There’s the busy lead-up to Christmas, the happy frenzy of the day itself and that sweet spot afterwards, when children’s gifts are still new and interesting. 

But most kids get two weeks off school. It’s easy to default to Netflix or video games, but these can leave everyone climbing the walls after awhile. 

If you’re home with your kids, there are many things to do to fill the time. Many involve learning something together — not a bad idea for kids who’ll need to think again in January. 

Here are five things you can do over the winter break: 

  1. Take advantage of free activities. Check the “What’s On?” schedule for your community. Community centres, libraries and public parks and rinks often have great ways to spend time together. 
  2. Download an educational app or two. Then give your kids a series of challenges to complete. Google Earth can take them anywhere in the world. What are five things they see when standing beside the Eiffel Tower? 
  3. Deliver a gift overseas. The World Vision Gift Catalogue explores the lives of kids in developing countries. Have your child browse the site and select a gift from your family to theirs. Your donation before December 31 means a 2018 tax receipt. 
  4. Read a new book together. You can share the same book or read your own together. Chat about the latest chapter at dinnertime each day. Which character do they like best? Can they guess what will happen next?  
  5. Take a bus or train trip. Is there a part of the city you haven’t visited? A nearby town you’d like to see? Pack a lunch, then hit the road on wheels or rail. If they have a phone, document the day with pictures.



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