures or video!
CLOTHES PILE UP: Gather a pile of clothing. Turn on the television. It doesn’t matter what you’re watching as long as it ISN’T commercial-free. When a commercial comes on, everyone has to put on as much clothing as possible. When the commercial ends, the person with the most clothes on their body wins. Let children put on old grownup clothes. Hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, and socks count.
READING CHARADES: Write the title of books on slips of paper, choosing titles your children know. Fold the papers, and put them in a bowl or a hat. One person draws a slip of paper and pantomimes the title. Whoever guesses correctly will have the next turn.
REQUEST FREE INFORMATION: Pick a topic, such as National Parks in the United States, and research how to have free information sent to you. This is a fun way to learn about things, plus children will eagerly retrieve the mail each day. Keep a record of each contact you make and how long it took to get the requested material. Send the organization a thank-you note whenever appropriate.
From the author of 201 Things to Do When Children Say I’M BORED!
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