Your kids have already been curbing their social contacts, their school has been anything but normal (at least for many), the world is topsy-turvy, and here we are entering the colder months, where staying indoors will be more common than not.  Winter blues may be a real thing for all of us this season, because we’ve already been blue before the season started!  Parenting wild children with energy is no fun, if there are no outlets.  Thankfully, playgrounds are opening and we can get outside…but now the cold weather is coming.

Keeping kids occupied and still and happy during the holiday season is difficult, for the most creative parent out there.  So I’ve put on my thinking cap and come up with seven ideas for parenting energetic children in the house – while trying to make dinner and shop and clean – and all that jazz.

Make a white board calendar from now til Christmas, and write down the activities on the days you need the to be busy, so that they can just read it and do it, and not forget it!  Here are some ideas of what to fill in…and when they perform the activity…they get a dollar!  (This way they’ll have a bit of cash for Christmas spending…or saving).  Obviously, this is for kids that can read, so I’d say ages 5-12 would work, and the little ones can hang with Dad!  Each of these activities should give you an hour…or two.

In order for the kids to earn a dollar, there can be no arguing, everything has to be cleaned up, and all items put away!

  1. Give the kids your stack of magazines you’ve read, some scissors, glue and construction paper.  They are to cut out images, glue them and cover the paper, to make placemats for each person in the family. 

  2. Ask the kids to have a story time, with pillows and blankets, in a corner.  Each child picks a book and the older ones read aloud.  Pillows and blankets and books are to be put back when done.

  3. Send the kids to a table with white paper, markers and stickers, and have them make cards for friends and family for Christmas. Give them a list of names or let them make it.  Olders need to help the youngers. 

  4. It’s called the board game hour(s).  Each child picks their favorite board game, and each one is played for 20 minutes each (or longer if kids can), with approved snacks as well.  Lay out a big sheet for them to play and eat. 

  5. Gym for all can be a time when each child picks their 3 favorite exercises and writes them down.  Then they all show up for “class” and each child trains the others, to selected music.  Send them to the garage or backyard for this (on a warmish day).  Let them take waters and fruit for snacks.

  6. Zookeeper fun can be had when each child picks five of their favorite stuffed animals or figures and sets up a zoo in the den.  Give them five bowls and/or boxes, and tell them to prepare the zoo for visitors.  When you finish your chore, visit their zoo…

  7. Set them in front of a good movie that YOU pick – give them paper to draw images from the movie as they watch – then show and tell the family later in the evening!

I hope these help give you ideas and sanity this holiday season, with a few little kid-fun while you have a little mom-done.


While Mom is Busy
by Marcy Lytle

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