The holiday season is finally upon us, that joyous time of year when lifelong memories are made with our loved ones. But for many parents out there, myself included, holidays can conjure mixed emotions; there are equal parts happiness and mild panic at the thought of entertaining the kids over the entire school break. While there is always Disneyland or Universal Studios, these can be expensive at a time of year when finances can be tight. So we compiled a list of 50 no- to low-cost activities you can do with the kids during the holidays. Scroll down for some new ideas.
1. Make holiday-inspired creations with Lego.
2. Help out people in the community.
3. Spend a day baking holiday cookies.
4. Make a 2016 calendar.
5. Film a video singing Christmas carols.
6. Make finger puppets.
7. Go crazy with the spirograph.
8. Host your own puppet show.
9. Write your own holiday storybook.
10. Have a treasure hunt.
11. Make New Year’s cards for family and friends.
12. Host your own junior sports day.
13. Try making a new dessert recipe.
14. Write a thank-you letter to Elf on the Shelf (if you have one) before he goes back to the North Pole.
15. Write a list of all your favorite holiday flicks, and have a movie marathon with popcorn.
16. Make a gingerbread house.
17. Start a family tennis or sports tournament.
18. Play all your favorite board games.
19. Start a family book club.
20. Start a garden.
21. Play family Four Square.
22. Go for a family bike ride.
23. Design and decorate your own wreaths.
24. Have a family picnic indoors.
25. Make your own play dough.
26. Write new lyrics to your favorite Christmas carols and record them.
27. Write New Year’s resolution decorations and hang them on the tree.
28. Host a New Year’s Eve slumber party.
29. Create a time capsule for the family and bury it in the yard.
30. Make potato stamps.
31. Go camping in the backyard.
32. Take a mini road trip to somewhere new.
33. Make a family trip to one of your local markets.
34. Fly a kite.
35. Make your own snow globe.
36. Go on a bug hunt in the yard or at the local park.
37. Visit the local zoo and make a book about it.
38. Set up a family art school and paint the sunset.
39. Have a beach day and build sand castles.
40. Host a family dance party and show off your moves.
41. Make a family mix tape with all your favorite tunes.
42. Create your own musical instruments (or noisemakers).
43. Play indoor volleyball with a balloon.
44. Have a Pin the Tail on the Donkey contest.
45. Teach the kids to play croquette.
46. Build an indoor fort.
47. Print out your favorite photos from 2015 and make a collage.
48. Make a snowman or create one with shaved ice.
49. Cook some edible decorations.
50. Make your own mini golf course in the living room.
What have you got planned for your kids over the holidays? Share your family traditions and fun activities in the comments below.