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Time to plan your post-Christmas activities

December 26, 2018

The Christmas rush is over. Santa has come and gone. Gifts have all been (barely) unwrapped and programmed, plugged in and played. And while you might be enjoying a little down time for the moment, you might want to start thinking about ways to keep your family entertained during the remainder of the Christmas break.

When the thrill of new toys, books and games wear off it will be time to unveil some new, fun activities, games and experiments to make the very most out of this long-awaited time off work and school. Here are some of my favorite ideas for experiments, activities and games that are sure to create even more memories this season. For more ideas, visit the Christmas board on Pinterest.

Experiments

Winter break is a great time to try out some fun, STEM-based experiments. And, your kids likely won’t even realize that they’re learning something new. They’ll just love trying something new and exciting. For example, gather up those used wrapping paper rolls and create a Santa Chute creating a track along the wall to roll a ping pong ball down.

Try this Dancing Cranberries and Jingle Bells experiment. Simply fill two clear glasses with Sprite or other clear, carbonated drink. In one glass place a few fresh or dried cranberries and then watch what happens! They begin to dance, bouncing up and down in the soda. Next try the jingle bells. While a little slower, they too, will bob up and down in the liquid.

Activities

Heading off to the movie theater is likely near the top of your Christmas activity list as your entire family is eager to enjoy the latest Marvel, Harry Potter or animated feature. There are other great venues, however, for indoor activities. Children’s museums at Thanksgiving Point and The Gateway are a great option. You can also bundle everyone up and head north to Hardware Ranch to view the herds of majestic elk.

Looking to stay home and avoid the crowds? Try your hand at backyard birdwatching. Migration is in full swing, so now is a great time to identify some birds. Host a homemade pasta night where everyone has a chance to create their own shape of pasta noodle. You could do the same for pizza night, too. And don’t forget the fun of creating your own snowflakes.

Games

When your kids become bored with the board games Santa brought and they’ve already pieced together that festive Christmas puzzle, it’s time to try some new games to keep them entertained. The more holiday-themed the better, too. For instance, you can play any number of themed word searches, crosswords or brainteasers. Or you can plan Minute-to-Win-it-style relay games.

If you’ve got some time to plan it, why not create a Christmas Escape Room activity? With a number of free printables available online, you’re able to create a great, brain-teasing escape room activity that’s likely to keep your kids occupied for several hours. You can also send your kids on a snow-themed photo scavenger hunt. Bundle everyone up and get them out running through the neighborhood.

— Jennifer Durrant

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