CK & GK Podcast

Long Break With Your Kids? Here Are 32 Ways to Keep Everyone Entertained

December 19, 2023 Jenny GK and Caitlin Kindred Season 3 Episode 98
Long Break With Your Kids? Here Are 32 Ways to Keep Everyone Entertained
CK & GK Podcast
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CK & GK Podcast
Long Break With Your Kids? Here Are 32 Ways to Keep Everyone Entertained
Dec 19, 2023 Season 3 Episode 98
Jenny GK and Caitlin Kindred

Send us a Text!

Looking for creative ways to keep your kids entertained during breaks? Join Caitlin Kindred and Jenny GK as they share fun ideas for activities that will create memorable experiences for the whole family.

This episode helps you

  • Discover creative and fun activities to keep kids entertained during long breaks.
  • Create lasting family memories with engaging indoor and outdoor activities for bonding and fun.

It's a break! You're supposed to be able to relax. Especially over the holidays! —CK

Some of the sources mentioned in this episode include:

  • Visit the New York Times Crossword app to challenge your mind and have some fun with word games.
  • Check out the book The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker for creative activities to help you tune in and be more observant in your daily life.
  • Explore the Reef Tank subreddit on Reddit to learn more about fish and aquariums, and join the community conversation.
  • Watch videos of family games on Instagram or TikTok for new game ideas to play with your loved ones during the holidays. Get links to the games we mentioned in this episode’s blog post!
  • Listen to the Gray's Taproom Podcast! Many thanks for including us, Mike & Tabby!

The best support is a rating and a share.


Support the Show.

View our website at . Find us on social media @ckandgkpodcast on
- Twitter
- Instagram
- Facebook
- TikTok
Thanks, y'all!

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text!

Looking for creative ways to keep your kids entertained during breaks? Join Caitlin Kindred and Jenny GK as they share fun ideas for activities that will create memorable experiences for the whole family.

This episode helps you

  • Discover creative and fun activities to keep kids entertained during long breaks.
  • Create lasting family memories with engaging indoor and outdoor activities for bonding and fun.

It's a break! You're supposed to be able to relax. Especially over the holidays! —CK

Some of the sources mentioned in this episode include:

  • Visit the New York Times Crossword app to challenge your mind and have some fun with word games.
  • Check out the book The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker for creative activities to help you tune in and be more observant in your daily life.
  • Explore the Reef Tank subreddit on Reddit to learn more about fish and aquariums, and join the community conversation.
  • Watch videos of family games on Instagram or TikTok for new game ideas to play with your loved ones during the holidays. Get links to the games we mentioned in this episode’s blog post!
  • Listen to the Gray's Taproom Podcast! Many thanks for including us, Mike & Tabby!

The best support is a rating and a share.


Support the Show.

View our website at . Find us on social media @ckandgkpodcast on
- Twitter
- Instagram
- Facebook
- TikTok
Thanks, y'all!

00:00:00 - Jenny GK
It's Tuesday. 

00:00:00 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, it is. And we're so glad you're here. And you can tell that we're recording in the morning, early, before my coffee, because I sound like this. Like I have a frog in my throat. Okay, well, today we are giving you ideas for what you're gonna do with them kids during a long break, such as a holiday break. You're like, I got. We're here for a week and a half and I gotta do something with these kids besides just sit in the house and play with grandma and grandpa, whatever it is, what you're going to do with those kids. So stick around because we have a bunch of ideas for inside and outside activities that will be really helpful. Yay.

00:00:38 - Jenny GK
But before that, just like my tree topper, Caitlin's an.

00:00:48 - Caitlin Kindred
So happy. Okay. And that's Jenny, my spectacular cloud of brilliance, who's probably going to add some of that brilliance to this episode today because she has so many good ideas for stuff to do with kids. You guys, she's so good at. Maybe we'll see. Good ideas. I don't know.

00:01:05 - Jenny GK
Ideas? Yes.

00:01:06 - Caitlin Kindred
Good. I guess it maybe depends on your kid, but they're good for her kids. They work really well. So we're going to get to it. Okay, so I need to say a couple of things about this. One, you need to plan a routine. Okay? Try to set a routine for yourself during a long break. We talked about this with summer. You need to do it here, too. They help everyone. You're going to plan parts of the day where you get to sleep, where you get to have your coffee. You're going to plan parts of the day where your kids are going to watch tv because PBS is a great babysitter. As long as you're in the house with your kids.

00:01:47 - Jenny GK

00:01:48 - Caitlin Kindred
You're going to plan parts of the day.

00:01:50 - Jenny GK
I love that you say PBS.

00:01:52 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes, because it's usually Netflix, but I'm putting PBS.

00:01:55 - Jenny GK
Just going to say my twelve year old would definitely be watching educational content. However, it's all about Taylor Swift on YouTube, right?

00:02:04 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. Different. Yes. There's also going to be parts of your day where you allow for technology like screen devices, things like that, going to be a little bit of screens. And then there's going to be a little bit of something else that you all do, either together or you plan or something. Okay. I'm not advocating for anyone to be go. Go over a break. It's a break, especially over the holidays. You're supposed to be able to relax. It's not easy to do especially pre Christmas. If you're a Christmas family, however, you need to be able to find a way to relax a little bit. So that's why I'm saying build in those breaks for tv time. Okay? This is just to keep everyone from being bored. I already did that. There's no more Taylor Swift videos to watch, whatever it is. The other thing I'm going to say is feel free to adapt these activities based on your kids interests and any resources that you have available. These are very general ideas and I'm giving you a little bit of extra detail to support it. This list is not exhaustive. If you have other good ideas, I want to hear them. Please share them with us or go comment on the blog post for this episode because there's tons of ideas that I probably missed. Also, I have to say this. We live in Texas, so when I'm talking about outside activities, I am aware that some of you may live in a climate that does not support outside activity time at all. Over a holiday break in particular.

00:03:35 - Jenny GK
Right? So here's the deal. Texans are out in December, but in in July, unless we're on the water. So if you live in a place where your summer is gorgeous, our winter is.

00:03:53 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. It's like 65 here most of the time. We get cold days sometimes, but cold for us is like 47, as opposed to cold for me when I was a kid, which was like negative twelve. So I get it. You might not.

