Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winter Fun & Frivolity

Whether your child’s school break starts before the holidays or after, odds are you have a two-week stretch of vacation that will test your creativity and push it to its limits! So, we at Oliver’s Labels are here to help!

1. Bake cookies with the kids  - yes, we know, it’s been said before (many times before!). But that’s for a reason – it works! What kid doesn’t wanna get elbow deep in cookie dough and chocolate chips? ‘Nuff said.

2. If you’ve got snow/cold weather, take full advantage of it. Tobogganing, skating, snowball fights, snow angels…whatever floats their boats. If they’re old enough, send ‘em out fully insulated and let them go wild outside with all the neighbours’ kids. Just make sure when the frozen crew decides to come inside, there’s hot chocolate waiting for them! (And maybe some of those cookies they made…) Bonus – your child(ren) will probably sleep like a rock; snowball fights are tiring!

3. Go to the movies. There are so many great family movies out at this time of year so why not enjoy a blustery afternoon inside with a bag of popcorn and your favourite little person?  Your local museum would also be a good bet… many have additional children’s programs scheduled during school breaks.

4. I Spy Nature Walk – kids love contests, so why not get outside and see who can be the first to spot items on a nature list? Items could include various species of trees (easy-to-identify varieties like Maple, Oak, etc.), birds sitting on a wire, acorns or chestnuts, a red car (or blue, or purple…), random numbers (try to spot them on signs or on buildings). You get the idea! When you’re done, the “winner” gets to choose what treat everyone will enjoy back at home – or the local coffee shop. 

5. Visit your local rec or community center.  Many community centers have programs for kids during the holiday break, or open up their facilities during non-program times for free play. My local rec center, for example, doesn’t run any regular programs during December, so they open up their gymnasium two mornings a week for families to drop-in and play. It’s a great way to get some exercise and let your kids get out all their energy while having fun.

6. Take your kids to your local home improvement center for craft/building projects, most of which are free (or very inexpensive). You need to register in advance, in most cases, so check out their websites, below, for more information. 

U.S.: Home Depot    Lowe’s  

Canada: Home Depot    Lowe’s

7. Have a “Random Acts of Kindness” Day, where you and your kids brainstorm ideas to make a difference in someone’s life. Ideas include: shoveling an elderly neighbour’s walkway, making muffins to welcome someone who just moved onto your street, calling relatives you haven’t spoken to in awhile just to say “hi” (it’ll make their day!). Kids love when their opinions are valued, so give them free reign to come up with a kind gesture that will put a smile on someone’s face – and make them feel great, too!

Whatever you choose to do, have fun! The options are as endless as your imagination so let it run wild!

Have a great winter break. J

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