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Home for the holidays: How to keep kids entertained

Have kids create "snakes" using squares of fabric, felt or leftover wrapping paper strung along a ribbon. Danielle Teigen / The Forum1 / 2
Keep kids busy for hours with a paper airplane throwing contest. Make a scoreboard on the floor with masking tape. Danielle Teigen / The Forum2 / 2

Now that Christmas is over, parents are breathing a sign of relief and looking forward to getting back to a normal routine.

Except that won't happen until kids go back to school after the holiday break.

For those families whose children are home, here are a few easy activities to keep them busy during the time off from school when they inevitably tire of their new toys.

• Scavenger hunt: Create a list using items you already have in your home (think shampoo, a spoon, magazine, colored bowl, etc.) and divide children into teams (or play as individuals depending on the age of your kids). Give everyone a list and set them loose collecting the items. You can even award bonus points for the least amount of bickering.

• Paper airplane flying contest: All this activity requires is a roll of masking or painters tape and some paper. Create a scoreboard on the floor by taping numbers down a line, and let everyone create a paper airplane to fly. Points are awarded based on where the plane lands. Depending on the age of your children, you can use this activity as addition practice.

• Mini ice hockey: This activity requires a bit of planning because you need to freeze water in a pan (you can even freeze small toys in the water for additional fun). Use a checker piece or bottle cap for the puck and spoons as sticks. You can build a goal using blocks or simply mark off the goal with some tape. Keep in mind that this activity has a shelf life and could create a mess once the ice melts.

• Button snake: Use old craft and sewing supplies you have around the house as materials for a snake kids create themselves. Cut fabric or felt into small squares, then cut a circle or slit in the center. Glue or sewing a button on one end of a ribbon, then have kids string the squares along the ribbon to create the snake. Once the snake is at its desired length, tie a knot on the end to keep the fabric from slipping off the ribbon. This is also a great activity for fine motor development as well as color and counting practice. You can make this activity even better by using squares of leftover wrapping paper and ribbon from the gift-opening extravaganza.

Danielle Teigen

Danielle Teigen is from South Dakota, but she headed north to attend North Dakota State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and management communication. She worked for Forum Communications first in 2007 as an intern and part-time reporter. Later, she served as editor for two local magazines before switching gears for marketing and public relations roles for an engineering firm and the chamber of commerce.  She returned to Forum Communications in May 2015 as a digital content manager and is currently the Deputy Editor.  She is originally from Turton, S.D., and is the author of "Hidden History of Fargo".

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