With the mad rush to buy presents, make the food-shopping list and remember who you invited round, you’ll quickly forget that everyone will need entertaining over Christmas.
You can guarantee the novelty of playing with the latest toys and watching re-runs will soon wear off. Beat the boredom and start thinking about what to do over the festive period with some inexpensive and fun ideas for all the family.
1) Get outdoors
You can’t help but get a bit fed up of being cooped up indoors over Christmas. It’s nice to have the family together, but nice to enjoy the great outdoors too. The UK landscape can look amazing in winter and, if winter is as cold as predicted, we could even see some snow on Christmas day.
But even if it doesn’t arrive, you can spend hours burning off those hearty dinners on a long country walk, taking pictures, going for a bike ride and more. The National Trust has a variety of activities going on throughout the year, and it’s never better to do something as a family than at Christmas.
2) Check out your locality
Have a look at what your local council has put on through winter. There will likely be a lot of free activities in libraries, galleries and town centres. You can take in a Christmas market, a local outdoor ice-rink or even keep a look out for the Coca-Cola tour up and down the country. And churches often have lots of carol singing concerts you can enjoy together, with lovely cakes to buy and eat at this time of year.
3) Become a British bake off challenger
Speaking of cakes, why not do some baking of your own. The kids love baking, especially if it’s to sell on and raise money for charity, or hand out to family and friends as gifts. There are some great recipes online – just start them with something easy like cornflake cakes and don’t let them use the oven unsupervised. You could even create your own mini baking challenges to keep them occupied for hours.
4) Be creative
Over Christmas, you’ll no doubt have leftover boxes, card, wrapping paper tubes and – of course – the odd decoration that looks out of place. Don’t just throw them away – instead, store them in the shed or cupboard and bring them out when the kids are bored. Let their imagination run wild and encourage them to make art, sculpture, a dolls house, thank you cards or anything else you can think of.
5) Be entertaining
With X Factor and Strictly finally at an end, it’s time to put on your own show. Most kids will love showing off and entertaining you with music, plays and just generally dressing up for fun. They could make their own costumes from old clothes, even those leftover bits of wrapping paper and gift boxes we talked about earlier! It will provide hours of endless fun and drag them away from toys and TV.