How To Keep Your Kids Entertained During Winter Break

Winter break is an exciting time for kids­—days off from school, giving presents and receiving them, and more time to have play dates with classmates. But that time off can quickly turn from exciting to boring for your young ones. Take inspiration from these ideas that will keep your kids entertained all break long!

Take them ice skating
This classic winter break activity is so popular for a reason—it’s guaranteed to make your kids feel like the star of the show, while also getting some physical exercise. You can snap pictures that will last a lifetime, and maybe they’ll leave the rink with a new favorite hobby.

Have a movie-filled day    
Spend the morning at the movies for a leisurely day relaxing with the kids. The best thing about matinees is that they are usually cheaper, and many movie theaters play old favorites during the winter months as well. Another way to keep kids occupied is having a movie marathon. Pop in their choice Disney film or feel-good flick and get the popcorn ready for a cozy day on the couch.

Get crafty indoors
With the weather turning colder by the minute, most kids probably won’t want to be outside for long periods of time. Make those hours spent indoors count and lay out several crafts to complete. Having options will beat boredom and make your kids more likely to enjoy their time inside. Try out this upcycled jet packbookmarks inspired by their favorite book character,  or this sock snow pal.

Suggest that they cook dinner
This doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Kids will rejoice at the chance to pick out their favorite meals—chicken nuggetsmac n’ cheesepizza, and ice cream. Look up healthy or unique spins on these kid meal staples to guide them in the right direction, and then let them be a part of buying ingredients and cooking the dinner!

Museum hop for a day
Take your kids downtown for an afternoon and check out some museum exhibits. Look up beforehand what museums offer free or discounted admission for kids, and have a route planned out before you leave. This is a great way to integrate learning into their winter break, and you can learn something new, too!

Play board games
Dust off the board games from the basement and have a day filled with friendly competition. This gets kids away from the temptation of technology, as well as providing some fun and laughs.

A Modern TV Dinner

Few things take us back to simpler times quite like TV dinners. Your favorite show on in the background, a microwavable meal ready in just minutes, and no pots or pans to clean up afterward—you can already smell the nostalgia. The only problem? The missing homemade aspect that these types of meals simply don’t have. Heed these tips to turn any TV dinner into a homemade meal ready in minutes.

TV dinner tips:

  • Since making dinner on a weekday is hard enough with a busy schedule, try making weeknight meals over the weekend, and then freeze them.
  • Once the whole meal is prepped, get microwave-safe trays to section off the meal. Each should consist of a main dish and a side (with dessert optional).
  • Depending on the dish, you shouldn’t keep the meals in your freezer for longer than a week and a half to avoid freezer burn.
  • When you’re ready to eat your TV dinner, remove the lid and heat for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Then take out the tray, and stir the main dish and side. Put the meal back in the microwave, and heat for an additional minute or two.

Parmesan Spinach Gnocchi with Shredded Chicken

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 (16-ounce) packages of gnocchi
  • 3–4 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons Flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3–4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions. Once done, drain the water, and set aside
  2. Cook the chicken, shred, and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a small pot. Once melted, add the minced garlic, and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add the flour, and mix for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the milk a cup at a time, stirring between each cup. Cook until the mixture has thickened.
  6. Add the chopped spinach to the sauce, and cook until spinach has wilted.
  7. Once the sauce is at its desired consistency, remove from the burner and add the salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
  8. When the mixture is completely melted, add the gnocchi and chicken. Stir together.