Here we are, more than halfway through the winter break! Gifts have been opened, many have been discarded and hopefully a few treasured. But no number of toys seem to keep kids from being bored during the winter break.
As a day care in Huntington, we know that winter break can be a challenge to parents and kids alike. Kids get bored and underfoot, having parents counting down the hours until school is back in session. Kids, on the other hand, are the ones who are bored and hoping that something memorable happens, or that they go somewhere fun. Many kids are here with us at Rainbow Chimes over the winter break since we offer holiday coverage for working parents, but if yours are home with you, we have a big idea to help you out.
If you are ready to pull your hair out with your kids at home, we have an idea for you! Now, it does (or can) involve a trip to the city, but it will be worth it! The first step in our devious plan to get the kids out of the house and interested in something new is it put a movie in. “Oh no!”, you may be thinking, “Not more TV!” Bear with us! We suggest putting on one of the Night at the Museum movies. Make the time and sit down and watch it with them. They are great films and can be a great springboard to learning. When the movie is over, ask your kids which historic character was their favorite. Was is Teddy Roosevelt? Sacagawea? The Cowboy? The T-Rex? The Roman soldier? No matter which one they choose (even if it is Dexter the Capuchin Monkey) let them pick their favorite.
The next thing to do is to lead them in researching the character, animal, or dinosaur. Depending on their age, this research can involve a trip to the library, the toy store, or sit down at the computer and look things up on the internet. For young children, grab your tablet and plop them on your lap. Look up images of the character and tell them all that you personally know. Read about them yourself and teach your child in language they’ll understand. Perhaps encourage them to prepare a little lesson for the other members of the family, depending on if this would make them comfortable or not.
Get Out of the House
There are lots of options to encourage kids to continue their research out of the house. This can mean anything from a trip to the library to building a snow dinosaur! As their parent, you’ll know best what activities they like best. If they picked Teddy Roosevelt as their favorite, you are in luck! President Roosevelt’s famed retreat Sagamore Hill is less than 20 minutes drive from Huntington! As part of the National Park Service, it is well cared for and open for tours. The entry fee for adults is just $10, and kids under 15 are free!
If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you could even head into the city and go to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. There is even a special Night at the Museum Tour you can your family can enjoy! There is also a Dino Tour, an Earth and Space Tour, Highlight Tour, Theodore Roosevelt Tour, and a Wales Tour. It’s not uncommon for people who live near a tourist spot to never manage to get there, but don’t be that person! Pack up some snacks and head to the city to leave more about all the great history that is on display at the American Museum of Natural History.
When you come back from your outing, let the kid(s) play, or even watch the movie again with them to reinforce what they’ve learned, but don’t surprised if they correct the film now! If they like this model of learning, there are plenty of other educational kids movies out there. Watch, for instance, The Indian in the Cupboard next and learn all about the Iroquois Nation. When you need holiday coverage for the next holiday or every day for little ones, call Rainbow Chimes!