Summer Break is so much fun! You get to take the kids to the pool every day, splash in the sprinklers, make popsicles, take bike rides around the neighborhood, and catch fireflies in mason jars. Winter Break, on the other hand, well, it can be a slog. After all the celebrating is over, the kids are hyped up on Christmas sugary treats, it’s cold, they can’t go outside and you fear they are going to spend their days wasting away in front of the TV watching cartoons, slowly draining their brains of everything they had learned during the autumn school session.
Don’t let this happen to you. There are plenty of ways to keep your kids and yourself happy and productive during the two or three weeks while they are home. You just need to be prepared with a daily routine. We’ve created a sample routine that we hope you’ll find helpful!
7:00AM: Up and at ‘em! Just because your kids are on break doesn’t mean their sleeping habits should go by the wayside.
7:30AM: Breakfast and (if allowed) cartoons. Give them a moment to wake up without the rush that usually accompanies school days.
8:30AM: Clean up! Give your kids some morning chores. The chores should be appropriate for each child’s age, but also offer a challenge so they can learn something new. Have your kids sweep, vacuum, wipe down surfaces and fold laundry. Think you won’t be able to get your kids to do chores without a fight? If you have more than one child, have them compete! Whoever can fold four towels in the fastest time gets to choose tomorrow’s activity.
10:00AM: Midday Activity. Whether it’s visiting a local museum, a play date, a baking day or a science project, do something fun and educational that your kids can look forward to every day. Need some creative ideas? Visit our Pinterest “I’m Bored” Board for inspiration!
1:00PM: Afternoon Quiet Time. Kids can read a book, play on the computer or color. Whatever they are doing, let them know this is a time to be quiet and reflective after a busy morning.
3:00PM: Help with dinner. Or really, at this point your kids can help with any house project like organizing a closet. Give your kids some clear direction as to what needs to be accomplished and their possible role in getting things done.
5:00PM: Dinner! Sit down with your family and enjoy the company and conversation.
6:00PM: Everyone helps clean up. Many hands make light work.
6:30PM: Family Fun. Plan an entire family fun event for each evening. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just something that makes the evening special. Create a living room drive-in. Let the kids pick which movie they’d like to watch. Set down blankets in the living room and pop popcorn. You can also try bowling and ice-skating.
Every family is different and will have different needs during the Winter Break. We hope our mock-schedule will give you at least some guidance as to how you can structure your day so neither you nor your kids will be driven batty! Don’t worry. They’ll be back in school before you know it.