00:04:10 - Jenny GK
The entire state shut down and ran out of energy when it was in the 20s.

00:04:14 - Caitlin Kindred

00:04:15 - Jenny GK
We were not like below zero here, guys.

00:04:17 - Caitlin Kindred
No, it was ridiculous. Okay, so I'm going to start with the outside activities. Okay. I've broken them up by kind of age groups. So preschooler outside activities. Ready? Yes. Nature scavenger hunt in your backyard. Don't even have to go anywhere. You can still be in your jammies and just be in the backyard. Now, if you're not sure how to do this, go onto your searching machine, whatever that might be. Your Google machine, your bing machine. Ask jeeves, I don't care. Search for kids scavenger hunt. When you do that, about 1 million different ones will pop up and there'll be all these cutesy stories behind them. But you don't care. Change it to images. Change the search to images. And then look for printables that you can just steal. All right? If they're on the Internet and you can click on the image in a new tab, go print that sucker out and make it be the thing. No big deal. And then after that, you can find the most beautiful leaf that your child created and turn it into a craft. And we'll get to that in just a minute. Okay, so nature scavenger hunt in the backyard.

00:05:25 - Jenny GK
We used to do this on our Covid walks.

00:05:27 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes, we did it, too. And we did it by color some days, yes. So yesterday we found a brown leaf. Today we need to find a green one right now. Granted.

00:05:38 - Jenny GK
And it would be okay. We're going to find all the numbers zero through nine in order.

00:05:42 - Caitlin Kindred
In order, yes. This is a motorcycle and a car, and you have to find all the different kinds of vehicles. Let's go. All right, next one. Sidewalk chalk art. We also did this a lot during COVID And one thing that I thought that was super cute was a woman used painters tape or, like, masking tape, and she made a frame on the driveway, and then she used the painters tape to outline designs. So one of them was just, like, a stained glass window, and she made them kind of random. And then another one was, like, an actual outline of something. It could be an outline of a snowman. And you can use all the leftover white chalk that you have from your teaching days. Also, you can use chalk, too, to get stains out of clothes. But we'll talk about that another time. So that came out super cool. Sidewalk chalk art. Okay, another one. Playtime at the local park. Now, I have to say this. If you do this all the time, you can make this fun. Go to a different park. Go to one that the kids don't usually go to. Make it outside your three mile radius of places that you drive to, and go to one that's completely different. And that way, it's a new, fun playground, and the kids will want to stay there longer. It won't be so boring for them. We've already done this. Okay, well, go play anyway. It's a new playground. Have fun. Do a scavenger hunt at the new playground. Watch what happens. There you go.

00:07:08 - Jenny GK
Two birds, 1 st.

00:07:10 - Caitlin Kindred
Bubble blowing. Now, if you're going to do the bubble thing, for the love of all that is holy, buy yourself a bubble blowing machine and put it on the holiday gift list. And it can be a gift to parents or to the kids. And that way, you are not the one blowing the bubbles all the time.

00:07:29 - Jenny GK
Because it gets old really fast.

00:07:31 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. Oh, gosh, does it ever? And if your child can blow their own bubbles, I recommend taping the bubble bottle to a part of your fence or something so that it stands upright, and then they can just stick the wand in the bottle and blow the bubbles and you don't have to hold it or worry about them holding it and spilling it everywhere. The bubble blowing. Very smart. Yeah. Thanks. All right, moving on to some elementary school kids, we're talking about like six to ten ish, right? Bike riding or scooter fun. Again, I recommend doing this in a novel place, a place that your family doesn't usually go to. It's a break. You all have the time. Instead of driving for six minutes to get to the playground, you can drive for twelve and see what happens. Okay. Yes. DIY mini garden planting. Oh, this is one that I thought would be cute to start your seeds so that when it's springtime you can transfer the plants outside.

00:08:40 - Jenny GK
So smart.

00:08:41 - Caitlin Kindred
So if you need to do this inside because of the weather, just prepare a space that won't make it too messy. But then it could be an inside thing and then you're saying, ok, but now in the spring we'll have tomatoes or whatever you're.

00:08:53 - Jenny GK
Yeah, yeah. I like it.

00:08:56 - Caitlin Kindred
Outdoor sports like soccer or basketball. If this is something that's within your resources, look for like half day clinics.

00:09:05 - Jenny GK
Abby just did one for football.

00:09:07 - Caitlin Kindred

00:09:08 - Jenny GK
And people wrote down her name.

00:09:12 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes. Exciting. And it was very exciting.

00:09:16 - Jenny GK
No, it was. The people running the clinic wanted to know who she was.

00:09:21 - Caitlin Kindred
That's awesome. That's so know.

00:09:24 - Jenny GK
It's like those coaches, they're taking your name down because they're interested in having you play for them. And John speaks up. He's like, she's going to be playing for me.

00:09:35 - Caitlin Kindred
Remember I'm coaching. Oh, jeez. He's coached every season. I don't know why I wouldn't think of that. Yeah. Also, if she's good, he's going to want to keep her on his team because he's just that level of competitive, right?

00:09:52 - Jenny GK

00:09:53 - Caitlin Kindred
Let her go anywhere else. Yeah. Okay. There are half day clinics in our area that they spend all their time focusing on a few sports. There's some that are like all sports. So they'll do like one sport every day for a few days. This is a great time to see what your child is interested in in terms of sports. And that way you get at least half the day. But then again, you still have that time for relaxing tv screens, et cetera.

00:10:21 - Jenny GK
Also, your child does not need to be an athlete.

00:10:23 - Caitlin Kindred

00:10:24 - Jenny GK
To participate in these clinics.

00:10:26 - Caitlin Kindred
And I'm speaking from experience.

00:10:28 - Jenny GK
This is a chance, right. This is a chance for them to either grow skills in athletics or grow skills socially because there's teamwork involved.

00:10:40 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. Meeting new kids and things like that.

00:10:43 - Jenny GK
So this is valuable even if they're not into the sport.

00:10:46 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. Another one for this age group would be picnic in the park. Again, make it a novel park. But I feel like this could be a good time to make it be something that's fun to eat. That's a clear treat. Right? Like, if your kid never gets McDonald's, go grab McDonald's and go sit in a new park and have a picnic. Just make it be something different, because that's what makes it fun and exciting.

