Winter break is fast approaching, which means that the kids will be home with no schoolwork to keep them busy.  This time of year can be especially difficult for single moms because we feel the need to entertain while also working and checking off all the items on our to-do list.  You don’t want your kids sitting in front of the television or computer all day, but you also don’t have the time or funds to take them to Disneyland.  Do not fret!  I have come up with a list of 5 fun free things you and your kids can do during the Winter break.

1. Make a vision board

My daughters and I love making vision boards!  It’s so fun and easy!  All you need is a pile of magazines and piece of paper (any size you want).  From there, you cut out any magazine pictures or words that inspire you… a sunset, an amazing pair of heels, quotes, ANYTHING!  When you have enough, you can get creative and start collaging them onto your piece of paper with glue or tape.  Now you can hang up your vision board and use it as a reminder of all your dreams and goals.  You can make this activity even more enjoyable by offering drinks and snacks and even turning up the tunes.  Have fun and let the creativity flow!

2. Bake something

Baking is a great bonding activity.  I will never forget the moments spent baking with my own mom.  So why not give it a try over break?  You can bake something at no cost by using ingredients that you already  have around the house (I know I can usually find chocolate somewhere in my kitchen).  Have your kids pick out the ingredients and then create your own recipe or you can search for something to make online. I have found a lot of great recipes on the foodnetwork.com.  I found a great sugar cookie recipe on there that allows you to bake and decorate.  Yum!  It also has a two hour waiting period that you could use to try one of the other activities I’ve listed.

3. Scavenger hunt

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?  You can make a list of items for your kids to collect around the neighborhood such as a toothpick, an apple, and other miscellaneous items that they need to find.  You can also create an indoor scavenger hunt where you leave clues around the house, one leading to another, until they ultimately reach a prize (it doesn’t need to be anything extravagant… perhaps it’s a plate of cookies or even you simply hiding).  Another scavenger hunt idea includes photography.  Similarly to the first idea, you make a list of things that your kids need to take pictures with (they can use a phone or digital/disposable camera).  At the end, you have a bunch of hilarious photos of your kids posing with the mailman, a stop sign, chasing pigeons, etc.

4. Visit the local animal shelter

I love taking my daughters to the animal shelter and the animals love it too.  This can be tricky if you don’t intend on adopting, so make it clear upfront.  Once there, you can see that simply playing with the animals is a rewarding experience.  My girls can’t help but laugh and smile!  The dogs and cats can’t get enough of them either.  It can be great therapy for everyone!

5. Look for change

Another great way to keep kids busy is getting them to search for loose change around the house.  At times my daughters would find a few cents, and at others they would find a few dollars.  It makes for a great game!  Once we have collected all the change we can find, we choose a charity to donate too.  You can even donate the change to the local animal shelter that you visited!  We always have fun doing this and it feels great teaching my girls to give back.