Creating winter break kid camps at home are great winter break activities to keep kids from getting bored! Whether you’re looking for school age activities for winter, winter break bucket list items, local winter break vacation ideas, kids bucket list ideas, or family winter activities to do over holiday break, you’ll find something on this fun winter kids activities list and creative winter activities at home!
How To Create Winter Break Kid Camps At Home – 70+ Easy Ideas for School Break to Keep You Sane!
Need winter break ideas? Your family winter break bucket list can be filled with fun family activities, snow activities, and more, even if you’re stuck at home for winter and can’t take trips for winter break. Here’s how with fun at home things to do to create your own mini holiday camp for kids!
How can I make winter break fun?
How do I entertain my kids over Christmas break (day camps ideas):
- Have a nature scavenger hunt
- Make nature garland feeders or bird feeders
- Have a winter bonfire complete with hot chocolate made on the fire and roasted s’mores
- Ditch the lemonade stand and have a hot chocolate and cookies stand
- Have a game day where they’re allowed to spend as much time as they want on video games, favorite card game, online games, or board games
- Build a snowman and make snow angels
- Surprise them with a winter sensory bin for fun sensory play (if you can, include sensory play with real snow!)
- Bake cookies using a recipe from grandma or handed down from a friend or family member
- Create a glow dance party
- Make homemade play dough or homemade slime
- Help a local food bank by gathering supplies and delivering them (spend some quality time doing volunteer work!)
- Get the wiggles out at trampoline parks
- Make snow winter art with food coloring and a spray bottle
- Have quiet creation time while listening to audiobooks or kids podcasts
- Try something new (like snowshoeing for fun ideas!)
- Sign them up for some fun online classes in things that interest them (gaming, art, etc.)
If you need fun things to do over winter break (even frugal ideas!), we have a great list of how to have winter break kid camps at home for your kids. KEEP SCROLLING for the day-by-day winter break camp at home list and fun crafts and games to keep kids busy!
Where To Go Winter Break With Kids (Even If You’re Stuck At Home and Can’t Take a Winter Vacation)
- Visit local museums and then create art at home (favorite day camp idea!)
- Hit the local bowling alley (good for kids of all ages!)
- Read, play games, or do puzzles at a local coffee shop with a fireplace
- Look to a local bakery for a cooking class
- Participate in any local holiday season that are free (search online for holiday events near me or special events near me)
- Check out the library (they have game nights, fun programs for drop offs and more winter break activity ideas!)
- Hit the arcade for an afternoon
- Go ice skating – outdoors or at an indoor ice skating rink (look for discounts on skate rental)
- Be a tourist in your own town and visit a nearby town or local tourist attraction (or other local winter break destinations)
- Head to a local park for a winter hike or a sledding hill
Your winter break vacation ideas are only limited by your imagination. Even if you have to stay close to home, you can still have a great time! Get to brainstorming on what to do in winter vacation for school students while at home! KEEP SCROLLING for more ideas on winter break activities that will keep them busy.
WINTER TIME TIP FOR FAMILY ACTIVITY IDEAS:
Before school break, get family ideas and make a winter break bucket list! Then, spend your break completing the family bucket list.
Before we get to our activities for winter break and what to do over winter break, let’s answer some common questions.
First, when does the winter break start?
When’s winter break?
Winter break dates vary by location, school, and college. Winter break traditionally occurs at the end of December, right before Christmas, and lasts into January through the New Year. But, as a homeschool family, you can take mid winter break anytime!
(And, your winter break end can be when you decide!)
How long is winter break?
Schools winter break is generally at least two weeks and sometimes more. The time off for kids varies for different school districts, so check with your school. If you homeschool, you can schedule your winter break to be as short or as long as you want your family winter vacation to last!
When does winter break end?
Winter break generally ends during the beginning of January. For most schools or colleges, that means the first or second week in January is the end of the winter break and school schedules resume as normal.
Why winter break is important?
Winter break is important because it gives students, teachers, and parents a break from the regular and rigorous school schedule. It is a time for rest, relaxation and resetting of mindsets. Winter breaks are also perfect for reconnecting with family and friends in relaxed and fun settings!
Keep scrolling for the fun list of winter break things to do!
WINTER BREAK TIP:
Create a countdown to winter break with a fun countdown clock for kids to help the entire family get excited for time off.
Let’s get to our winter time ideas and how to create an at-home camp for kids / winter program ideas and fun things to do over Christmas break (or even things to do over February break)!
7 Days of Ideas for Winter Break Kid Camps (What To Do During Winter Break At Home)
So, what can you do at home during winter break?
Here are seven days of winter theme kid activities to build an entire week of kids camp fun — from indoor winter camp activities to outdoor winter camp fun to winter break activities for elementary students, to winter break camp for teens, and even young children!