00:11:12 - Jenny GK
Right. And we have done this where we've made, like, a special grocery list.

00:11:16 - Caitlin Kindred

00:11:16 - Jenny GK
Say, okay, let's go to the store and pick out really fun snacks.

00:11:20 - Caitlin Kindred
Right? Exactly. Love it.

00:11:21 - Jenny GK
That's not to say that my kids don't eat fast food. That was not what the message that.

00:11:27 - Caitlin Kindred
I was trying to send. My child had his first baconator yesterday.

00:11:32 - Jenny GK
Did you bark it on your calendar? First baconator.

00:11:38 - Caitlin Kindred
Baby's first baconator. He had it on the pretzel bun. And let me tell you, I wanted to eat that so bad, I left it for him. So, like, preteenish. Eleven to 13 somewhere in there. Okay. Hiking or nature trails, if they're into outdoor stuff, this is a really good time to put those how to talk to your kid strategies we gave you earlier in the season to use and just see what kinds of conversations happen. And a really good time for them to take selfies and you to be a part of those selfies and enjoy each other's company in a way that they like. Okay. Rollerblading or skateboarding, but you go, too. And you try it. Just make sure you bring the helmet and the knee pads and the elbow pads. And then, of course, the tylenol for after you're done organizing a neighborhood sports competition. Now, this is work. I understand that, but it could be really worth it. You could meet some new people. If you find that a sports competition is not your thing, just kick your kid out and make them go play basketball in the front yard and see what other kids show up when they're old enough to handle that.

00:12:49 - Jenny GK
Right. I have a friend who used to do happy hour in her front yard, and she would pick the day and put flyers on all of her neighbor's doorsteps, and there was a snack for the kids and cocktails for the adults.

00:13:08 - Caitlin Kindred
Love this idea. This is genius. I love it. Okay, camping in the backyard. Again, climate dependent. But you could totally turn this into a camping in the living room situation. And if they're eleven to 13 and they're going to stay up all night as long as they don't keep you awake, whatever. They can sleep the whole next day because they're on a break and so are you. Okay, what about teenagers eke? Yeah, they're going to want to sit and do stuff on their phones all day long. Again, we're allowing for that time. However, we got to get them out of the house, right. And interact with the 3d people. My first one is community service projects now.

00:13:53 - Jenny GK

00:13:54 - Caitlin Kindred
Especially for kids who are in their teenage years in high school. This is really good for two things. One, reality check, right? Like, this is when we're like, hey, there are people outside of you and our family who need support and animals or whatever. Also, if you're someone who's planning to send your child to college, this is a good time to rack up some community service hours that could look really good on those college applications. So I will say most places, you can't just show up and say, I'm going to volunteer today. You need to fill out some forms and look at their availability. So do some pre planning here. But this could be a really good way to squeeze in some of those community service hours that will make your child look extra good. And who knows? They might find something that they really love and really become enamored with the idea of serving other people, which is such a cool thing.

00:14:52 - Jenny GK
And don't overlook the opportunities that you can create for community service. For example, instead of sending your younger kids to a clinic, have your older children run one.

00:15:08 - Caitlin Kindred
Love that idea.

00:15:10 - Jenny GK
Okay. This is something that they can include neighborhood kids in, but all the hours that they spend planning as well as running count towards all count community service hours and think about drives or collections that you can do in your neighborhood. Again, all the time spent on planning, you walk around and pass out flyers and then say you're going to come back two days later. All of that counts towards the project.

00:15:38 - Caitlin Kindred
And the idea of your child starting a community service project in the neighborhood. It probably looks even better than someone who signs up for volunteer hours at an organization. You know what I mean? There's value in that, too. So just putting that out there, this is a really good time to do that. All right, another one. Outdoor yoga or fitness challenges, anyone? I love this. But again, you have to participate too, as the parent. Right? It's also a really good way to get a head start on your New Year's resolution, if that's something that you're looking into. I'm channeling my inner bluey here with some beach day or water activities. If you live in Michigan, you probably can't go to the beach. Just saying. But if you're one of our listeners in New Zealand, hey. Yes. However, I'm going to say if there's an indoor pool nearby, tell your kids to grab a couple of friends and take them all to the indoor pool. You would be amazed at what happens when you get a bunch of 15 year olds in the pool. It's like they're seven all over again. It's really fun to watch. Just find a place that has open swim and tell your kid to grab a few friends and go. It's fun. Okay, photography scavenger hunt. Now, this is where you, as the parent, create a hashtag.

00:16:56 - Jenny GK
Love this.

00:16:57 - Caitlin Kindred
They have to be a part of this Instagram family photo challenge, and the whole family participates and you all find things that are on this scavenger hunt. Now, you and I did this. This is where my idea came. Yes, you and I did this when we took our 7th graders to the Alamo. Shout out to the Alamo and all the people there. But they.

00:17:16 - Jenny GK
Did you shout out the Alamo?

00:17:19 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, because we brought in 85 kids to the Alamo, and then we just let them loose at the Alamo. So, yeah, I'm shouting out the Alamo because then there were kids who are like, picking up old cannonballs and stuff when they weren't supposed to be. Anyway, I'm moving on. You and I did this because we wanted our kids to learn about specific things at the Alamo and go find things and make it fun for them, but also keep them engaged. So we created a hashtag, and then we told them they had to take pictures of themselves doing all these things. And some of them had to be moving pictures, and some of them had to be specific to putting a certain person in a certain place, and they had to be pointing. It was, like, so random and ridiculous, but it was really fun to look at the pictures later. And if you get the whole family to participate, then big fun, right? Everyone's going to have a good time with it. Okay, so those are all of my outside activities. Okay, now we got to do the inside activities. I'm going to go back to the preschoolers, and I'm going to talk about that. Remember that scavenger hunt we talked about where I said you could take that leaf?

