The holidays are great, but after a few days off of school, the kids can go stir crazy and the days can get long! If you live where it’s cold and with less sun during the day, you know this to be especially true!
This winter break, don’t worry about how to keep the kids busy. I’ve got you covered with these 10 fun activities for winter break. These activities will not only keep them busy but also learning!
I love to find inexpensive ways to keep kids busy. Sure, you could go to the science center or trampoline park, but that is not cheap and may be more tiring than fun. We like to do experiences like this once in a while, but I also like to create meaningful experiences for my kids at home.
Here are 10 fun activities you can do with supplies from around the house!
1. Plastic Cups
Last winter break, red Solo plastic cups kept my kids busy for HOURS. They were busy building, creating, knocking down, and just plain having fun. We bought a pack of 200 cups and that was plenty for them. Yes, they do break sometimes, but we still have most of them almost a year later.
Check out some of the creations my son made with the cups!
2. Candy Cane Experiments
If you have leftover candy canes around, try out these 3 experiments!
The first one is so easy, but it will awe your child! You will be melting the candy canes and bending them into new shapes!
Here’s how you do it:
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Unwrap candy canes and lay them on a pan lined with tin foil.
- Place them in the oven for 2.5-3 minutes.
- Take the pan out and let them cool for 1 minute.
- Then use your hands or tongs to bend the candy canes. Make sure the candy canes are cool enough to touch and won’t burn your hands.
- After about 2 minutes, the candy canes will harden, so you want to work fast!
The second experiment is for fizzing candy canes. It’s super easy and all the details are on this post.
The last experiment is to test what candy canes will do in different liquids. You can have your children decide which liquids to test, or you can do the ones we did: hot water, cold water, vinegar, and vegetable oil. It’s fun to see what happens and to see the kids’ reactions!
3. Skittles Activity
Another fun candy experiment is with Skittles and hot water. All you do is place Skittles around the plate, then pour a little bit of hot water in the middle. You’ll add enough water to reach the Skittles, but don’t overdo it!
Then just watch what happens! It’s so cool to watch the colors come off of the Skittles and make beautiful rainbow art!
4. Play Dough Volcano
Form play dough around a glass to look like a volcano. Make sure you do this on a tray. Pour baking soda into the glass and then pour in vinegar. Watch the fun fizzy reaction!
5. Dramatic Play
Bring out your little one’s imagination with some dramatic play activities. We like to get out stuffed animals and set up a veterinary clinic. I have free printables for this on this post.
6. Water Beads
Grow some water beads and invite your child to play with them. You will need to plan ahead for this one because it does take a few hours to grow the beads, but it’s worth it! I get this brand on Amazon and put a couple of tablespoons into a plastic bin filled with water. I recommend doing this over a big blanket or towel to catch the water beads that drop out.
7. Ice Rescue
This one also takes a little prep work. Simple take a muffin tin and place a small toy (like a plastic animal) in each compartment. Fill it with water and place it into the freezer for several hours. Once they are frozen, pop each one out and have your child try to “rescue” each animal. We use hot water and toy hammers to get them out of the ice.
8. Balloon Rocket
Make a zooming rocket with a balloon, straw, tape, and string!
Your kids will love it if you make slime with them! My holiday slime is a great one to try during winter break.
10. Tinker Trays
Set out craft materials and invite your little ones to simply create!
I love tinker trays because it inspires little ones to use their imagination and creativity to make whatever they want. This process art activity is awesome because kids don’t feel like they have to copy a craft idea or have the perfect end product. I’m always surprised at what my kids come up with.
I hope these ten ideas help to keep your kids busy during winter break!