Healthy Through the Holidays

Tri-County Newsletter

15 Holiday Break Activities That Will Keep the Kids Busy, Not Bored

Excerpted list and article from Sittercity Editorial Team. To read the entire article, go here.

1. Make a holiday break bucket list.
Not sure what the kids want to do over the break? Ask them. Sit down together and make a holiday break bucket list with items that can be checked off as they are completed

2. Plan a day trip.
A break from school can give your family time to plan a day-long trip that may not otherwise be possible.

3.Have a movie marathon.
Pass the popcorn and cozy up with the kids for a movie marathon. It’s the perfect activity for a cold and dreary afternoon.

4.Get (winter) sporty.
Don’t let colder weather stop the family from being active during the break. Winter is a great time to try something new, like snowshoeing, ice skating, hockey or cross-country skiing.

5. Volunteer.
‘Tis the season to be thankful, and volunteering is a great way to help kids give back to the community and feel grateful for all that they have.

6.Get cultured.
The holiday break is an opportunity to take advantage of your community’s cultural offerings.

7. Read a chapter book.
Kick your nightly story time routine up a notch by choosing a chapter book that you and the kids can read together.

8.Tour area libraries.
Most public libraries have moved beyond shushing and now offer dynamic children’s sections featuring toys, games, interactive displays, fun programming and (of course) books.

9.Put on a talent show.
Set the stage for a family talent show where kids can show off their skills in dance, music, comedy, magic, tumbling and more. [Or, throw on some music and have a family dance off!]

10.Hold a board game night.
Feeling competitive? A board game night is fun, cheap and often a crowd-pleaser, particularly if you have kids in different stages.

11.Make holiday cards.
Get crafty with your kids and make special homemade cards for grandparents, aunts, uncles and other loved ones. Kids can write their own messages, draw pictures and create collages.

12.Collect toys to donate.
Convincing the kids to help clean might be a tough sell, but they’ll feel more compelled to pitch in if they know that the fate of their toys is on the line. Clear the clutter and have them help decide what to keep and what to give away.

13.Create a scrapbook.
The holidays are the perfect time to reflect on the year gone by. Plan a family scrapbooking project and let the kids choose photos, write captions and decorate pages. This activity is bound to lead to great conversation — share memories and discuss goals for the coming year.

14.Decorate cookies.
Baking is a quintessential cold-weather activity, so get the kids in the kitchen to whip up a batch of cookies. Set up a decorating station and let them create tasty masterpieces.

15.Bring the outdoors in.
Missing summer days and outdoor fun? There’s no reason why you can’t bring your favorite warm-weather activities inside. Host a picnic on the living room floor, go camping in the den or set up a sandbox in the basement.

Wellness and Self-Care Tips for the Holidays

Our Eaton County Substance Awareness Advisory Group had a panel discussion this week about the pressures families and individuals face during the holidays--navigating parenting demands and mental health conditions including recovery, stress, and grief. Our local experts gave some tips for coping and self-care:

  • Take something off your list that causes overwhelm
  • Reach out to friends and family to avoid isolating
  • Attend12 Step, Smart Recovery or support groups that speak to your needs
  • Avail yourself of the comprehensive mental and physical health supports in the region
  • Stay busy with healthy activities (walk/exercise, get outside, do a puzzle, volunteer)
  • Make sure kids are supervised to avoid potential substance use
  • Make a "spending" plan for your time, money and energy
  • Know you don’t have to do everything or keep up with others; Set boundaries
  • Make sure holidays remain something fun–not just something to recuperate from...
  • Plan for and acknowledge your grief
  • Allow time for handling holiday triggers and self-care
  • Connect with those who want to connect in the way you want to
  • Be proactive. Don’t wait for others to give you the holiday you want. Create it.
  • Lower expectations for yourself and others
Big picture

Light up Your Life

Need a little light to brighten these winter nights and to bring some holiday cheer. Here are some of the best outdoor walk- through or drive-through holiday light displays in the tri-county area. Whether it is Lansing's Potter Park Zoo or a neighborhood that will make you say, "wow," there are many free or low cost ways to enjoy winter lights this holiday break. The Lansing Family Fun website has done all the research. Click the button below for the best lights near you!

Don't forget some of the best holiday magic can be found enjoying the brightness of the moon and stars on a walk with dear ones at your favorite safe walking route.

Holiday Light Displays

What a perfect family activity to enjoy the wonder of winter holidays.

School is Out But Learning Fun is On...

Try your local libraries for holiday activities, both in-person and online. If you try an in-person event, be sure to mask up the family, be well, and practice all COVID-19 safety precautions for the health of our whole community.

For Capital Area District Library's comprehensive list of events, click on the button below for youth of all ages.

Your local library can be your greatest resource for books, movies, online events, games, access to Michigan adventures, and much more. If you don't know the contact number or website link for your local library, click here.

Link to share newletter

If you would like to share this newsletter, feel free to use this link, with the hashtag #eatonengage

Newsletter Brought to you by:

Eaton County Substance Awareness Advisory Group (ECSAAG)

Together we are working to prevent and reduce substance use disorders and misuse as well as to promote overall wellness in our community. Our Coalition has a special focus on the prevention of drugs, tobacco and alcohol use by youth.