00:18:23 - Jenny GK

00:18:24 - Caitlin Kindred
Arts and crafts time. Ready? Here we go. Arts and crafts time with those materials you got from the scavenger hunt. One thing I like to do with Sam is I would, like, draw a random shape, like some sort of squiggle on a piece of paper and tell him, turn this into something. Oh, fine, right? Or like you draw what looks like a fluffy cloud and you say, this is not a cloud. What is it? And they have to draw something that's not a cloud. So he'll turn it into a sheep or something. Right? Something like that. And it's cute and it keeps them entertained. Also, fun fact, Home Depot does free in store kids workshops on the first Saturday of every month. And you can take your kid to Home Depot on a Saturday, the first Saturday of every month. And they'll do a craft with your kid. So you just have to contact your local store for details or look them up or whatever. Fun one.

00:19:14 - Jenny GK
And if you cannot attend the workshop, a lot of times they will give you the kit to take home and do at your house.

00:19:21 - Caitlin Kindred
Very awesome. Love it. And probably instructions for. Yeah.

00:19:26 - Jenny GK
Yes, no, everything. It comes in a little bag.

00:19:29 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, brilliant. Love it again. Preschooler age story time or puppet shows. Right? Check out your local library for free story time and puppet show events. Sometimes they do these at yoga studios, too, where it's like mommy and baby yoga or kid and parent yoga, and they'll do a story and you do some yoga with your baby. And it's a good time. I've done it before. It's really cute and fun. And a lot of the times, museums, like your local museum, maybe a state history museum, will have free days and free events that you can go to as well. We actually just went to the Bullock museum last Sunday because it's the free day, first Sunday of the month and took our child there and he had a blast at the Bullock museum. It was great.

00:20:16 - Jenny GK
I used to take Abby to the art museum because it's free on Thursdays and we would act out the art.

00:20:24 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, cute. See? Good idea.

00:20:25 - Jenny GK
So when we're seeing sculptures, like, we pose like the sculpture, or if it's an abstract piece, what do you think is happening in it? And it was a chance to kind of move your body and honor the art.

00:20:38 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, I love it. Building forts with blankets and cushions. This is a classic. No kid doesn't want to do this. This is big fun. And then you clean up together, right? You sing the tidy up song. Tidy up, tidy up. Put your things away. That song, have you heard?

00:20:59 - Jenny GK
Oh, that's a good one. Much like the skateboarding or the rollerblading. Get in there.

00:21:04 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, do it. Have a good time. So fun.

00:21:07 - Jenny GK
Help build, help design, and then get in the fort.

00:21:12 - Caitlin Kindred
This is one that I put towards the end of the preschool age because it could also go into your elementary school kids. Simple baking or cooking together. Right. This is a great time to teach kids how to do little cooking tasks, right? Things like breaking eggs, chopping with a safe knife, measuring ingredients, stuff like that. Also a good time to teach oven safety. Right? Like we don't touch because it's hot. This is what we let mommy touch stuff like that. So really fun to do and good for teaching life skills as well. Elementary school kids, again, six to ten ish board games or puzzles. Now, you can usually find these small card games and stuff that are fun, family participating games. Probably less than $10 for a lot of them. And I'm using them as stocking stuffers.

00:22:07 - Jenny GK
We love a card game called ratatat Cat.

00:22:10 - Caitlin Kindred

00:22:11 - Jenny GK
It is a memory game.

00:22:13 - Caitlin Kindred

00:22:13 - Jenny GK
You're trying to have the lowest score.

00:22:16 - Caitlin Kindred

00:22:17 - Jenny GK
And you cannot look at your cards while you're doing it. So you have to remember what you have underneath.

00:22:25 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, that's hard.

00:22:26 - Jenny GK
It's great for like eight and up. We've been playing it for years with Abby. Kit's not ready for it yet. He's five. He's not ready to have to hold four numbers in his head. Yeah, but Abby, she loves it. And it's a quick game, right? You can play it in about five minutes or you can play many, many rounds in half an hour.

00:22:49 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. This is also a good time to teach card games, like classic card games to your kids, like when they're 8910. These are fun times to teach things like speed or Remy or whatever it is that there's one that is a midwest game that all my friends from the midwest would talk about all the time. Euker. That's the one. They all talk about these games all the time. So this is a good time to do that. You can also do puzzles together. You know, we've talked about this. I love to put a puzzle just out, like, just have it out and just let people sit and congregate. And for whatever reason, they attract a lot of attention and people just sit there. And for me, it's like a zen moment where I'm just like chilling and do it. It's great. So those are another good thing to add to.

00:23:31 - Jenny GK
And the idea that you're not trying to do the whole puzzle in one sitting over the break is kind of fun. It doesn't have any stress. Like, oh, well, I'm kind of bored of this. I'm going to walk away from it.

00:23:42 - Caitlin Kindred

00:23:42 - Jenny GK
Because it's just going to stay out all break, right?

00:23:44 - Caitlin Kindred
You just leave it out, start, put it out. The day that break begins, just roll it out and let people have it be there. It's fine. Okay, another one. Movie night or game night with friends, especially for kids who are in elementary school when they're over a long break and they want to see their friends and they haven't in a little while, it's harder for these kids to get to see their friends, right? Because they don't have transportation and all that.

00:24:09 - Jenny GK

00:24:09 - Caitlin Kindred
So I forget the word that you use, but it's not a sleepover.

00:24:14 - Jenny GK
Oh, a sleep under.

00:24:15 - Caitlin Kindred
Thank you. So a sleep under. Unless you're cool with a sleepover. But think of it like a parent's night out, right? Like you invite a few family's kids over, let them go and have a date or whatever it is, they come back, they get their kid, and then everything's all done. Right? And I bet if you put one together, someone else will return that favor.

00:24:42 - Jenny GK
When we did this for Abby's birthday, we did a sleep under. And so it was like six to ten. We had all the girls in the second grade at our house, and in the invitation, I actually listed restaurants in the area.

00:24:57 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, my gosh. That's. So once you drop your kids off.

00:25:01 - Jenny GK
Here are some great date night places.

00:25:03 - Caitlin Kindred
I love that idea. Oh, so good. Amazing. Okay, so asleep under movie night, game night, whatever it is. You could even do both. You could do games for the first part and then you throw together a.

00:25:16 - Jenny GK
Bunch of the movie.

