10 Ways to Make It Out of Winter Break Alive

Winter break starts later this week for us, and this year I am prepared. Though we won't be going to the tropics and the weather will be in the 20s, I have a fun-filled week and a half planned for my children. And, by fun, I mean that we may actually all make it out alive. Feel free to snag any and all of these gems for use in your own home ...

1. Have the kids play maid. They can dust, vacuum, clean the counters, and wash the dishes. You can pay them in pennies. Child labor isn't illegal when the children are your own.

2. Find every blanket you can and build a massive fort. Encourage your children to spend as much time in it as possible.

3. Groom the dog! Everyone gets a brush -- see who can make the biggest hair pile!


4. Invest in "emergency” supplies. Have a secret closet stocked with art supplies, Dollar Store toys, Play-Doh, bubbles etc. Save them for those times you are about to lose it, dole them out, and hop in the shower.

5. Pretend the power is out. Listen to the children whine and mope about the lack of things to do without power and then suddenly turn it on. It will seem like a Christmas miracle!

6. Invite some friends over. Sure, it seems like more kids in the house equals more chaos, but the opposite can be true. Your children will be too busy showing off their toys to bother driving you crazy. Plus, then you'll have some credit in the play-date bank, which is truly the best currency of all.

7. Pull out that kitchen timer and a bag of candy. Tell the kids that every time the timer dings, they get another piece. The only rule is that they have to stay out of your hair and get along. Show them how to reset the timer. Have a glass of wine.

8. Camp out at Chick-Fil-A. They've got food and drinks, restrooms, indoor playgrounds, and Purell wipes. What's not to love?

9. Have "the talk." The kids are bound to retreat to their rooms for several hours to absorb the information, right?

10. Utilize the best, most reliable, free babysitter out there: The television. It won't really turn their brains to mush, you know.

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