To top it all off, the kids are home for an entire week and, of course, don't know what to do with themselves. It's not like they just received a ton a presents (a bit of sarcasm here). You would think that they would be contentedly playing with all their new treasures, but NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! All I have been hearing for the past two days is "what now"? Here are a few ideas to help the next few days go by without a case of the "What Now's".
Make a play date with friends! I'm sure that you're not the only one out there with kids who have not a clue what to do with their free time. Call up some friends and invite them over (or better yet, see if they can go over to someone else's house). Sure your house will be a bit chaotic, but they will play with each other and have a great time while you get to work on some of the mess.
Send the kids outside! We just recieved a huge snowfall and the kids are chomping at the bit to get out there in all the lovely soft stuff. Grab the snowsuits and head outside for some snowman making, sleigh riding fun. If you didn't get any snow, there is still so much to do (sidewalk chalk, bike riding, hula hooping...). This is also a great way for the kids to expell some pent up energy.
Make a craft! My kids got so many Crayola and crafting kits from well meaning family members, that I was a bit overwhelmed thinking about all the little parts, glitter and glueing things together that would ensue. Of course, they wanted to do all of them right away. My solution..... a craft a day for their entire Christmas break. That way we tackle them one by one and it gives them something to look forward to each day. Even if you didn't get crafting kits, here are some easy craft ideas that use things you might already have at home!
- Make a graham cracker gingerbread house! No baking required! PBS Kids has a great tutorial on how to put these little cuties together. The best part.....you can eat it when you're done (after snapping a few pictures of course!)
- Make a brown paper bag puppet! The sky is the limit for these terrific creatures. Make them into an animal/monster/alien/person....the possibilities are endless! What you'll need may depend on what kind of creature you're making. My kids used markers, crayons, stickers, ribbon, scissors, glue sticks construction paper and scrapbook paper. Just don't forget to put the mouth on the correct flap of the bag or your mouth won't move. After they're finished creating, they can put on a puppet show for you and all of their stuffed animals.
- Bake something! Grab some ingredients, tie on the aprons and try out that new recipe that you've been waiting to create--just make sure that it's not too complicated for little hands. There is something for everyone to do and the end result is yummy! I know that you probably have endless baked goods lying around at this time of year, but you can always freeze these for another time (after sampling some of course!). Here is our favorite recipe to bake together: "Megan's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies" Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You will need:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (heaped)
1 stick butter
1 stick margerine
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
12 oz. chocolate chips
Combine butter, margerine, sugar and brown sugar in a bowl. Blend with a mixer. Add egg and vanilla to mixture and blend with a mixer. Add flour, baking soda and salt--mix slightly with a mixer. Add chocolate chips and mix well with mixer. Place spoonfuls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!
Hopefully this has given you some ideas for the "aftermath of Christmas". Overall, I have decided that the house can wait, but making memories with the kids will last a lifetime. My house does not have to look magazine ready--sometimes the "lived in look" is far more beautiful and makes me realize how truly my nest is blessed.