Ways to Have Family Fun over the Holiday Break sans Technology

Ways to Have Family Fun over the Holiday Break sans Technology

Get ideas for family fun over the holiday break – without electronic devices.

By Caitlin Granfield

It’s no surprise that kids spend much of their free time playing with their favorite electronic gadgets, like video games, using social media or other attention-grabbing apps that draw them into a virtual world.

As a parent, it can be hard to persuade your child to put down their devices for a sufficient amount of time and do something more, shall we say, productive. Holiday breaks seem to end as quickly as they begin, so it’s important to have a plan for fun activities that will help you bond as a family, while teaching your kids the importance of time spent together.

Here are a few suggestions that blend nuestras tradiciones with those of the U.S., just in time for the holidays.

Cooking Together as a Family
Make the family’s favorite dishes together. Write down a list of ingredients and make food-shopping fun as you pick out items together. Let’s say you’ll be cooking paella for when the relatives come to visit. Did your tía or madre cook it when you were young? Share stories with your kids of what your favorite dish means to you and then assign them a task, like cleaning the shrimp. Showing interest in what they like, even if it’s macaroni and cheese and hot dogs, will show them that you appreciate their tastes as well.

And don’t forget dessert! Did your prima or tía have a favorite recipe for pastelitos de guayaba y queso? Share it with your children as you make it together.

Get Artsy
Classes that pair painting with family and friends are all the rage these days. Bring them home to the family by purchasing small or medium canvases and paint supplies at your local art store. Then make festive holiday drinks, like hot chocolate or eggnog together. Come up with a holiday theme and get creative as you design homemade paintings for family members.

Making decorations out of simple items like wooden craft sticks and adding glitter is also fun and easy. The kids can decorate the tree and make extra ones for their abuelos.


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Go to a Play or Concert
Most towns and cities put on great plays and concerts over the holidays – schools especially host holiday plays starring students. Treat yourself and the kids to see “The Nutcracker,” a choral performance or other acts near you. Be sure to get tickets in advance, as they often sell quickly during the holidays.

Another idea: have your kids be the stars in their own play or even perform traditional villancicos.Whether it’s a one-man show or in collaboration with their primos, it’s sure to be creative fun the whole family can enjoy. There are also many festivals held over the holiday break, perfect for a family outing. Check your local newspaper to see where they’re held, and ask your friends who have kids if they’d like to join in the fun with your family.

Sporty Fun
If there’s snow, plan a day to go sledding together. No snow? See if there are any ice skating rinks nearby and make a day of skating, or learning to skate, around the rink. Bowling is also a fun family pastime that is sure to keep everyone entertained. Don’t forget board games and card games are also great ways to disconnect with technology and reconnect with interactive family fun.

The holidays are some of the most special times to be together with loved ones, but not everyone is so fortunate, and it’s important for kids to learn this and know how it feels when they make a positive difference in someone’s life. Whether serving food together at a food bank, or playing with dogs or cats at your local animal shelter, there are many ways to show your children the value in lending a helping hand.

If your child is musically inclined, singing carols or villancicos, in both English and Spanish, at a local nursing home will bring tons of smiles to the patients’ faces.

Picking out presents, or asking your children to clean some of their lightly used toys, and then donating them together at a local toy drive or to a children’s hospital, is another way to show your children acts of good will.

These activities are sure to increase family bonding time while showing kids that there are plenty of fun things to do when they cut down on screen time over holiday break.

How do you bond with your family over the holidays?

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