Surviving Winter Break

The next couple of week can make or break a parent as we entertain children sugar-giddy with excitement over the holidays, and soon crazy with boredom after a sudden break from school-regimented days.

Even the best parenting cannot fill the entire day with sweet holiday entertainment, and, frankly, we all need a break from the cutest voice singing “Jingle Bells” for the 111th time.

With two little boys, I am constantly at the mercy of whatever they entertain themselves with trashing the house, injuring each other or causing mischief and mayhem. I’m sharing some of the tricks up my sleeves I’ve collected for you to survive the next couple of weeks with.

  • Steer their screen time occasionally. BBC’s Planet Earth is on in its entirety on Netflix. Also, Check out Project Mc² (on Netflix and with its own web site).
  • Keep the boxes from all of those packages people are sending. Make your kids clean put their OWN summer clothes and pack them in. With a label from, when the delivery man comes by, you can send off their old clothes and leave room for spring shopping now.
  • Hand over that old pocket-sized camera and let them shoot what they see for a day. The holidays can be much different to the eyes of a child!
  • Make then make a thank you Christmas card for the mailman and stick it in there, complete with water bottle and a candy cane.
  • Grab whats left of that box of crayons and some paper and draw Beebop the Robot some delicious food while listening to The Alien Adventures of  Finn Caspian ( exploring space on your own, with friends, at age 8? Awesomesauce, as my kids say). Another podcast we can’t live without is Brains On!
  • This is still my favorite go-to play dough recipe from Modern Parents, Messy Kids. Even my sons preschool uses it! No worries about using Christmas cookie cutters with it because its made with Jell-O.
  • OK, this is cheating because its Christmas related, but I hear belly laughs from the next room every time this is played. Toca Boca (who I adore) has a Christmas salon app with a Christmas tree and Santa Claus ready to be shaven, colored, and styled.
  • Youtube is more than egg openings and weird singalong videos for preschoolers. Check out “Tested” with Adam Savage for older kids, and Because Science with Kyle Hill (the newest favorite video talks about Chewbacca’s bowcaster)