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A Not-Quite-Crunchy Christmas Vacation

Posted Aug 26 2008 1:46pm

Now that the Christmas rush is over it’s time to figure out...what to do with the kids. Those of you who plan ahead have of course prepared a list of fun and exciting activities.

The rest of us get up every day and look at the hours stretching out before us and panic.

There is of course the “plant them in front of the TV, Wii, Gameboy, computer, screen” strategy. But then that wouldn’t be very crunchy.

An alternative is to follow the rhythm strategy and plan the day accordingly. I haven’t been very good at planning ahead but each day I do try to put together a plan so we aren’t sitting around staring at each other or worse.

So, I’ve put together a list of some activities we plan to do over the vacation that are…well a bit crunchier than watching videos…though we’ll do a few of those too.

  1. Make play dough and use Christmas cookies cutters.

  1. Go to an art store and buy some real art supplies. We’re going to buy charcoal and pastels to make cave paintings on a crumpled paper bag or craft paper.

  1. Do some science experiments. There are lots of good resources on the web for these. Older kids can search and find the ones they prefer. Younger children…you get to pick!

  1. Watch an old Christmas video. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer or anything released prior to 1975. (You can count on better language and behavior by the characters in earlier films.)

  1. Make paper airplanes or origami animals .

  1. Have a snowball fight with crumpled up paper

  1. Check out Living Crafts magazine for some ideas on Waldorf type crafts to make and start one.

  1. Go outside on a nature walk. Supply each child with a bag or basket for collecting samples. Come home and organize them. (This works well as long as it isn’t raining- if it is, puddle jumping is a good substitute.)

  1. Make a highway system with masking tape. My friend Tan’s kids did this in our playroom and created an entire city by laying masking tape all over the floor in a city street design…great if new toy cars were under the tree.

  1. Put on a play. This is a great time to stage some of the classic Christmas plays using old boxes, and dress up clothes. Older kids will take charge and younger ones will…well, get in the way. Great when you have visitors.

  1. Play some old fashioned games or look for some games from other countries and play them.

  1. Read a historical novel or one that involves a foreign location. Get out maps, encyclopedias and globes. Find out where they went. Look up names of places that you usually just read and find them on the map. Explore, make a craft, draw a picture. Robin Hood, King Arthur even a Disney princess book or book of fairy tales can be used.

  1. Go outside at least twice per day. This sometimes just means saying…”go out and play”. They’ll figure out something to do.
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