00:25:18 - Caitlin Kindred
Exactly. Love it. Okay. Science experiments at home. There are tons and tons and tons of books and websites that have lots of great experiments that you can do at home with ingredients you already have in your house. You don't have to go buy stuff. Right, like kitchen chemistry. Right, exactly. You could even search kitchen chemistry and I bet a bunch of stuff would come up for you a lot. Yeah. We're going back to scavenger hunts. Treasure hunt or scavenger hunt indoors. You can do it. There's tons of printables online and maybe one of the things they have to find is, like, the socks that are stinking up the room, but you don't know where they are. Something like that. I don't know. Well, and depending on the age of.

00:26:05 - Jenny GK
The kid, they might also need to find the list. Right. Like, I have a nine or a ten year old. I'm going to say to them, okay, make a scavenger hunt list and you and I will do it together.

00:26:14 - Caitlin Kindred
Ooh, I like that that's fun. Again, moving into preteens. We can still put DIY crafts and or art projects here with preteens because they're not quite jaded yet. However, this is a tough one because they might not be into it. So you might have to do some digging and some web searching to kind of figure out what's going to make them excited to try. I've seen a lot of preteen girls who are very into this diamond painting thing. Yes, it is a thing.

00:26:47 - Jenny GK
Arranging Rhinestones in a color by number situation.

00:26:50 - Caitlin Kindred
Exactly. And you might have to buy a few materials, but a lot of them are coming in a kit, and you can just buy the kit. This is a good activity, especially for pre teen girls. I'm seeing. I haven't seen so much with the boys, but that's been one that I've seen a lot of lately and just do some digging and see if there's something they're into. Like, my son is very artistic and loves to draw, and right now he's obsessed with drawing Godzilla. So one of the things we do is we'll put on. I can't. I just can't. We'll put on a Godzilla how to draw Godzilla YouTube video and let him draw. And he follows along, and it's actually really good. I'm very impressed. I should show some of his art. I'll put it on the website. You guys will see it.

00:27:29 - Jenny GK

00:27:30 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. It's amazing.

00:27:31 - Jenny GK
Abby loves to collage.

00:27:33 - Caitlin Kindred

00:27:34 - Jenny GK
And I think it's because we do it together a lot. And so I'm not sure that it's the collaging as much as it is collaborating on something and the attention. But I have a stack of old magazines. Anytime there's free magazines at the grocery store, I grab them and we just tear them to shreds and make art.

00:27:58 - Caitlin Kindred
I love that. That's so fun. You guys are really crafty together. It's cute. Okay. Video game or tabletop game tournaments.

00:28:07 - Jenny GK

00:28:07 - Caitlin Kindred
Good time to teach your kid how to play ping pong. Also, we all know that I love to play Mario Kart against my son. Why? Because I'm better at it than he is. And so think you versus your kid at Mario Kart. Just see what happens. Yesterday he had the audacity to say he would dominate me in a snowball fight. Are you kidding me?

00:28:30 - Jenny GK
Oh, so maybe it's time for a snowball fight.

00:28:33 - Caitlin Kindred
We live in Texas, so it's a little bit.

00:28:36 - Jenny GK
You can actually order snowballs from the snow cone place. Bahama bucks no. Yes. They sell, like, buckets of snowballs.

00:28:47 - Caitlin Kindred
That's amazing. Well, what he doesn't know is that, like, basically grew up playing dodgeball every day. And when I was teaching Colorado and lived in Colorado. Right. So when I was teaching at my previous school, we had a dodgeball tournament, and my teammate and I signed up with a few kids, which is how it was supposed to go, teachers and kids together. And I apparently surprised a lot of people by dominating this bracket that we were in.

00:29:21 - Jenny GK
Like, Adam Sandler of dodgeball, where he's just, like, throwing it right at the kids and having.

00:29:29 - Caitlin Kindred
Madison. Yeah.

00:29:30 - Jenny GK

00:29:30 - Caitlin Kindred
But, yes. There's a few things, like, shockingly good at, and dodgeball is one of them, and the other one is foosball. I'm really, really good at these things, and it's just because I played a lot when I was a kid. So another one. A cooking or baking challenge. You versus them. Who makes a better cookie? You put the recipe out for both of you to follow and go, oh, that's fun. Right? It could be anything, right?

00:29:57 - Jenny GK
We did the chop challenge.

00:29:59 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, you did?

00:30:01 - Jenny GK
This is how John and I met, you know?

00:30:03 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes, I do know. I love that you guys.

00:30:05 - Jenny GK
So every once in a while, we'll do it, and we'll go and pick wacky ingredients and then cook against each other. Most recently, it was me versus Abby, and she won.

00:30:18 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, no. What did you guys make?

00:30:20 - Jenny GK
I made a fish dish. The fish was good, but it was not as good as what Abby made with, like, avocado and chicken, and hers was much better.

00:30:30 - Caitlin Kindred
Got it. Yeah. The other thing that you could do here is do, like, a gingerbread house challenge. If you guys are a Christmas family and you like doing that. But my pro tip for you, when you are doing a gingerbread house challenge, decorate the pieces lying down and then assemble. You're welcome. Oh, my gosh. Changer.

00:30:53 - Jenny GK
I have two gingerbread house kits that I'm holding on to until the right moment, but I cannot wait to try this method.

00:31:05 - Caitlin Kindred
It's going to work.

00:31:06 - Jenny GK
Never done that. And it is going to so work because the icing is not going to.

00:31:10 - Caitlin Kindred
Run down the front door. Exactly. Everything will stay up. You're not fighting gravity like you're working with it. Also, did you know that Oreo makes.

00:31:19 - Jenny GK
You are brilliant.

00:31:20 - Caitlin Kindred
Thank you. I have my moments. It's because I just took my first couple of sips of coffee, and now all the ideas are, did you know that Oreo makes a gingerbread house kit? No. Yes. I have done it. It is worth it. Just putting that out there. Okay. Movie marathon with homemade snacks. Go onto Instagram or TikTok and look up like dips. Right? And they'll give you like holiday dip ideas. And it's like cool whip and vanilla pudding and you mix it together and it's delicious. And you get some gingerbread cookies and you start dipping and you put some green and red sprinkles on top. Done. Look at that. Fancy. Get some stuff like that. Do homemade snacks. I also love the idea. I've done this before as a date night kind of thing. We did like a little stay in date and we did one of those trends where you say, okay, this is someone's favorite color and you have to get a snack, a drink, a present for them and something they can wear. I don't know, whatever it is. That's fun. Yeah, it was super fun. And you just turn that into movie night, right? Yeah. Or you buy a movie that you think they might like. Right.

