While kids certainly look forward to having time off school for winter break, this time of year can be chaotic  for parents. You’ll have to keep them entertained for two weeks, right in the midst of holiday celebrations! As easy as it would be to just let kids lounge around on technology all day, it’s not the healthiest way they could be spending their time.

Luckily there are some fool-proof activities for kids that will keep them busy over the holidays. Not only will these activities give the kids something to do, but they’ll also take the edge off for parents who might be stressing about keeping them entertained.

1. Get Baking

Baking might sound intimidating for some people, but it shouldn’t be. You can find easy recipes that use only a few ingredients. For example, you can bake peanut butter cookies that only require peanut butter, sugar and one egg to make 24 servings. Your kids can help with pouring, mixing, rolling and other basic steps involved in the process. Try and turn clean up time into a game by forming an assembly line together to do the dishes. 

If baking isn’t your thing, feel free to have the kids join you for cooking a regular breakfast or dinner. Try and get creative with meals like snowman pancakes that look delicious and adorable. The whole point of this activity is to get them in the kitchen and teach some basic skills that will introduce them to the world of cooking.

 2. Spend Time Outdoors

If you’re lucky enough to live where it snows, take advantage of it while you can. There are loads of activities kids can do outdoors, like building a snowman or sledding down hills. Plus, the time outdoors will take up a lot of energy so they’re less inclined to wreak havoc once back indoors.

This could also be a great time to introduce kids to winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Take them to a nearby hill or conservation area with slopes and see if they like it. Chances are if they learn how to do these sports when they’re young, it will become a lifelong activity they look forward to each winter.

3. Build A Fort

The wonderful thing about forts is they keep kids occupied long after the building is finished. Grab some pillows, sheets, couch cushions and chairs for your kids to make their own fort. They can channel their inner builder to design a fort where they can hang out all day. You’ll have to expect a bit of a mess wherever it’s constructed, but it’ll be worth it once you see their vision come to life. 

4. Read Some Books

With technology being so addictive, it’s always beneficial to remind your kids of how fun reading is. Turn this activity into a field trip by taking them to a bookstore or library. That way, they can choose for themselves which books they’re interested in reading. Depending on their ages, you could even read with them or let them cozy up on their own. Either way, feel free to unplug the WiFi to ensure a distraction-free reading session can commence.

5. Put On A Show

With this tip, we aren’t saying to turn on the TV. Instead get your kids excited by spending the day prepping a show to perform at the end of the night. It can be a play, dance, fashion show, song—basically anything they can do that involves planning and rehearsing. Parents and anyone else who’s home can enjoy the show for free, as long as they promise to applaud at the end.

6. Play A Board Game

There are an infinite amount of board games for kids to play. If you don’t have any laying around the house, bring your crew to the store and have them pick one that catches their interest. It can become a go-to game for when they’re bored or stumped on what to do. If you prefer, you can also grab a deck of cards and teach them a classic game you know how to play.

Another alternative is for kids to make their own board game. Give them construction paper, markers and random items from around the house they can use to make the board. Have them write the rules, name it and get ready to play a one-of-a-kind game that’s exclusive to your household.

7. Hide And Seek

Never underestimate the power of hide and seek. It’s simple, everyone knows how to play and it can keep kids occupied for hours. If you’re kids are older or you want to change things up, there are fun twists online that you can implement into your game. 

8. Do A Science Experiment

A DIY science experiment might  sound like a mess waiting to happen, but it doesn’t have to be. There are loads of experiments that are easy, entertaining and mess-free. For example, this experiment turns an ordinary glass of water into a rainbow using only Skittles and a few other ingredients. This activity doubles as fun and educational, which is always a beneficial way to keep kids entertained. 

9. Arts And Crafts

This is one of the easiest activities to do with your kids since you probably have all the materials laying around your house. Get creative and start drawing, painting or gluing some winter inspired art pieces together. An easy idea is to fold a piece of paper a few times and use scissors to cut little snippets throughout and make a snowflake. It might not end up in the Louvre, but at least it can hang on your fridge.

10. Have A Movie Marathon

It is the holidays after all, so don’t feel bad if your family spends one day perched on the couch. Let your kids decide which movies their interested in watching. Decide which is order to watch them in by drawing the titles out of a hat. Grab some popcorn, heat up some hot chocolate and get cozy with blankets for a day of much deserved R&R.