The holidays usually mean festive gatherings and time with friends and family. And when you’re a single father, they also probably mean your kids are out of school for a few weeks. That’s why we’re sharing a few ideas to help keep your kids entertained and your sanity intact.

  1. Play board games. Turn off the TV and try your hand at some checkers. Games require interaction, which helps build and reinforce relationships. They’re also just a lot of fun and a great excuse to play all the games you loved as a child.
  2. Get into the holiday spirit. Ask your kids to help put up decorations while listening to your favorite holiday music. If you have little ones, remember to keep breakable items out of the way and ensure that electrical outlets are properly covered.
  3. Color holiday cards. Foster a little creativity and make cards for all the special people in your lives.
  4. Decorate cookies. You don’t have to be a master baker for this one. Simply buy some slice-and-bake cookies at the store (usually in the refrigerated section) or grab some pre-made sugar cookies. From there, get a few tubs a vanilla frosting, some food coloring, and colorful sprinkles and other toppings. Here’s another helpful pointer: Rather than giving your child a plate to decorate cookies on, use a cookie sheet. The sides will confine crumbs and sprinkles to the cookie sheet and make clean up a lot easier.
  5. Makeover their rooms. If you’ve moved to a new home or apartment since your divorce, let your children have a part in decorating their new rooms. This could mean picking out a new wall color, buying a comforter, or simply moving some furniture around.
  6. Go on an adventure. Whether you go bowling, visit the local zoo, or take a walk through the park, going out and being active is a great way to spend the afternoon and keep your kids occupied. Be sure to check out your local listings for area entertainment and festivals.
  7. Enjoy the lights. Make some hot chocolate, load up the kids, and check out the holiday lights in your neighborhood. Ask your kids to tell you what they like about each house and pick out their favorites along the way.
  8. Do something nice for someone else. Know those cards and cookies you decorated? They make great gifts for friends and neighbors. In addition to making someone’s day, you’re setting a great example for your kids to follow.