Well, well, well…Christmas has come and gone. You now find yourself home with your children and the remainder of vacation week looming ahead.
So, you take your overtired, overstimulated, unappreciative children to Target to grab cough medicine. You hear NO LESS than 50 times, “Can I have…?”, “Can you get me…?”, “That’s not fair!”. Your obvious answer is “Absolutely not.” You realize you need some essentials, grab $130.00 worth of crap, and leave without the ONE thing you came for. The constant nagging of your children is, of course, to blame for this. Because it’s socially unacceptable to pour a double martini at 10:30am, another plan must be made to survive the rest of this ABSURDLY long school vacation.
A few years back, I was struggling with this same issue, and, to add insult to injury, we were homebound with bad weather. A neighborhood friend gave me a great scavenger hunt idea. With minimal effort, you can create personalized scavenger hunts for each of your children that should hopefully buy you at least an hour of peace. The key is to include tasks with your hunt. The longer it takes to complete the task, the better (try to include a 1000 piece puzzle and hopefully it’ll take them the week). Here’s a sample scavenger hunt. Make sure you pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa, add some schnapps, and watch those gnats flit left and right all over your house trying to complete it!
Sample Scavenger Hunt
– Find books with titles that begin with each letter of your name (i.e. for the name JOHN, a book that begins with J, one that begins with O, another that begins with H and a 4th that begins with N)
– Read them
– Find a 24 piece puzzle – complete it (change the number of pieces according to age)
– Draw a picture of a rainbow and label each color
– Sort a deck of cards by suit
– Then sort the deck by numbers
– 100 jumps on the trampoline (we have a mini one in the basement, but you can do jumping jacks, etc)
– Write your name in bubble letters and, color and cut the letters out.
– Movies (The new Chipmunk movie has been out since December 18th – may not be overly crowded)
– Visit to the skating rink followed by hot cocoa
– Visit to local indoor pools during free swim sessions
– Winter hikes (scavenger hunts can be arranged in nature too!)
– PJ and movie day at home followed by a visit to holiday light fantasia
– Volunteer at a soup kitchen (for those with older children)
– Go through old toys to donate to make room for the new loot – deliver those together to a shelter
– Bookstores/Libraries (Bonus – make them read the books when they arrive home to take up even more time)
Enjoy that time – it’ll be over before you know it!