33 No-Tech, Super Fun Activities to Keep Kids Busy on Winter Break

by Parent Co. December 28, 2015

Winter break is upon us and it's time to get creative. Here's a quick list of cheap, low-tech ways to entertain an elementary school-aged kid over winter break. Stocksy_txpcb93c956aok000_Small_636192
  1. Make easy popcorn balls (with marshmallows or corn syrup).
  2. Make duct tape wallets (hey, even Martha's doing it) or a bunch of other oddball duct tape crafts).
  3. Buy cheap notebooks or use some sticky notes to make flipbooks.
  4. Get out the camping gear and set up a backyard winter explorers base.
  5. Write some Star Wars fanfiction (or Harry Potter, etc).
  6. Experiment with making your own personal ultimate ramen recipe (ramen tips, more on Pinterest).
  7. Go for an epic walk.
  8. Throw a housecleaning party - complete with music and snacks. Get creative and invent a point system for certain tasks.
  9. Same as above, throw a thank you card party for all those Christmas gifts. (I do not know, it's worth a try).
  10. Make epic blanket forts.
  11. Try some new winter crafts.
  12. Have fun with simple baking recipes. (Or just make these pretzels from a box mix.)
  13. Go sledding - on a homemade sled (or, take your normal sled and give it a rad new paint job).
  14. Let the kids plan and put together a family game night. (Don't worry - you can still bring your own beer.)
  15. Make a Rubber Band Guitar.
  16. Create a scavenger hunt with your leftover Christmas candy.
  17. Score some old board games at the thrift shop and let the kids mix and match the pieces to create their own games.
  18. Likewise, invest in some all-day board games to keep the kids busy. With snacks, of course.
  19. Use toys, string, and recycling materials to make a breakfast-cereal pouring Rube Goldberg machine.
  20. Make simple kite that really flies out of newspaper or a simple kite out of foam.
  21. Print your own fake Apple Watch. That way your kid can go back to school with some bling.
  22. Make a homemade lava lamp with salt and oil.
  23. Write funny captions in old magazines or newspapers with a sharpie.
  24. Make some awesome magazine collages.
  25. Have a prank party - set up a bunch of pranks to play on the other parent or siblings. Pranks for kids. More pranks.
  26. Homemade pizza night! Or lunch.
  27. The old standby of making homemade play-doh is still fun (easy play-doh recipe one, easy play-doh recipe two).
  28. If you have some of those silicone oven safe muffin trays, you can recycle all those broken crayons into new ones.
  29. Look at all the things you can do with cardboard. Some of them might be fun. More here.
  30. If you live someplace cold, freeze stuff outside, Han Solo-style.
  31. Go to the library and borrow a mountain of books - for free.
  32. If you live someplace with snow, grab some food color send your kids out to create snow graffiti (more here).
  33. If you have access to a stick, some pipe insulation foam and duct tape, you can make a pretty legit sword / lightsaber that you can use to battle.
Check out the Unbored series of activities, ideas, and adventures for great activities not listed above!

5 Bonus Tech Activities

  1. Make a video game with Hopscotch
  2. Download some podcasts and set up an audio theater
  3. Explore the posts on Today Box
  4. Take a virtual tour of art museums around the world
  5. Experiment with learning piano with Pianu or drop beats with Patatap
What are your go-to "entertain the kids at home" ideas? Post in the comments below!


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