These are all fun ways to keep your kids busy over winter break without losing your mind (and even different ways to have fun for the whole family with Christmas break activities!).
Winter Break Kid Camps Day 1: Snuggle and Sleep
The first day of winter break isn’t the time to hit the ground running. Instead, give everyone time to decompress and ease into the day.
So don’t pack your first day full of what to do on Christmas break ideas!
Ideas for Snuggle and Sleep Winter Break Theme:
- Sleep in
- Give everyone new pajamas to wear
- Stay in your pajamas all day (this is one of those fun & simple activities to do with kids over the winter break that feels like a special day to them!)
- Snuggle down in bed to binge watch a movie series or family TV series
- Have a popcorn bar with different flavorings and toppings
- Play sleepover games
- Build a blanket fort in the living room and watch movies in there
- Put up a tent inside and have a snuggle and sleep day in there — sleeping, reading, snuggling, playing games, movie marathon day / movie night, etc.
- Host a virtual sleepover with friends (grab a virtual scavenger hunt pack) – great for older kids!
Winter Break Kid Camps Day 2: Bake and Books
Baking and cooking is a great way to connect as a family and a fun way for kids to learn even on Christmas break / winter break.
If your family loves reading, have a day of creating recipes based on foods from favorite books!
If you have kids who love to cook and bake, they’ll love this at-home camp day and these ideas for Christmas break!
- Create a recipe based on a book you’ve read
- Have everyone make their own signature drink / mocktail based on a favorite book (this is a super fun drink recipe!)
- Do Nailed It! food challenges (good idea for tweens and teens who like to cook and bake!)
- Make a recipe that’s been handed down through your family or old favorites. Tell the stories handed down. You can even make a scrapbook page about the recipe, family members, and pictures of you creating the dish!
- Bake a recipe… from scratch!
- Have a gingerbread house building contest as part of fun winter holiday activities
- Make a little library or find the little library locations in your area and refill them with your old books you need to get rid of (bonus for decluttering during winter break!)
- Watch movies based on books you’ve read and discuss the differences
- Make hot chocolate jars and deliver them to your friends
Winter Break Kid Camps Day 3: Gamer Camp
One of the things that I think we forget as parents is that winter break means the kids get a break!
If they want to spend a day (or several days) playing hours of video games or connecting with their friends online, that’s OK!
In fact, you can support this in a fun way by creating an entire week of gamer camp (or at least a day of gaming camp for kids if your eye is twitching)!
- Have video game marathons
- Surprise your kids with a new video game or board game
- Have different board game stations and switch to different games throughout the day
- Put together puzzles as a family (or divide into teams and see who can put their puzzles together the fastest)
- Use this and make a new board game together
- Host a friend and family game night as party things to do over break
Winter Break Kid Camps Day 4: Creating Camp
Need creative things for kids to do during winter break or artsy things to do for winter break?
You can have an easy and fun winter arts camp at home by creating different different craft stations for an entire afternoon (or day!) focused on creating!
- Give kids busy bags (these are especially helpful if you have to work at home during winter break and are wondering what to do over the winter break with your kids while working!)
- Create art based on a favorite book, movie, or TV show
- Head to the local library and grab some free craft supplies (great for frugal winter break ideas and an inexpensive way to make crafts!) – also look for winter break programs for young kids while there!
- Grab a craft kit like this and let them get creative making whatever they want
- Make your own slime and play dough
Winter Break Kid Camps Day 5: Nature Calls
Winter is a fun time of year to get out into nature and focus on nature-based crafts and activities!
- Go on a winter nature hike
- Identify animal tracks in the snow (or mud!)
- Make easy bird feeders
- Make nature garland to put outside for the animals
- Get beeswax and make natural beeswax ornaments
- Learn about what animals do to prepare for winter
- Make a nature mobile with nature finds
Winter Break Kid Camps Day 6: Tourist In Your Town
Can’t get away for winter vacation activities?
One of the most fun winter break activities for families is to have a stay cation by being a tourist in town!
You know all those places that you always say OH! We should visit there!?
Winter break time is a great idea for those!
Fun Family Staycation Ideas for Winter Break:
- Fill a thermos with hot chocolate and head out to look at neighborhood light displays
- Visit a local art museum, even if you don’t like art, and try to find favorite works of art (WINTER BREAK TIP: look for free museum admission days to save money!)
- Find a place to volunteer together as a family to help out your local community
- Seek out lesser known or quirky museums or exhibits
- Make a state park list and plan to visit different parks during the week (Frugal winter break tip: buy a state park pass that will get you into all the parks instead of paying for each individual park) – don’t miss free nature centers within parks for fun family-friendly activities!
