How to Not Die From Boredom in a Pandemic: Winter Break Edition
Jingling bells, diversions fail and you’re this close to pulling out all your hair. Your mother-in-law knocks, has a face full of shock at the toys strewn everywhere.
You wake up from your nightmare, heart-pounding, grateful that that dreaded holiday season is still a couple of weeks away. We at Chameleon Colors know the pain and the stress that winter break can cause. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of different activities and ideas that will help keep your kids entertained and safe during this COVID-19 pandemic, and hopefully, help you stay a little more sane this winter.
Kick-off winter break by making a winter bucket list. Sit down with your kids and plan out some winter break kid activities that everyone would like to take part in. This could include anything from building a snowman to making gingerbread houses. Continue reading for some other ideas for busting boredom at home this winter break.
Make a Snow Volcano
In 2020, life has given us so many lemons that we’ve made 100 gallons of lemonade, lemon bars, lemon roasted chicken, and well, you get the idea. So when 2020 gives us snow, we’re just going to blow it up. Take advantage of the cold weather and snow by doing science experiments with your kids that they’ll actually enjoy. A snow volcano will be an educational activity that’s both parent and child approved!.
Most people have heard of, or created, the stereotypical baking soda volcano, but almost no one has done one in the snow. For this experiment, you will need the following ingredients:
- A small empty container
- 3 large tablespoons of baking soda
- Food coloring (your choice)
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar
- A couple of drops of dish soap.
- Together with your kids, take the empty container as the base to your snow volcano. Build a volcano out of the snow around the container, but make sure to leave a tunnel open from the top of the volcano to the container. You could use a couple empty paper towel rolls if your volcano keeps collapsing. Pack snow around the container in a conic formation, much like you would imagine a volcano looking. Pro-tip: The steeper the formation, the quicker the foam lava will spill over the sides.
- Place a couple of drops of dish soap and food coloring of your choice into the empty container, then pour in the baking soda.
- Pour in the vinegar; 2 tablespoons should be enough to start a reaction. (Keep pouring until it starts to fizz) The dish soap will cause the experiment to be more foamy than it normally would be.
- Feel free to make a whole ring of snow volcanoes, using the same method. Consider changing the food coloring or doubling the dish soap for a colorful and foamy volcanic explosion of fun!
Social Distancing Survival Kit
This Social Distancing Survival Kit is the perfect boredom buster for both you and your kids. It comes with several different activities, treats, and even a special “After 8:00” section as a reward for successfully managing another day with your kids home from winter break. (Plus, it’s a great excuse to practice some needed self-care.) Your kids will love blowing bubbles, playing with the silly putty, making holiday cards to send to family and friends with the included paints, and chasing around the balloons. The Social Distancing Survival Kit even comes with Chameleon Colors colored powder to play with outside when everyone needs a quick break from being cooped up. The Pop Rocks, Haribo Gummy Bears, and popcorn can all be used as an incentive for kids to get along with their siblings, help clean up, or as a reward for doing their chores. If you know someone who is struggling with the endless days of quarantine and isolation, this is the perfect pick-me-up gift to bring a smile to their face!
Hot Chocolate Bar
What is the cold weather and winter break without hot chocolate? Since there are so many different ways to prepare it, it can also be the perfect treat for anyone who is gluten-free, vegan, or lactose intolerant. Consider having a giant Hot Chocolate Bar with your kids, complete with every possible topping you could imagine; marshmallows, peppermint sticks, whipped cream, thin mints, whoppers, cinnamon sticks, sprinkles, wafers, chocolate chips, caramel, or butterscotch are all possible ideas. If you’re feeling particularly creative, or have time on your hands, you can also create different hot chocolate flavors from scratch like vanilla, pumpkin, peppermint, or gingerbread. If cooking creativity isn’t your thing, order these easy to add Pop Shots packets of flavor from Amazon. With all these options, your kids — regardless of age— will be in heaven creating their own custom hot chocolate drink.
Creating magical snowmen is an overdone tradition of winter break. We get that it’s boring, wet, and cold. Why is it even on this list? It has some appeal (if you’re into that kind of thing) and occasionally we have all had good memories of building frosty friends. But, instead of doing the same redundant snowman tradition, we’ve decided to throw a little color on everything, as is our style.
The Chameleon Colors Snowman Kit comes with everything you could possibly need to create and decorate your own snowman, and giving Frosty a complete and colorful makeover is really fun. (And no, that’s not sarcasm, we mean it.) We’ve included color powder packets for customization so that you can make a psychedelic snow person straight from the ‘70s; that’s if groovy is your thing. Every member of your family can create their own colored snowman, or snowwoman (we won’t discriminate), to their own taste. Pro-tip: the fun doesn’t need to stop at just a snowman either. Unleash the zoo! Create snow Zebras, Bears, Monkeys, Dogs, Trolls, or even Elephants! (We know what you’re thinking, you’ve never seen a dog at the zoo.)
