The holidays are just days away, so that means you and your kiddos are on the brink of winter break. But there are two words no child feels like saying—and no parent feels like hearing—during this time:
(I talked to “New Mexico Living” about how to make the smoothest transition from school break back to schoolbooks—take a look!)
First things first: Know your motto. Around our house, it’s this: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Plan ahead for a stress-free, fun winter break. Tackle most of your to-do list at the beginning of winter vacation, but involve your kids (trust us: They do want to help!). How? Oh, let us count the ways…
Help them make their own crafts to give to family and friends.
Decorate a gingerbread house and bake cookies.
Declutter the house—together. Donate clothes that are too small and toys that your kids have outgrown (bonus: this will make room for new clothes, gifts, and toys!).
Write a letter to Santa.
Once you have most of your holiday list tackled, see a movie or a show. (“The Nutcracker” is showing at The KiMo Theatre until December 24!)
Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and see the Pueblo Gingerbread contest that goes on until January 8.
Take your kids to the Rio Rancho Winterfest. The event is December 17 and includes activities like ice skating and a holiday parade.
Carve out some relaxation time. Kiddos work hard in school and need time to rest too. Take out a big puzzle at which to chip away over the wintry weeks.
You can even have a movie marathon, complete with popcorn and PJs. Play board games together or make up your own games.
Take a drive around town to see Christmas lights as a family.
Try not to stay cooped up in the house too long. Find fun ways to get kids energy out: sledding, skiing, or—if there’s no snow—have an indoor snowball fight using balled-up socks.
Set up an obstacle course with everyday objects for your kids to complete.
Take a nighttime walk to see the Christmas lights in your neighborhood.
Most importantly, remember to ease your kids into a school mindset as 2017 approaches. During the break, have them read for 15-20 minutes before they get to play video games. You can do a science experiment (with only two ingredients!) like making fake snow. Go to the library pick out some fun holiday books and read by the fireplace.