Winter School holidays are coming and you may be wondering how to keep children busy during school break. Either you took some days off, too, or you have to work while your kids are at home.

I’m bringing you a set of activities for both circumstances. They include spending time with your kids and letting them build their own autonomy.

So, as a parent who needs to entertain their small children during the winter school holidays, you’ll find these tips helpful. You can choose the ones that fit your family situation the most.

Tip #1 for winter school holidays: Innovate

You know how kids love watching the same movie or listening to the same tale over and over again. Each time they discover new things, and they also like the fact that they know what’s going to happen.

But, even for preschoolers, it’s necessary to get out of the comfort zone. So you can try out different things to make sure they build new experiences.

For example:

  • Watching new movies and reading new tales before bed: Bring different stories and new characters. Talk about them.
  • Playing new sports: Does your kid love to play soccer? Great! Try switching between this sport they love, and others. Find out if there are any other sports teams nearby.
  • Trying new activities: playing chess (preschool is a wonderful age to start), swimming (also great for preschoolers!), painting, martial arts, dancing. It’s amazing how this can open your child’s mind by teaching them about the different things in the world.

Tip #2: include your kids in the routine

Whether you’re at home or traveling somewhere for the winter holidays, incorporating your kid into the organization team will keep them busy and far from boredom. At the same time, they’ll learn valuable lessons for the present and the future.

If you’re at home

Kids like taking part in these activities. Here are some activities that you’ll have fun doing together:

  • Basic gardening: you’d be surprised at how amazed a kid can be by plants and nature. They’ll love watching a seed growing into a plant.
  • Cook together! Give them small tasks to take part in the cooking process. They’ll love watching ingredients turn into the meal that you’ll later eat together as a family.
  • Make the bed or wash the dishes together: your three or four-year-old kid won’t be able to do this by themselves. But carrying out small actions will make them feel they’re part of it. So give them a cloth to dry the dishes, or ask them to put the detergent on the sponge and show them how it lathers. It’ll be fun. And they’ll also incorporate the habit of collaborating with the chores of the house.

If you’re out

If you decide to go on a trip for school winter holidays, there are ways to include your kids in the organization process, too:

Let them pack with you: turn this into a fun process, ask them what they’re going to wear, talk about the activities you’ll do, the places you’ll visit.

Once you’re on the road, show them the map, or pictures of your destinations. Are there any related characters or stories? Talk about them, ask your children what they would like to do or eat, and where they would like to go next, etc.

Play road games with them.

Tip #3 Invite their friends over

When children aren’t at school, they might miss some of their friends. One good way to prevent boredom during school winter holidays is by inviting their friends over.

You can organize a treasure hunt at the park, together with other families. Or a group activity indoors if it’s too cold outside.

Socializing and spending time with their friends is crucial for preschoolers. It helps them develop healthy relationships, learn to manage emotions, and build self-esteem, as research shows.

Tip #4: Promote quiet times

Not everything is about games and stimulating activities. Children also need to learn to spend time alone.

The noisy world we live in has a negative impact on our health. Few people know about the many, many benefits of silence for all humans (kids and adults). Constant noise is dangerous, so cultivating silence is physically, mentally, and psychologically necessary.

Creating quiet spaces for your kids becomes crucial. Here are some ideas for this:

  • Drawing: You could ask them to make a draw about something they did that day, for example. Ask them to do it by themselves, alone, and then talk about it together.
  • Meditation: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents and teachers to include mindfulness practices in their kids’ daily activities. Schedule a few minutes where you say things that you’re thankful for. Or ask them to close their eyes for a few seconds, breathe in and out deeply a couple of times, and imagine what peace means for them. Then go back to normal life, with a quiet activity.

I know having your kids at home is a challenge, especially with young children. I hope these tips and resources are helpful to deal with boredom during the winter school holidays. Try them out and let me know!