00:32:36 - Jenny GK
That sounds really fun. I like that we like to theme our food to the movie. And by we, I mean me and John just kind of tolerates it. One year for his birthday. No father's day. Because it was in the summer. We watched all the Star wars movies in the recommended chronological order. So like, row one happens in them.

00:33:03 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes. Okay.

00:33:05 - Jenny GK
And we had themed food. And I was so proud of my seven leia dip.

00:33:11 - Caitlin Kindred
Nice. See, this is fun. This is ridiculous. And then you could come up with ridiculous names that go along with it. This is perfect for preteens. I love it.

00:33:24 - Jenny GK
Also a really great movie just released a couple of days ago. It does cost $19.89 to stream it, but there's plenty of people out there who might want to watch it and maybe have some themed snacks to go with it.

00:33:42 - Caitlin Kindred
1989. I wonder if that's a clue. I think it probably is. Okay, teenagers, virtual escape room challenge or a regular escape room. How fun would that be to do with their friends? Also included an online gaming session. Right, like virtual escape room. Yeah, but how fun would that be? You can either have them invite friends or a whole family goes together and you do an escape room together. Right? Love it. Fun. This one. I really love a DIY home decor or room makeover, especially for your younger teenagers. They transition out of that like 6th, 7th grade mode. And once they hit especially. You and I have talked about this. There's a feeling right around February, march of the 7th grade year where you're like, you're not 7th graders anymore, you're eigth graders. Bye. You're ready to let them go. Right. And as a parent, you'll notice it too. Like, all of a sudden, they don't feel like a preteen. They feel like a snarky teenager, and you're like, what the heck? That is a great time to figure out what they want in their room. Right. Like, they're growing up. This is a great time to feel like what they need in their room. As their interests change, as their needs change. You can get some of these things for your child for the holidays if it's a holiday break, and then you just block off time during the break to make those changes happen for their room.

00:35:14 - Jenny GK
This is actually what we're giving Abby for Christmas this year.

00:35:18 - Caitlin Kindred
Love that. Yeah.

00:35:19 - Jenny GK
So she has gone and picked colors, and she's actually consulted with an interior decorator.

00:35:25 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, hey.

00:35:26 - Jenny GK
Who also happens to be a teacher at our school.

00:35:29 - Caitlin Kindred
Nice. That's cool.

00:35:32 - Jenny GK
So they worked together on a vision, and she's picked out paint colors, and she's in the process right now of cleaning and organizing and with the understanding that all the furniture has to be able to move to the center, and we have to be able to reach all the walls.

00:35:48 - Caitlin Kindred
All the walls, right.

00:35:49 - Jenny GK
But we're doing new paint, new bedding, switching up some of the furniture.

00:35:55 - Caitlin Kindred
It'll be fun. That's so great. She's going to love that. And just think about the satisfaction that will come from that. You'll work together on it. They'll probably spend a lot more time in their room after it's done, which might be sad, but you worked together to make it happen for them, and that's a really special thing.

00:36:10 - Jenny GK
And we painted her room when we moved into this house five years ago.

00:36:14 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. And she is a different person now.

00:36:17 - Jenny GK
Different person than she was five years ago. She's excited to change the colors. Like, right now, it's like bubblegum pink and bright purple. And she's going for this sophisticated, grown up rose gold and dusty pink and gray. It's very grown up.

00:36:37 - Caitlin Kindred
Also, my millennial heart is so happy to hear gray in there. Okay. A music jam session or karaoke now karaoke. When I was a kid, we would go and rent one of those private rooms for karaoke and do it that way. I'm not saying go to a karaoke bar and make your kids sing in front of all these people. I'm saying let them get a few friends. You go too. If you have a big family, go as a family. Whatever it is, get a karaoke room and just have at it. In this private room. So much fun. Again, when I was a teenager, me and my friends used to do this all the time. We had a blast.

00:37:15 - Jenny GK
No, it's really fun.

00:37:16 - Caitlin Kindred
It's really fun and it's so much less of them.

00:37:19 - Jenny GK
You rent the room by the hour, right?

00:37:22 - Caitlin Kindred
So you could say, I'm going for.

00:37:23 - Jenny GK
2 hours and say, okay, whatever the cost is, we're going to split it with our friends and a lot of them let you bring in your own snack.

00:37:33 - Caitlin Kindred
Right? Exactly. It's cool. Okay, this last one, holiday games. Now, these are things that pretty much everyone can participate in, but it gets a little bit more fun as the kids get older just because you're not having to assist so much. Right, right. So I don't know about you, but recently my TikTok and Instagram has been flooded with family games in my reels and for you page. So you could just search for family games on either one of those. And I don't recommend doing it on a regular search engine. I recommend doing it in a social media platform, in particular Instagram or TikTok because it will show you how to play, how it actually works as opposed to you trying to read it or see pictures. So some of these games, I will say when you search, they look like they are for some really rich people. We're talking rich af, right? Okay. These are people who are giving away things like phones as a prize, iPhones as a prize for these games. Excuse me, I'm. Dial it back, right? This is extra. Unless you're already planning to give your kids iPhones for Christmas, dial it back. It is okay to give away a bag of the Grinch Hershey kisses. Do not stress about it, right? Don't worry about it. So some of the contests I've seen, which are super fun and cute, and if you want to look at the games, I'm going to have them all on our blog post for the episode so you can watch the videos on the blog post. One of them is a balloon cup battle. It kind of looks like beer pong, but it's not beer pong. You have the Dixie cup turned upside down and you blow a balloon up and then you use the balloon's air. You let the air out of the balloon to push the cup across the table back and forth. Whoever knocks the cup off is the winner. It's like air hockey. Yes. With balloons and Dixie cups. Yeah. So fun, right? It's totally air hockey. Really fun. There's a medley of videos that I found that one of them is like you put the whipped cream on your hand, and then you slap your wrist and you try to catch the whipped cream in your mouth. Candy cane fishing, where you tie a string around your waist and you have the candy cane dangle from your backside and you have to squat over and hook the candy cane crook around another candy cane and try and pull one out of a bucket. Oh, my gosh, that's hilarious. You pull a string on a cup and see what it's attached to. And if there's a prize attached, then you get a prize. Yes. Another one was a muffin tray and cup. So it's, again, kind of like beer pong. You bounce a ping pong ball into a muffin tray. The muffin tray has numbers inside. The numbers correspond to a numbered prize, like under a cup or on a plate or whatever it is. And then you get whatever is attached. And then if you don't get it into the muffin tray, you don't get a prize. But you can keep going because muffin trays have like, what, 24 slots or whatever, right? So just really fun games that you can do Together as a Family, Enjoy each other's Company and LAugh. They sound great. It's really fun. They're Super Cute. And again, just go to the website for this episode and it's linked in there and you'll be able to watch the videos and see how they play.

