How to make the most of your kids’ Christmas vacation

The holiday rush is over. It’s time to bond with your family

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BRING out the board games.

We get it—you’ve spent the past weeks running around like a headless chicken. You were buying gifts, wrapping gifts, herding your family from one reunion to another, slaving over Noche Buena and Media Noche, being stalked by inaanaks and dancing “Gangnam Style” at Christmas parties. Now all that is over and you still have a few days left before your kids head back to school.

Here’s how you can make the most out of what’s left of their Christmas vacation.

1. Try a tech timeout. If you let them, they could spend the entire holiday break glued to their iPads and computers. Let them have their fun but make sure your family enjoys unplugged bonding time, too.

2. Bring out the board games. Raid your toy closet and find a good spot. Maybe your living room or dining table? Spend an evening playing Monopoly, Pictionary, Cranium, Cadoo, Uno, Stacko or Scrabble. If you’re tired of the games you already have lying around, hit your favorite toy store and choose a new game with your kids.

3. Relax. You’re tired, we know. So veg out as a family. Microwave some popcorn, pop in your favorite DVDs and sprawl on your couch or on your bed with your entire family. Family movie time can transition nicely into family nap time.

PLAY piko

4. Teach them how to play your way. Now is a good time to teach them the games you loved playing as a kid. Bring out the chalk and teach them piko. Play patintero, Chinese garter, tumbang preso, jackstone, “langit lupa,” “agawan base” and hide-and-seek. Even the most techie of kids will find joy in these classic favorites. (And funnily, if you’ve forgotten the rules of these games, you can find them on the Internet—just Google away.)

5. If you can’t beat them, join them. It’s time to find out why they’re so hooked on those video games. Join your kids when they play their Wii, PS3 or Xbox. They’ll have a blast showing you their favorite games. And trust us, you’ll have fun, too.

6. Go somewhere you’ve never gone before. New experiences are great for bonding. Go somewhere or do something you haven’t done with your kids before. Try the Mind Museum (J.Y. Campos Park 3rd Ave., Taguig City; tel. 9096463) or your neighborhood perya.

7. Road trip! You don’t have to go somewhere far. Even a two-hour drive could be an adventure. Don’t forget your road-trip playlist so your kids can have fun while singing in the car.

PHOTOS BY JILL LEJANO

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