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School is out for the cold winter and the kids are greatly excited at getting a much-deserved break from books and school…. but alas the sight of knee-deep snow outside can be a huge disappointment. The freezing temperatures are enough to make even the most adventurous child feeling low-spirited. So how do you keep the ‘bursting with energy’ kids happily occupied during the winter break? Here are some great options for parents of pre-teens.

  1. Earn extra allowance – Which kid can say no to a little extra allowance? Assign them extra chores in and around the house for additional allowance and watch how those get done quickly and more importantly with a smile.
  2.  Let them read – A cup of hot cocoa and an exciting book are a great way to spend a cosy winter evening. Encourage kids to imbibe love of books by taking them to the library and letting them pick books which they can enjoy reading over the winter break.
  3.  Encourage community service –Pre-teens can be encouraged to begin giving back albeit in small ways- shoveling snow for a neighbor, walking dogs or even serving at a soup kitchen – such activities can inculcate a sense of selflessness while keeping them productively occupied.
  4.  Pick up a new skill / craft–Staying indoors needn’t be all that boring – it can be a great time to pick up a new skill or craft – painting, model airplanes, robotics and the list can go on.
  5.  Let them spring / winter clean – Why not use this time to clean up the house and set it up for Christmas. Have your kids help you get rid of unwanted stuff and get the house spruced up for a wonderful Christmas. DIY Christmas decorations are a wonderful and affordable way to decorate your home.
  6.  Learn to love snow – It would be almost criminal if the kids had to stay indoors all the time – the snow can be a fun friend too. They could go skiing or ice-sledding. They could also use snow to build giant snowman or fun snow-castles or to have great snow fights. These are great ways to bring families and friends together.
  7.  Go on day trips – Winters are a wonderful time to get the children introduced to art and culture. You could visit local museums or kid friendly shows – these would sow the seeds of aesthetic appreciation in the kids and help them know about various cultures.
  8.  Try a hand at cooking – It’s never too early to learn to cook – you could let your child cook simple stuff in the kitchen – who knows maybe this could be the start of an exciting culinary dream. ‘Cooking without Fire’ sessions can churn out yummy recipes like a tuna sandwich, the strawberry milkshake or something healthy and wholesome like Fruity Peanut Butter Pitas!
  9.  Get ahead of school – Learning online is another great option for the winter break. Parents can choose from a wide array of eLearning alternatives which can help child stay ahead of their class. eLearning sites such as etutorworld.com offer personalized online tutoring sessions for school students in math, science and English. Their grade specific worksheets are interesting and effective which can help your child gain the extra edge by staying ahead of her peers.
  10.  Play family board games–Get the kids offline – plug off devices and bring the family together. Unpack those long-forgotten board games and get the kids to plan game sessions for the whole family. Monopoly, Ker Plunk, Pictionary are all fantastic options.

Winter break can be made truly exciting and educative for pre-teens which just a little planning and lots of fun-filled ideas. So, here’s to a Merry Christmas and a great New Year!