00:40:48 - Jenny GK
Great way to entertain your children over.

00:40:50 - Caitlin Kindred
A long break and yourself.

00:40:51 - Jenny GK
Speaking of break, let's take one.

00:40:55 - Caitlin Kindred
All right. Welcome back. Okay, let's talk about our circle time. Fun. Yes. Time to catch up. Do it. Okay.

00:41:01 - Jenny GK
Let me tell you what I'm obsessed with right now.

00:41:03 - Caitlin Kindred

00:41:04 - Jenny GK
The story of blueberry on Reddit.

00:41:07 - Caitlin Kindred
I don't know what this is.

00:41:08 - Jenny GK
No, most people don't, unless you happen to be in the Reef TAnk. Subreddit. And this is blueBerry. She is a blue tAng. Like a DOry Fish.

00:41:21 - Caitlin Kindred

00:41:23 - Jenny GK
And this guy saw her at a very large pet store and realized that she had some injuries.

00:41:30 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, no.

00:41:31 - Jenny GK
And so he got her from this very large pet store and has brought her home. And this thing is a sore and injury that makes her face look like Skeletor. It's like WHite and Bony. So he's been posting updates on how she's recovering and doing really well.

00:41:54 - Caitlin Kindred

00:41:55 - Jenny GK
But she just got ick.

00:41:58 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, no.

00:41:59 - Jenny GK
And remember when we got ick in our Fish tank? It was like a big deal.

00:42:02 - Caitlin Kindred

00:42:02 - Jenny GK
So she's recovering from her injuries to her Face, but she's getting ick. So it's like a soap opera for Fish.

00:42:12 - Caitlin Kindred
The Fish Obsession. I'm glad to see it's still there because for me, it would have been a hyper fixation and then I would have lost interest. But I love that it's still there for you guys. It's great.

00:42:21 - Jenny GK

00:42:22 - Caitlin Kindred
And it's actually growing because now you're reading subreddits about fish. So this is good. Yes. So mine is SudokU. I don't know what's happening with my brain, but, you know, I like Puzzles, ANd I don't know what it. So I am a PsyCHO who pays for the NEw YorK TImes Crossword app.

00:42:46 - Jenny GK

00:42:47 - Caitlin Kindred
Because when I spent too much time on social media and I still feel like I need to zen out or disassociate, I use that and I feel like it helps my have.

00:43:00 - Jenny GK
Oh, there's all kinds of studies that it does.

00:43:02 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, yeah. Well, you know, New York Times also purchased Wordle. Yes. So I go there to play my wordle. Then they have a couple of other games, like this one called connections, and then there's one that's called spelling b, and I've gotten into all of those recently. But remember JSCo told us about octurtle? Yeah. No, I can't. That's too hard. That's too much work. It's already hard enough to do, like, wordle half the time. Like, what? No, I ran out of games while I was doing my nails done. Ps, look at my nails. Oh, my gosh.

00:43:36 - Jenny GK
Very nice.

00:43:36 - Caitlin Kindred
So fun. And I was like, all right, I'm going to try Sudoku. I'm just going to try it. And you remember when you were a kid and you would play Minecraft, mineseeper, mines, mine sweeper, not Minecraft. That did not exist. Mineseeper. And you just randomly click. But then as I got older, I was like, oh, there's a strategy. There's a reason this number means three means something. Okay. That's how I felt about Sudoku until I actually paid attention to what's happening. I was like, oh, you just put, no, there's a strategy. And now that I know the strategy, I'm really into it, and I really like it. And I've only been playing for, like, three days, but I've played far too many games. Like, far too many games. And I was playing while I was getting my nails done, like, just switching my hand back and forth, and my nail tech was like, you play Sudoku? And I was like, yeah. And she goes, I play on paper. And I was like, oh, that's too hard. How do you play on paper? I don't think I could do that.

00:44:39 - Jenny GK
I need a pencil with a.

00:44:42 - Caitlin Kindred
No, no, you got to use a pencil. And you got to use the app because it'll tell you if it's wrong. But it's been fun. I like it.

00:44:51 - Jenny GK
Very good.

00:44:51 - Caitlin Kindred
My brain. Yeah.

00:44:54 - Jenny GK

00:44:54 - Caitlin Kindred
What about your gem?

00:44:55 - Jenny GK
My gem?

00:44:56 - Caitlin Kindred

00:44:57 - Jenny GK
I got an email from Rob Walker.

00:44:59 - Caitlin Kindred
Okay. Right.

00:45:01 - Jenny GK
Aren't you excited?

00:45:02 - Caitlin Kindred
Kind of. Tell me more about this. Okay.

00:45:05 - Jenny GK
So every day in math, we start with what we call a community conversation. And this is kind of a chance to center ourselves and set intentions for the block. Whatever. Kind of like at the beginning of.

00:45:17 - Caitlin Kindred
Your yoga, you're like, okay, what are.

00:45:18 - Jenny GK
You going to be working on today? And so we try and do some metacognitive work here, right? Maybe we'll talk about growth versus fixed mindset. Or maybe we'll talk about the questions that you're going to be asking yourself as you're moving through the block. But we have started working through a book that I found called the Art of Noticing, and it's 131 little activities that you can do to help tune in and be creative and notice things around you.

