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These 12 activities to keep the kids busy over Christmas break will give you a great list to turn to when you need a few ideas.   When it is too cold, wet, windy or hot to be outside, I like to try to keep our kids busy with things other than electronics!

As most of you know, I was a teacher, so I like anything that encourages our kids to learn and use higher level thinking. I am also a play therapist and I know how much playing fosters learning, so I hope these ideas help!

A small child looking out the window with text above him.


1- Grab some blocks

Dump out some LEGO DUPLO bricks  and let the kids PLAY!  It will keep them busy for at least an hour.

Four children sitting on the floor playing with Legos.


2- CREATE without a plan!

Our kids love to be creative: making boats, jet skis, airplanes, houses for their stuffed animals, etc… They use glue, glitter, ribbon, felt and whatever else I have in their DIY Creativity Kit.   (Also known as our Invention Box)

A variety of art supplies with text above it.

2. Act out a story or play.

You could do a puppet show, dress up in outfits (mom & dads clothes are perfect for this!) or make your own costumes using paper plates, strings, paper bags, etc… If you have a pizza box, just cut out a circle for their head at the fold and it looks like a knight’s armor. Our boys love this!

4.Make up a story.

Give your kids a story-starter. “Today we walked into the cave and saw a huge _______. They fill in the blank and they LOVE this game! Then they start the next sentence and I have to fill in the blank. If we are all playing, we sit in a circle and play, each taking a turn with filling in the blank and starting up a new sentence.

5. Play Store.

We set up a little table with a cash register, toy money, little pieces of paper (the receipts), and a scanner. (We use the little attachment of our vacuum as the scanner.) The other kids fill their toy shopping cart with toys and take it to the cashier. They use the bags that I’ve saved from shopping trips as their grocery bags and they have a blast!

PS- make sure that they clean up when they are done. DO NOT CLEAN FOR THEM!  We use a toy shopping cart to run around & pick up the toys & put them back.

6. Make a dinosaur from toilet paper rolls.   You can find directions for that by clicking on the picture below. 

Three children sitting on the floor building a dinosaur out of toilet paper rolls.

7. Make SnowMan cookies.
These snowman cookies are so easy!   You can make them in no time!

A tray filled with snowman decorated cookies with text above it.


8. Go camping (in your living room!)

This is fun and easy to organize for your family.  We love to do this at our house because it is like an ‘adventure’ in your own living room. They will cook hot-dogs, make s’mores and have fun!  You can use your microwave to do all of the cooking.  Rent movies, make s’mores, have hot dogs and fruit.  The kids love it!  Plus, you can do this in the middle of the day. We usually start in the afternoon and just “camp out” and play “camp” in our living room until bedtime and then they go to their beds to sleep. We pretend to hike, we pretend to fish, etc…

9. Make a snowman out of glue:
Click here for directions
Make a snowman from glue!

10. Put on your own puppet show!

Use those socks that have lost their match to make a puppet for yourself and your child. Use paint, wiggly eyes, yarn and even cut up old clothes to make new clothes for your puppet! Put on a puppet show. Use your camera to tape it and watch it together.
Our kids do this several times a week. They watch it over and over and laugh hysterically! Show your child how you use funny voices for different characters. Make up your own or follow someone else’s lead (“Three Little Pigs”)

11- Paint with Kool-aid!
This is a really fun idea and all that you need is water and kool-aid to make it.   We try to do this outside, but this would be a  really fun paint to use to spray-paint the snow! 

Two little boys standing at the sink spraying water into a plastic container.

12.  Play with boxes!

You can buy a box that turns into a playhouse or boat or you can just find one laying around the house and let your kids turn them into cars, caves or any other idea that we can’t even begin to think of!

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. What a clever idea that dinosaur is! That would keep them busy for hours!

  2. I like that you suggest to go on a nature walk. I can see why this would be nice so that you can get out of the house and your children can run around outside. I think that a lot of children have so much energy because they don’t play outside enough. I remember as a child we spent all day every day outside playing in the yard or in the tree. I’ll have to remember this for when my children get a little older and have boundless amounts of energy.

  3. So creative. I will be sure to try these. If you have anymore I’d like to try them. Thank you.