Christmas is the most exciting time of the year for most children, and the excitement comes to a head on Christmas Day, when presents are unwrapped and new toys are unboxed.
However, once the initial frenzy dies down, parents can be faced with the prospect of children who still have one or two weeks off school and need entertaining until they go back in January.
These ideas can help to occupy both their time and yours and ensure you make the most of the winter break, long after Santa Claus has put his feet up for another year.
Cook up a storm
Food is something that is very closely associated with Christmas, so why not get the kids involved by baking some homemade treats over the festive period?
You could go for a classic recipe such as mince pies, or add a chocolatey twist by preparing a yule log. Even basic items such as cookies can be given a festive twist by using Christmas tree-shaped cookie cutters.
In an age where the vast majority of gifts are bought from a shop, add a traditional twist by handmaking some items.
From cards and posters to homemade decorations such as paper wreaths, painted baubles and garlands, children will feel immense pride in seeing their creations hung up around the home.
Parenting and lifestyle blogger Jen Walshaw’s blog for Avant Life looked at some great ways to create homemade crafts with the little ones this Christmas.
Ice skating is a fantastic way to get out in the open air, and while we would never condone skating on open water, there are plenty of custom-built ice skating rinks set up around the UK during the winter months.
From Edinburgh to Brighton, there are many opportunities to get your skates on and take to the ice during the colder months, with the added bonus of being able to rent equipment rather than having to fork out for a new pair of boots.
For parents with Frozen fanatics in the house, they can recreate scenes from the Disney classic, while Torvill and Dean wannabes can attempt the Bolero dance, if they so wish.
“But that’s not fun!” will be the cry. Perhaps not, but by incentivising youngsters to do any schoolwork they have been set, you can help to balance out the fun and ensure they are still learning over the holidays.
Consider giving them one of their new presents to play with or use for each subject they complete, so it could be Lego in exchange for History, or an hour on the Xbox after Maths coursework is completed.
Avoid sucking the fun out of Christmas entirely by rationing access to gifts, but by rewarding hard work you can guarantee the kids are still learning and also help them to value their presents.
Although a trip to the park is perhaps less appealing in winter than in the warmer months, there is something special about getting wrapped up and taking a walk.
For kids, it is a great way to appreciate the outdoors, and if it is not icy, then consider taking their bikes along for a great way to keep them active.
If you are really lucky, it may even snow, which can provide hours of entertainment making footprints, building snowmen and throwing snowballs while tiring them out at the same time.