Jackie Gillard: Conceived in my Heart


10 Budget-Friendly Activities for Families on Holiday Break

Low Cost, Creative Fun To Enjoy Together

The holiday break is quickly approaching. You're probably good to go on baking, gifts, and party RSVP's, but what about boredom busters for the days between?

So, what to do?

I could list all kinds of fun tourist attractions, and amusement parks, and mid-to-high-priced places to take your kids, but I figure you can find those places yourself if you have the Google machine.

What I'm going to share here are some creative activities that are low cost or free, and avoid any places that are jam-packed with other families looking for a good time. Don't get me wrong, I love places that I can pay to have my kidlets entertained, but on school holidays, they tend to be super-crowded and we usually end up wishing we had come on a day that wasn't so busy.

So, if you're like me and prefer to stick around close to home during the holidays, here are some ideas for things to do:

1. Go outside and make friends with all that snow. Toboggan old-school style on a big piece of cardboard or have your kids think of some other household item that might be fun to use instead of a store-bought toboggan. Make snow sculptures, get a neighbour to judge them, and award a prize (that you've pre-bought from Dollarama) to each child. No snowmen alloweduse your imaginations! Or, get funky creative and plan ahead to make some snow art .   

2. Create a family board. Use old magazines, drawings, or photos that represent what your family is all about, then glue them on a large piece of paper or cardboard. Hang it somewhere in your house for everyone to admire.

3. Have a video game tournament. Let each participant pick the game they want to play and surprise the winners with an inexpensive prize or reward, like having a chore waived. 

4. Decide together, in advance, on a special meal you can all make together. Shop together in the morning for the groceries and work together to create the meal. Have your kids create artistic placemats and name cards to set a fancy table, and let them pick some special music to play while you eat. Light fake or real candles at the table to set the mood of celebrating something specialyour family!

5. Have a movie-fest! Pick some old favourites, add some never-before-seen choices, grab some popcorn, and snuggle on the couch together. Better yet, build a blanket-and-pillows fort that fits all of you with an opening towards the TV and make it a camp-out movie-fest!

6. Play games! Let everyone pick their favourite board game and play each of them. Allow whomever chose the game to decide if they want to use the original rules provided by the game, OR make up their own silly rules!

7. Create a family video. Write an original script or "adapt" one of a family favourite story. Or put on a talent show, create costumes, and video record the production for repeated family viewing entertainment.

8. Two words: Scavenger. Hunt. The possibilities are endless hereso many themes, so little time. Even a photography scavenger hunt could inspire your kids in so many ways! You can do written or picture clues, hide the clues around your house, or even have the hunt partially or entirely outside if you want some fresh air in your day.

9. Have a building bonanza! Take every building block kind of toy in your house (Lego, blocks, Kappa sticksyou name it!) and use all of them interactively to create a gigantic building complex that is limited only by your family's imagination and your building supplies! Who says Lego can only play with Lego?

10. Have fun TOGETHER! Whether you use one of the ideas above or find something crafty, sporty, or educational to do from your own ideas, make some time for you and your kids together. I know for myself, it's tempting to spend a bit of time with my kids and then let them have fun with each other or doing their own thing, but the laundry, internet, and my work will be waiting for me when I get back. During the holidays, if not on every day, I want to enjoy smiles and laughs with my kids.

Isn't that the best part of being a family?

Here's a little story to tell you how my family was created!  

Have you been thinking about expanding your family? Foster adoption might be the perfect way for you to do that!