Activities for tweens during the winter break

So your kids are too old for Barney the dinosaur and too young for the vampires and werewolves of the Twilight set? What do with tweens?

Tag, You’re It

Like everyone in America who doesn’t want to get fat or remain so, the answer is exercise. In the case of tweens you can try laser tag and indoor rock climbing. These are activities they are likely to find fun and exciting and will have your kids exerting themselves to the maximum healthy extent. How can you lose?

Holiday activities

There are of course the obligatory activities such as helping mom and dad set up the holiday decorations, raking leaves in the yard, shoveling snow off the sidewalk, salting the side walk, etc.

Charity

If you are a spiritually minded family then it may be time to get your tweens more deeply involved in charitable giving. Have them help with the clothing collection or the canned food drive. Let them sort things or help take inventory.

Ice skating

If you are a parent who has the skills for it you could organize a skating party for the neighborhood kids and load them all up in the mini van and take them out to fall on their bottoms, I mean ‘skate for a few hours.’

Group activities

Other group activities you should scan the internet and the newspapers for are nature hikes, Christmas light viewing and sleigh rides. Every kid should get a chance at each of these activities at least once in his life. If you live in the right area then snowmobiling or skiing might be in order. Get the kid some lessons and set him up on the learner slopes for a couple of hours.

Holiday cooking

Christmas can be a time when you teach the children the rudiments of holiday cooking. Let them search out cookie recipes and recipes for things such as pumpkin pies and mashed potatoes online. Be prepared to eat your mistakes and also be a little wary because you would be surprised what some folks insist on putting in mashed potatoes.

Christmas cookies

Mass production of Christmas sugar cookies can be vast undertaking all on its own. You can purchase inexpensive cutouts that allow the children to stamp out snowmen, dogs, leaves, elves, Santa Claus, monster trucks – whatever. You can decorate the cookies with sugar sprinkles, candies, food coloring or any other edible you can think of. Along with sugar cookies you can make gingerbread, chocolate chip, oatmeal, and pumpkin spice. Rather than sugaring the kid up, you could give the cookies away to poor and homeless people as a show of holiday selflessness.

If you get tired of organizing activities, then leave the kids to themselves and they will occupy their time with electronic games, the internet and the occasional television viewing. And chatting on their cellphones all the while. Which alternative do you prefer: tweens engaged in active, healthy activities, or gamers on the path to obesity? The choice is yours, so make it a wise one.