It’s the most wonderful (and possibly the most stressful?) time of the year! You’ve got a million errands to run, your Amazon package still hasn’t shipped, and your kids are about to come home for two weeks.
We know how crazy the holiday season can get, which why we’ve come up with 12 easy ways for you and your family to enjoy your time together and get the most out of winter break while building some assets along the way!
1. GET OUTSIDE
Without school and recess to burn up some of their energy, your campers might be bouncing off the walls by their third day freedom. Get them outside by doing something fun like running a silly 5k! Sign up for one with a theme the whole family can get behind and build up Asset #1: Family Support! Just like on Theme Night, the best costumes are usually simple and homemade!
If a 5k seems too ambitious (don’t worry we get it) there are always simpler options! Getting your family out of the house can be as easy as bundling up and taking a walk around the neighbor to look at Christmas lights!
2. VOLUNTEER AT A SHELTER
If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, take an opportunity to work on Asset #9: Service to Others and volunteer at a local shelter with your campers. It’s the season of giving so why not give back to the community?
3. MAKE WINTER CARE PACKAGES
Even in Texas the temperatures can drop pretty low this time of year. And if you’re one of our families in a state that actually experiences winter, you don’t need us to tell you how cold it gets!
Use the extra time your campers have on their hands to work on Asset #26: Caring by putting together winter care packages for the homeless. Care packages can be as simple as a Ziploc bag filled with tissues, snacks, lip balm, and a pair of gloves. Click here for more inspiration! https://www.pinterest.com/explore/homeless-care-package/?lp=true
4. START A BOOK CLUB WITH FRIENDS
Encourage your camper to start a book club this winter break as a way to catch up on the latest fantasy series and strengthen Asset #25: Reading for Pleasure. She and a few friends can agree on a book at the beginning of the break then meet up before school starts to discuss over snacks and hot cocoa.
5. GO ON A NEIGHBORHOOD SCAVENGER HUNT
Gather your neighborhood kids and your fellow parents for a scavenger hunt to build up Asset #4: Caring Neighborhood. Split the kids into teams and send them on a mission around the block to find heart-shaped rocks and something orange. Winners get bragging rights for the rest of the year!
6. MAKE A TIME CAPSULE
With the New Year just around the corner it’s the perfect time put the past behind you and start thinking about the future. Gather your family and tell everyone to write their individual goals for 2018, and then write a few as a family.
Once you’ve established your goals, you can decorate a shoebox and place the goals in the box along with one item from each family member that represents 2017 (a stuffed animal, a picture, a college acceptance letter). Seal the box and store it in the back of your closet with a pact to open it at the end of 2018! This is a great way to reinforce Asset #40: Positive View of Personal Future in your camper!
7. MAKE S’MORES
Channel your inner Lonehollow and let the countdown to camp begin by roasting marshmallows over the stove for a warm and gooey s’mores that are sure to bring back some memories!
S’mores aren’t your only option in the kitchen! Switch it up a little by letting your kids choose something to bake or buy some handy place-and-bake cookie dough for a quick treat. Your kids will love spending time with you (and you’ll support Asset #20: Time at Home) no matter what they’re eating.
8. HOST A GAME NIGHT
Give your kids a project this winter break by encouraging them to host a game night for their friends. Allow your camper to handle all of the details such as the invite list, the snack menu, and the lineup of games. This will take the pressure off of you AND build on Asset #32: Planning and Decision Making.
9. DE-CLUTTER AND DONATE
With Santa on his way to deliver even more toys to your playroom, now is the perfect time for some early spring cleaning. Sit down with you camper and choose a few toys (or even just one) to donate. Take your camper with you when you drop off the items so he can see the positive effects of his actions and to bolster Asset #33: Interpersonal Competence.
10. BUILD A FORT
What better way to boost Asset #2: Positive Family Communication and get you kids up and moving than to build a fort to protect the living room against advancing enemy forces? Once you’ve finished you can lean against the (blanket) walls and enjoy a movie together from the safety of your fort.
11. PUT ON A SHOW
Who needs the Nutcracker? Encourage your campers to spend some time this winter break creating their own show! They can be the stars or they can make it a puppet show! (Click here http://www.kizclub.com/craft/fingerpuppets/fingerpuppet1.pdf to download a printable finger puppet template!) This activity will promote Asset #17: Creative Activities in your campers while also giving them a project to focus their energy and attention on. Plus you’ll get the best seat in the house on opening night.
12. GO ICE SKATING
The only jackets we wear at camp are lifejackets, except when we’re skating at the ice rink under the Bike Barn. (It’s totally real. Ask your campers about it.)
Even if it’s 70 degrees outside, you can always bundle up and head to an indoor ice rink where cooler temperatures and fun are in abundance. Boost your camper’s self-esteem (Asset #38: Self-Esteem) by teaching her how to skate or allowing him to further develop his skills.