It seems like just yesterday they went back to school—how is it holiday break already? Don’t let all their newfound free time add to your holiday stress list. We’ve rounded up eight simple activities to keep the season merry, bright and boredom free. Read on and rejoice!

photo: iStock

1. Have a Movie Marathon

Let's all go to the movies! But stay home in our PJs... Set up your screening list with some must-see family films. Recreate that movie magic with tickets kids can trade in for movie munchies, then grab a prime seat, hunker down and snuggle!

2. Make a Joke Jar

Yuck it up with some side-splitting jokes for kids that parents will get a laugh out of, too! Create a joke jar by writing down jokes, throw in a jar (or hat, bowl or whatever), and take turns reciting. Here are some of our favorite jokes to get you started. Make it a guessing game where players have to guess who wrote the joke—even add in an impression or two! Laughter is truly the best medicine.

 

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3. Explore Quality Content With Google Kids Space

This is cool: Google Kids Space turns a tablet into an imaginative world that sparks kids' curiosity. You'll need to get a compatible Lenovo Tab HD M10 (2nd Gen) tablet (gift idea for the grandparents?) but bonus points for the kids mode being FREE! All content, oodles of apps, books, games and more is customized based on your kid's interests and the apps are teacher approved, A+! Pair it with Google's Family Link app, and now you can set boundaries with parental controls—this one's a no brainer, y'all.

4. DIY Instruments

Take this time to learn how to play an instrument, like a Pringle's can drum! Never heard of it? That's because you make it yourself! Check out this list of 24 creative and simple homemade instruments everyone in the fam can get into. Have some straws laying around? Welp, now you have a pan flute—rock on!

 

5. Minute-to-Win-It Night

You can't get bored because you can play a new game every minute—take that, hard-to-please preschooler! Here's a list of 30 silly and fun games you can play, all using stuff around your house: soda cans, plastic cups, uncooked spaghetti and so on. This one will have even the curmudgeon of the house lighting up with playful glee, whoopee!

 

 

photo: iStock

6. Baking Blast

Subscription boxes are all the rage for a reason—they're a great way to give something new a go! Why not try one of these baking kits? There's something for every skill level and taste, from Magnolia's famous banana pudding recipe kit to a fortune cookie making kit and everything in between.

photo: iStock

7. Build a Fort

Building a fort is a right of passage for a kid, and they've come a long way. Sure, you can make the classic with couch cushions and blankets, but what about something more inspired like a princess fort, cozy cabin or firefighter den? Use what you have on hand and get some inspiration here.

photo: iStock

8. Ride On!

It's the perfect time to learn something new, like how to ride a bike! Do a little research on the best bike for their age here and get your kiddo psyched about trying something new by spotting their peers riding, picking out a helmet, planning a safe practice route and even riding along with them!

—Jamie Aderski