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8 Ways to Keep the Kids Amused When Home for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Keep the kids happy and smiling while off from school for the Holiday.

Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach and weekly contributor to Patch.com. She created ChocolateCakeClub.com and ChocolateCakeMoments.com both sites dedicated to helping busy families have more fun together. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. 

Next Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and my kids have both Monday AND Tuesday off. What to do? What to do? I know they will be bored by 10 a.m. on Monday, so I've come up with a list of 8 things we could do together or they could do by themselves while I work for a few hours. I would share my list with you as inspiration. I hope it helps!

1. Make Valentine’s Day Cards. Everyone loves a handmade Valentine’s Day Card, especially Grandma and Grandpa. Give the kids some construction paper, lace, glitter, stickers and whatever else inspires them to create a masterpiece of love. If you still need ideas, check out these from Family Fun Magazine, Kaboose.com, or Amazing Moms.

2. Movie Marathon. Let the kids stay in their pajamas and pick a theme for a movie marathon. Let each member of the family pick a movie and then make popcorn, bake cookies, or set up an ice cream sundae bar for some extra special movie treats.

3. Go Sledding. We are finally supposed to get some snow! If you can round up enough kids in the neighborhood, throw a sledding party.

4. Stage a Wii Olympics Tournament. Boxing, Tennis, Golf, Guitar Hero or Raving Rabbids. Pick your competitive pleasure and play away.

5. Melt some Crayons, Make some Art. I recently came across this craft idea at the From Dates to Diapers blog. You melt your extra crayons to make some cool art like window suncatchers or placemats. Looks like fun.

6. Cook Up Some Fun. I've seen some super cute treat ideas to make with the kids to celebrate Groundhog's Day and Valentine's Day. The Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Hearts from MakeandTakes.com seemed easy and yummy.

7. Host a Tea Party. Get out your pretty hats, scarves, jewelry, tea set, pretty napkins, and invite your child’s friends or stuffed animal friends to join you for a spot of tea. Have your kids decorate the table and serve cookies and “tea” aka root beer for the kids. By the way, here's how to choose the perfect kids tea set.

8. Puzzles, Games, or Art Kits. This is the perfect day to “rediscover” some games, puzzles, or art or model kits that have been sitting in the closet ignored. Clear a space for the kids at a table and bring out these forgotten items which will seem like new gifts to the kids.

If the kids are still bored, tell them that they are old enough to learn to clean the bathroom. I’m sure you will see a renewed interest in the other ideas.

Have any cool ideas for how to amuse the kids on days when they are home from school? Please share!

Matt Shedor January 11, 2012 at 11:51 PM
MLK plagiarized his dissertation (and did not lose his phd despite proof) and cheated on his wife (having an orgy in his hotel room on the evening before his famous march on Washington). He had a dream, alright. Two white women at one time! Does this all make him a bad man? or more human? We have to remember that things were different back then.. if JFK were running for president now, he would be totally exposed for the womanizer he was.. especially if he ran as a Republican. (see: Newt Gingrich) Which is another interesting point about Dr. King.. many in his inner circle say that he WAS a conservative late in his life and would never have been relegated to today's Democrat plantation. With all of his imperfections, he inspired millions and still does today....but let the kids play in the snow on their day off. They will have PLENTY of MLK and black history to talk about for the entire month of February.
reason1984 January 11, 2012 at 11:56 PM
@sally Now that's a Segway! P.S. It's not the school's responsibility to see to it that our children understand MLK, Memorial day, Independence Day, D-Day, Veteran's Day etc., ultimately it's ours. As far as the curriculum "comprehensive education" provided by our educational system, well that's a whole other Segway.
sally January 12, 2012 at 01:53 AM
My comment was in response to several people commenting on the writer of this article not educating the reader about Martin Luther King along with the suggestions of what to do on the day off from school. It's not the writer's responsibility to do this either. You are right, parents should be teaching this.
babs January 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM
District 47 has half a day on Monday.
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