Holiday vacations often mean more time with family.
Although gift opening and eating might be on the list of to-do's, the second hand on the clock may seem to tick a little slower for the remainder of the week. This free time is an opportunity to do the simple things in life that get pushed aside during the hustle and bustle of everyday living.
Cook. Concentrate on teaching children basic cooking skills. Let them do the measuring, teach them how to read a recipe, practice their math skills while making the recipe.
Make a craft and let the creative juices flow. Set up an area where they do not have to worry about making a mess. Depending on the age of the child, examples can be given, or let the activity last as long as there is space to display it.
Clean. Extra hands might be willing to chip away at the closet or garage that has been accumulating junk during the year. Decide what items should be thrown away, kept or given away. Then, take care of the items accordingly; don't make a pile somewhere else just to create another clutter situation.
Play board games. This can fill time, promote communication and be an opportunity to practice a variety of educational skills without the children knowing. In the end, families might also learn something new about each other.
Write thank you notes. Although it might be a lost art, it is one that is appreciated and easy to do.
Pay it forward. Look for a way to help someone that has helped others. This could be doing work around their house without being asked, shoveling a driveway or taking time to visit someone lonely at Christmas.
Go to the library. This free resource has numerous reading spots and different toys. The McPherson Public Library is open normal hours, with a few exceptions. It is closed Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year's Day. On New Year's Eve, it closes at 4 p.m.
Go for a walk. Even if the weather is chilly, bundle up to get some fresh air. While outside, create a scavenger hunt or take photos as you walk to remember the sites that you saw.
Visit a workout facility. The McPherson Family YMCA, for example, is open normal hours with a few exceptions. The facility is closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Facilities will close at 2 p.m. Christmas Eve and 5 p.m. New Year's Eve. If you aren't a member, daily rates are available. It has an indoor swimming pool, a gymnasium and exercise machines.
Watch a movie. This can be done at the theater or at home. Pick a movie that everyone will enjoy, or pick one with a theme that you can discuss when you are finished watching.
Visit a museum. There's a wealth of history and knowledge waiting to be explored. McPherson has the luxury of having many choices located within an hour's drive.
Collect non-perishable items for the McPherson County Food Bank. Clean out your shelves, ask family members to bring theirs, or buy some at a local grocery store. Families will need items even after the season of giving.
Go caroling. It doesn't matter if you can sing or not. This activity will not only be a lasting memory for families, but could hold a special place in the heart of those who might not have other visitors during the holiday season.
Visit a park. Open space could be a good way for children to expend some of their built-up energy and excitement. Use the equipment provided, bring a ball or invent your own game.