Fun Boredom-Buster Holiday Break Activities

Holiday breaks can be great, but they can also be a challenge when the excitement of the first few days wears off and we hear the dreaded words, “I’m bored!” Kids being bored often stems from a lack of stimulation, so we put together a list of boredom-buster holiday break ideas perfect for Thanksgiving break, winter break, or any time of year when your kids are off from school for more than a few days in a row!

2 boys lying on green grass field during daytime

Kids saying they’re bored can also be code for, “I want Mom and Dad to spend time with me.” So even though we as parents may not have the week off work, it is essential to carve out special time for our kids. After all, that’s what the holidays should be about!


Kids love to bake, and it’s an excellent way to spend time together! Baking from scratch teaches science and math skills, so they’re learning, too! The holidays are the perfect reason to teach your child family recipes or to create new traditions. Decorating cookies is an activity that’s fun but also creative!

Free Boy and Girl Making Cookies Stock Photo

Cookie decorating is often associated with Christmas. But no matter the holiday or occasion, it’s a fun and interactive activity perfect for hours of fun indoors during your holiday break!

Get Outside

No matter where you live and what the weather is like this time of year, holiday breaks are excellent times to get outside as a family! Go for a hike, visit the beach in the off-season, play some outdoor games in the yard, visit a new playground, or take a few walks!

When I lived in Chicago, my boys loved visiting new playgrounds (and there were a lot!). Even if you don’t live in a big metropolis, driving to a local elementary school or park where the playground is new and different is exciting for kids and costs nothing!

man in blue jacket standing beside woman in black jacket

Nature walks or playing I Spy or Neighborhood Bingo is another entertaining option! These free printable Bingo cards from Erin at The Incremental Mama are one way to play! Or, you can create your own. Being outside boosts your mood, gets everyone exercise, and is a chance to detach from electronics.

Balloon Volleyball

Kids love balloons. My youngest looks for any excuse to use balloons inside the house. If you’re stuck inside and need to get the wiggles out, try a game of balloon volleyball! Use a sheet or a piece of string for the net, and have fun! If you don’t have enough space for a full volleyball game, create a challenge to see how long you can keep the balloon in the air.

For a twist, play balloon soccer or basketball. It’s much harder to control kicking or dribbling, but large laundry baskets make excellent goals or basketball nets.

Visit A Christmas Market

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, outdoor Christmas markets are magic-filled. From hot cocoa to candy and treats to music and decorations, there is something for everyone to enjoy! Nothing will get you into the holiday or winter spirit quite like walking around a holiday market.

Outdoor markets are also a great time to complete some holiday shopping; plus, you’ll support local artisans and businesses with every purchase!

Attend a Holiday Concert or Show

The winter holidays are a time for music and shows! Whether it is a Christmas-themed play or musical, a worship-based performance, or stopping to enjoy carolers, attending performing arts as a family is an excellent boredom-buster! Don’t feel like heading out into the hustle and bustle of holiday crowds? Then, create holiday music at home!

Of course, there’s always the famous Nutcracker Ballet, which performs in cities and towns around the country. Or spend an evening watching a holiday special at home! Make it extra special by making hot chocolate and purchasing fun snacks!

Make Scented Playdough

Scented playdough is fun for kids of all ages and combines science and creativity! You can use any base playdough recipe and add scents of your choice! Fun holiday scents are pumpkin spice, apple pie, pine tree, cinnamon, chocolate, and vanilla! Use liquid watercolors or food coloring to create a vibrant color.

Add cooking cutters, a rolling pin, a plastic knife, and art supplies, and you have an afternoon of boredom-busting fun! Scented playdough is a double sensory activity because of the scent and the hands-on application. Playing with playdough develops your child’s finger and hand muscles used for writing and drawing.

The trick to boredom-busting is keeping kids engaged and active! Of course, there is nothing wrong with a bit of boredom; it often breeds creativity. But if you need something fun to do as a family and to entrain the little ones, try one of the above ideas for some holiday break fun!

November 14, 2023, by L. Elizabeth Forry

written by

L. Elizabeth Forry 

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, gender development. She has written curriculum for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics on early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

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