- Find weird landmarks in your state and visit them for some fun photo opps (think: largest ball of yarn, etc.)
- Why wait for summer vacation? Create an indoor beach vacation with mini sand castle makers, beach balls scattered around, fun beach music, special drinks in coconut cups, etc.
- Search online for winter break ideas for families near me
Winter Break Kid Camps Day 7: Let It Snow!
Even if you live in an area that doesn’t get cold or snow for winter break, you can still make your own winter wonderland camp at home (even fun indoor activities for winter break)!
These are all fun activities in winter season no matter the time of year — for cold weather (and things to do in winter break in the snow) or if you have warmer weather during winter months!
- Learn about snowflakes (it’s the perfect time for this and it’s fun learning while on break!)
- Make snow ice cream or snow suckers
- Make a pet snowman
- Below freezing in your area? Blow bubbles and watch them freeze! (It’s super cool!)
- Have a winter wonderland party
- Grow a snowflake for fun science experiments!
- Learn about winter solstice and make sun bread
- Go snow tubing or sledding at a local park
- Check out: What To Make With Real Snow
WINTER BREAK TIP: Before the break, create a snow day survival kit like this and surprise your kids with it!
Now let’s talk about ideas for winter break if you homeschool and how you still need a break during the school year!
Tips on How to Do a Homeschool Winter Break
Sometimes homeschoolers thing they don’t need to break because what are we breaking from?
On the contrary, taking breaks whenever you want is one of the benefits of homeschooling!
And, a homeschool winter break is a great time to regroup and helps prevent homeschool burnout!
Let’s give you tips on why you should have a winter break school, even if you home school you should still incorporate fun things to do on break!
Homeschool Winter Break Tip #1: Have fun because your mind needs a refresh.
I laugh because even though I am far from a seasoned home schooler, I drag education into almost every area of our lives – games, DVDs, chores… whatever.
But, during winter break, give your teacher self a break and have fun instead.
Play games (educational or not) just for the fun of it and don’t feel obligated to mention and encourage anything the children might learn.
Let yourself laugh, and be carefree.
(When is the last time that happened??)
Watch holiday movies because they’re cute and funny… and stay up late because you’re not in “teacher and school mode” right now.
Whatever you do, don’t try too hard to make a winter break schedule.
Just allow things to happen!
Homeschool Winter Break Tip #2: Be creative, especially if you haven’t made time for that lately.
Get creative with some winter break camps!
Here is your chance to stray from the scheduled food menu and try new recipes!
Dig out the cookie cutters and try an easy cookie mix.
It cuts the mess and stress of cookies from scratch and is just as fun for the children.
Or, pick out a fun winter craft (and avoid anything just for the educational value alone)! Do fun activities for Christmas break!
Camps for winter break ideas / fun things to do during winter break:
- Drawing camp
- Lego camp
- Arts and crafts camp
- Cooking classes camp
- Winter break reading challenge (only if your family loves to read!)
Homeschool Winter Break Tip #3: Make time for you as the parent.
To your home school, you are one of the most important ingredients.
If you want to start the new year with an inspired school then you must be inspired yourself.
Here is a chance to focus a little more on what you enjoy — whether in your mother-in-law’s farmhouse, a Vermont chalet, or quiet time in front of a fire with a good book, or in a bathtub with candles from the comfort of your own home, make time for what you love most.
If you have the chance, take some time away alone to a local coffee shop, the mall, or a even an afternoon with friends.
Rediscover the things that make you you and enjoy the beauty of that.
Homeschool Winter Break Tip #4: Reconnect with your spiritual self.
Too often as mothers and teachers our hearts and prayers are full of those we love and we forget about ourselves.
Reconnecting with your spiritual self, whether that’s growing your relationship with God or spending quiet time in nature, will help refresh you during winter break.
Homeschool Winter Break Tip #5: Refocus and review your homeschooling.
I put this one last for a reason!
Once you are revived and have had fun, take time to revisit your plans, hopes, and schedules.
- What is working for you and your children?
- What isn’t working? (Get rid of it!)
- What do you want to accomplish in the coming months?
- Learn how to calm the chaos.
- Rid your bookshelves (and unused curricula), without guilt, and ditch those unfinished books that aren’t functioning well.
- Take time to research what might be better suited for the needs of your family (like a unit study approach).
- If you are a schedule maker, go over your schedule and decide what you what to keep or change, always remembering the goal is the child, not the accomplishment.
Happy winter break. Take time and enjoy fun things to do winter break!
DO THIS NEXT: Make a Picture Snow Globe Craft
What are your ideas for fun activities for winter break? Leave your ideas for winter break activities at home in the comments and we’ll add them to our list!