With overflowing toy boxes and bookcases filled to the brim we often hear "There is NOTHING to do!" from our kids over winter school break. Really kids?! Time to break the kids' boredom with these five tips to survive winter school break...
Get Outside To Blow Out the Cobwebs. Which cobewebs I don't know...my mom used to say it to me when I was bored "Go outside and blow off the cobwebs Caroline!" Mom was right. A change of environment can change the mood of the day. Whether it be building a snowman in the backyard, sledding in the local park, shoveling snow, skating, running to the car to go visit grandma...just getting outside is a good thing. Just bundle up. And go to the bathroom first.
Movie Afternoon—a family favourite. Cuddle up on the couch and enjoy a family movie is a great winter break activity. While you push play on a movie you push pause on the world around you.
Invite A Friend Over—sometimes the best activity is other kids. Tweens can listen to music and chat, kids can build living room forts, toddlers can just play side-by-side. A playdate is a warm way to spend a day.
Family Field Trip—be a tourist in your own city. Bundle up and explore the tourist sites in your 'hood. A museum, zoo, science centre or art gallery are all family friendly destinations year round.
Think Inside—activities, I mean. With your kids (or without) make a list of all the indoor activities you could do together...swimming, bowling, indoor playground, go-carting, baking, cooking, art, dancing, board games, library, scrapbooking, finger painting—endless possibilities really.
Enough of "There is NOTHING to do!" time to switch up the kids thinking and ask them "What can YOU think of to do..."
My grandmother's death was the first experience my kids had with death. From explaining what dying was to preparing them for what they would experience at her funeral, I was completely inexperienced and unready. So, I went to the library and looked through the shelves for kids' books that would explain what I couldn't. Unfortunately, always timely, here are some books you may find helpful when met with having to discuss death with your kids:
It has very friendly illustrations, the writing is very approachable and respectful, it covers many different traditions of funerals (religious and non-religious), and it addresses feelings and fears.
The only note I would make is that it opens death a bit wider than I was looking for (accidental death, child death, suicide). Surprisingly, though, my kids connected with some of it—I had a fetal demise a few years ago, and upon reading the page on when youngsters die, my youngest connected that picture to “our baby.”
The part on suicide is simply a picture of pills with a short sentence—you could easily skip that illustration box.
Though it didn’t connect with our religious tradition, the positive approach was good. It focused on good memories and putting those memories to paper as a keepsake—creating living memories for your family.
Though the description tells of a boy whose pet has died, it seems to follow the unsure times and positive memories surrounding a loss.
What's Heaven? follows the story of Kate, whose great-grandma has just died.
Death is a difficult topic whether you are a grown up or a child. I found that instead of starting the conversation with information, I asked my children, "Do you have any questions?" It seemed to help with a starting point in the conversation.
I found, when discussing death with my kids, that letting them lead the discussion empowered them without scaring them with too much information.
For more info on how to help your kids deal with traumatic events, click here.
For three great gifts that you can order online—for babies, teens, and in-betweens—click here.