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10 Ways To Stay Sane With Toddlers During The Holiday Break

This holiday season has been a game-changer for our family. As parents who both work from home, with one toddler in full-time kindergarten and another in daycare, the minute the holiday break commenced our world basically got turned upside down.

Of course, we did a little bit of planning. The mister took off a couple of weeks from work to be the man of many hours so that I might still have the time to squeeze in my work amongst the baking, the making, the wrapping, the parties, ceremonies and feasts. All that merriment, woooeee! These reasons (and many more) are exactly why I love the holidays. They can also become stressful if I don’t keep myself organized and, by default, my kids somewhat organized.

Last week brought many trips to the indoor playground, two viewings of Frozen, and a bunch of other frugal, easy activities and games to keep them happy, engaged and entertained without sticking them in front of a TV non-stop. Next week shall bring much of the same sort of juggling act, whilst we road-trip around visiting family and friends we see but once a year and (trying) to stay on top of work (me). Below are most of the ways we keep our kids (and thus ourselves) happy during the busiest time of year!

  • How We Do 1 of 11
    00-11
  • Get Outside 2 of 11
    01-9

    For those with toddlers who desire MORE COW BELL on a constant basis and who live in sub-zero temperatures this time of year, may that all-too-easily-horrific combo not get you down. Bundle those wee ones up and I promise they'll be wailing the blues no more. They'll be too busy hollering into great big gusts of biting cold and wind for you to care or hear. Oh, and they'll probably love it, too. Mine do, especially if there is hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows involved.

  • Enlist Help 3 of 11
    02-6

    If you're lucky enough to have great family, call that action in. Our kiddos have been blessed with many an adoring grand-parental unit who love to take turns having sleepovers with them. And we in turn love them VERY MUCH for EVERY MINUTE of it. (Also, slightly related, my toddlers have moved on up into bunkbeds. Someone hold me.)

  • Cheap & Easy (Outings) 4 of 11
    03-5

    Yea, you see that there? An entire family of cheeseballs representing our "Canadian-ness." This was our first time cutting down our own tree together and once we embraced the crazy of tagging along with about five, six other families, all was grand. Especially the eating and beverage consuming after.

  • Make Magic 5 of 11
    04-5

    Those faces right up there, to me, are the shining image of magic and wonder. It's in the way their eyes are round with wonder and joy. All thanks to a simple train ride at a mall. A train going to the North Pole, yes. Because Santa is REAL, yo.

  • Sugar Is The Devil 6 of 11
    05-6

    We live in a 'hood where there seems to be some sort of competition for who can throw the best holiday party. I'm not complaining, except for the part where everyone tries to load my kids up on sugar every chance they can get, because, "Oh, it's the holidays! It will be fine!" Uhm, no, it won't be fine, you've NO IDEA. My kids have it made at home, where they aren't denied much because I'm passionate about making them treats made with healthier flours and sugar-free alternatives. So, I don't have a hard time of steering them away from the usual culprits until Christmas. Then it's fun and games, like wow.

  • Just Dance 7 of 11
    06-8

    When all else fails, JUST DANCE. My nuggets love themselves a loud, hip hop dance party. They often don't even need music and will perform on cue. I realize this won't last, so I'm soaking it all up--every adorable minute of it. You can too, here. 

  • Santa’s Little Helper 8 of 11
    07-5

    I'm at a pretty special space in time where my toddlers are able to be more involved with detailed tasks and helping out with little chores. Around this time of year, this can be especially fun! Wyndham helped me bake and package his teacher's holiday gifts of cookies and homemade jam. He was so very proud. 

  • Movie Nights FTW 9 of 11
    08-5

    Among our yearly traditions, cuddling up on the couch and taking in all of my our holiday favorites is something I really look forward to. After a long day of juggling work and playing with the kids, snuggling and watching the claymation animated classic of Rudolph is just what the doctor ordered.

  • Stretch Out a Theme 10 of 11
    09-5

    Have I mentioned yet how much I love the stage of toddlerhood we're in right now? Where we can actually go to the movie theater (without an apocalypse occurring or having to leave in the middle) and creating a series of themed activities is understood and well appreciated? I made snowmen cupcakes for Abby and Wyndham last week, inspired by and in anticipation of going to see Frozen (which we've gone to see twice now and I bet it will happen at least one more time before the winter break from school and daycare is over!).

  • Hire a Sitter 11 of 11
    10-5

    Hi there, parents of toddlers and children who are off for two weeks from wherever they go during the day, while you still have to work full-time to pay the bills. HI THERE. How y'all doing? Have you hired a sitter yet and escaped into adult-land? If not, DO THAT. Now. All your presents all wrapped yet? Me neither. There's Baileys for that (Sadly, no app yet.)

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More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. 

Elsewhere on the Internets …

Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve

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