Winter Bird Feeder
Help your children learn about and care for nature and its animals by creating an easy bird feeder you can hang from a backyard tree branch or pole. There are many ways of doing this activity, but we found this easy, at-home option. All it needs is:
- 1 packet of gelatin (unflavored)
- 1 ½ cups of birdseed
- ¼ cup of water
- Mix the gelatin and water into a bowl and let sit for 1 minute.
- Stick in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is warm to touch, but not boiling.
- Add the birdseed into the mixture and stir until well mixed.
- Spray a cupcake pan with nonstick spray and spoon the birdseed mixture into the cupcake pan. Pro-tip: double the mixture to fill the entire pan (and have a little extra)
- Take a straw and poke a hole through the shape, being careful to stay away from the edges where it’ll be weaker.
- Place the cupcake pan and bird seed mixture in the fridge for 3.5 hours.
- Carefully remove the bird feeder, being sure that the mixture is hard.
- Remove the straw and tie a string through the hole at the desired height.
- Together with your kids, hang the birdseed feeders outside. Throughout the days that’ll follow, different birds will come and enjoy a quick treat!
Take the opportunity to educate your kids on the different birds that come and visit your backyard bird feeder. You can sometimes discover House Finches, American Goldfinches, Woodpeckers, Black-Capped Chickadees, Cardinals, Robins, and European Starlings during winter time.
Grab some inner tubes or plastic sleds from your local grocery store, research some great sledding spots in the neighborhood, help everyone pack on the layers, and load into the car. Sledding is a great winter activity that’ll get everyone out of the house and burning calories. It also will increase everyone's dopamine levels and will be a great change of scenery from the house. If you want to take your sledding to the next level, and be the envy of the neighborhood, tryout sledding with color powder. Much like famous skiers in Europe participate in the Color Ski, you can replicate the same idea at home in your backyard or local park.
A wall of icicles stands between you and the magical ice crystal of Snowlandia*. It’s easy to recreate this scenario in your own house, and encourage children’s creativity. To start, buy a roll of blue crepe paper streamers and masking tape. Next, tape the end of the crepe paper to the wall and begin zigzagging back and forth in the hallway, alternating the paper from the ceiling to the ground. When creating the design, imagine any movie-like laser grid for inspiration. Because it’s winter time, and the crepe paper is blue, this is an icicle hallway that’ll challenge your children to make it through without disturbing the icicles or sticking to them instead of the usual laser-hot sensors. *Imagination required.
Handprint Winter Crafts
Handprint crafts are a fun and easy way to capture children’s attention during the winter break. The only supplies necessary are colorful construction paper, markers, glue, hands, and a dash of creativity. Consider creating the following ideas:
- Santa Claus
- Rudolph or other reindeer
- The Grinch
- A penguin
- A Christmas tree
- A polar bear
- A snowflake
- A wreath
- Gingerbread men
This idea can easily be adapted if you live in a part of the country not constantly plagued by snow during the winter months. Order a Chameleon Colors sidewalk chalk kit to create Santa Claus, Elves, the Grinch, and a Christmas Tree outside. The chalk is easy to clean, doesn’t stain (either skin or the sidewalk) and is super fun and colorful!
The Winter Fortress
Creating a winter fortress will quickly become a new winter-break tradition for everyone in your family. Order Chameleon Colors Color Ball kit prior to the start of winter break. Then, when the holiday’s hit and there is enough snow to make a snow fort feasible, bundle everyone up and head outside. Build two separate Winter Fortresses facing each other, complete with slots for cannons and turrets perfect for throwing capabilities. Break out the Color Ball kit and arm each side with their individual ammunition. Count to three and declare a color war on the opposite fort. The pristine white snow will quickly become colorful as throws make an impact on the fort or shots miss targets. It’s like a colorful snowball fight that’s perfect for creating a colorful memory.
Too cold? Not enough snow? No problem! Take this activity indoors and create an indoor winter fortress. Gather all the sheets, blankets, and pillows from the house and help your kids create a simple, but comfortable fort for them to play in. They’ll love it, regardless of how it turns out, and it’ll allow each to let their imagination roam while. For a child, a fort can be the castle they’re rescued from, a spaceship circling a black hole, the train they can wave to friends from, or even Santa’s sleigh. When the day winds down, you can all snuggle in the fort and watch a holiday movie inside.
Pro-tip: We know it’s crazy, but the holidays are about making memories! Some of our favorite memories were sleeping overnight in our gargantuous indoor forts. It creates memories that they’ll remember through adulthood. It’ll also allow you to not worry about the state of the house or the destruction of the fort. Tomorrow is another day, after all.
Winter Bath Bombs
After spending all day in the cold wet snow, or after having survived another day of winter break, everyone can de-stress in the bath with their own colorful bath bomb. Order this all-inclusive at-home bath bomb kit for kids! It has enough supplies to create 12 individualized bath bombs, so it’s the perfect kit to entertain your children. It comes with four delicious scents: lemon, lime, blue raspberry, and creamsicle.
These are only half of the ideas we researched for your family’s winter-break boredom buster bucket list. We have 10 more great family ideas that’ll help you tackle that winter monotony and hopefully help keep everyone feeling holly and jolly while they’re stuck inside.