00:45:49 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, I love that.

00:45:50 - Jenny GK
And the author is Rob Walker. So I emailed him and said, hey, we're reading your book with my kids. This is how we use it. And he emailed me back, and he's really interested in learning how they're doing and getting pictures and stuff. So we're going to start a whole communication train with the author of this book we're reading.

00:46:09 - Caitlin Kindred
So great. How exciting. Congratulations. This is so cool. I mean, this just goes to show you that the worst he can say is no right?

00:46:19 - Jenny GK
Not respond right. It has happened to me before, but it was pretty cool. He was like, oh, yeah, no pressure, no obligation. But I'd love to learn what they're doing.

00:46:29 - Caitlin Kindred
So cool. I kind of had this feeling that you were going to tell me that. Remember, I sent you a video a while back of how these kids get excited for math every day? And it's that they pick up their books and they turn it into the Lion King circle of life. Like hold the book up like babysitter. Okay, my gem has to be. I have two. First of all, yesterday, you and I did a recording with Mike and Tabby of Gray's tap room podcast.

00:46:55 - Jenny GK
So fun.

00:46:56 - Caitlin Kindred
So much fun. They were doing a 24, no, more than 24 hours. It was more than that. 24 hours plus marathon fundraiser for the Kentucky Humane Society. And they had a whole bunch of podcasts on to help them do a live stream for more than 24 hours. Wild. I couldn't believe they were doing it again, because they've done this before. Four. Yeah. And they were so cute. They dedicated that entire series to us, to you and I, on that show, which was so sweet. But this was them doing this as a fundraiser, and we had the best time talking to them. And it's so funny because their show is not for children. This is an earbuds in show. And then you and I get on there, and it's like, obviously pg hour, because that's just how we are. But they're so fun, and they had the best time with us. It was so great. They were really kind about it. And our conversation went from Disney movies to movies that make us cry. And then Jenning just goes, I know this is not related to anything, but have you guys ever thought about how toast and refried beans are? Like, just cook it again? All of us were like, what? It was a hysterical moment of, like, you could tell that she had jumped from one thing to another in her head. Like, she leaped frog like, three different topics and then came back to toast and refried beans. And I knew that there was a connection, but I obviously didn't know what it was, but it just made me laugh so hard. And I'm still thinking about it because we were literally talking about old yeller and where the red fern grows, and then she's like, and toast and refried beans.

00:48:34 - Jenny GK
So we do this thought exercise in math class called analyzing algorithms, and I'll put another mathematician's work up, and we have to talk through it and see what mathematical properties justify their thinking. Do they have any bugs in their algorithm? Things like that.

00:48:49 - Caitlin Kindred

00:48:50 - Jenny GK
And one of the things I love to do is skip the middle thinking.

00:48:56 - Caitlin Kindred
Clearly, because that's exactly what happened.

00:48:59 - Jenny GK
So then the learners in my group have to go through and figure out, okay, how did they get from here to here?

00:49:07 - Caitlin Kindred

00:49:08 - Jenny GK
And they have to go through and say, okay, well, there's three lines of thinking here that aren't written down.

00:49:12 - Caitlin Kindred

00:49:13 - Jenny GK
So I just skipped the middle thinking.

00:49:16 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes, you definitely did do that. And it made me laugh so hard, I thought it was great. But my real gem also has to do with you. Oh, the other day, you sent me a picture of your beautiful daughter getting ready for her first catillion, and she looked so freaking grown up. And I kind of had a little panic moment where I was just, uh. I've known this little girl since she was four, and I was really kind of heart palpitating. And I'm looking at this picture while I'm trying to get Sam to settle down, which was a bad idea. The lights were off in his room. And then I opened up my phone and had this phone light blaring. And obviously it's a picture of a person and he had to look. Well, she took a picture. You took the picture in front of the fish tank? Yes. And my son looks at the picture, sees the fish tank in the background and immediately goes, wait, zoom in on the fish tank. No, the picture is of Abby. Look how beautiful she looks. She's getting ready for her first catillion. He's like, no, but what's that fish in the background? And he zooms in on the blue tang you have in the background. And then he's all mad. He's like, there's no other fish in this tank. And I was like, are you kidding me? And I'm starting to point out, like, 15 different fish. And then I, of course, get lost in what the message was, which was, look at your beautiful daughter, not count the fish in the background. So I just, oh, my gosh.

00:50:30 - Jenny GK
I am about to go make you a video of the tank and you.

00:50:34 - Caitlin Kindred
Guys can count all the fish. And you also know I do like to watch fish tank videos while I'm working and relaxing. That would be good for me.

00:50:43 - Jenny GK
I think their sun has not risen yet, so it'll have to be a little bit later today.

00:50:50 - Caitlin Kindred
Their sun has not risen. Do you have a light that simulates.

00:50:53 - Jenny GK
Yes, we have lights that change their spectrum throughout the day so that it is like, what time their sun rise? Normally around like eleven. So that we can enjoy them in the evening.

00:51:07 - Caitlin Kindred
Okay. Yeah.

00:51:08 - Jenny GK
We reset the lights when John is not home so that I can feed them before I go to school.

00:51:15 - Caitlin Kindred

00:51:15 - Jenny GK
And their son kind of mirrors our son.

00:51:17 - Caitlin Kindred

00:51:18 - Jenny GK
But most of the time when John's at home, he can feed them midday.

00:51:23 - Caitlin Kindred
Okay, that's a random thing, but that was my other gem. Okay. I love it. Okay, so you're about to go on.

00:51:31 - Jenny GK
Break, or maybe you already are on break and you are loving having the extra time with your kids, and you are hating having all this extra time with your kids. Go through the list. Try some of these things. Watch some of those videos with family games. Maybe just watching the video with your kids is enough.

00:51:48 - Caitlin Kindred
I bet it'll be funny. Yeah, it might be enough.

00:51:52 - Jenny GK
So as we go into the holidays.

00:51:55 - Caitlin Kindred
Make a choices and try to enjoy it. But just remember, there's a song about this, right? And mom and dad can hardly wait.

00:52:03 - Jenny GK
For school for school again.

00:52:05 - Caitlin Kindred
So try to enjoy it as much as you can. Okay? Bye.